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March 31, 2016

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Data Solutions Provider

Choosing a data solutions partner for your business is an important decision. Whether you’re looking for a company to build a custom data center or provide colocation or cloud services for your company, it’s important that your partner meets your business’ specific needs. And because you’ll be trusting your business’ sensitive data to an outside provider, it’s important that you choose carefully.

Here are five things you should take into account when selecting a data solutions provider:

1. Location (Location, Location)

As anyone who has ever bought or sold a house knows, location is one of the most important aspects of any realty deal, and it’s no different for data centers. Although the continued shift towards cloud-based environments has removed location-based latency concerns, there are other reasons to consider the best location for your data center. You’ll want to make sure your data center is close enough that an employee can get to it should service ever be needed (unless you contract with your provider to manage your equipment). It’s also important to consider location diversity as you select your data provider. If all your data center resources are in one location and a natural disaster occurs, you may not have the redundancy necessary to maintain access to your data.

2. Reliability

The best data center provider in the world isn’t much good if they can’t guarantee you a high level of access to your data. Data center providers measure their reliability based on how much downtime they have during the year. “Five nines” availability, which is common amongst providers, means the data center is online 99.999% of the time – a downtime of 5.26 minutes/year or 6.05 seconds/week. These “five nines” centers typically have redundant systems so the failure of one component won’t take them offline. They also have the ability to reliably cross over to the redundant systems should a failure occur.

3. Connectivity

Another important factor to consider is whether the data center offers carrier-neutral connectivity. This ensures your customers, suppliers and employees have access to key application data and content. Many data solutions providers offer the ability to connect to business partners inside the same data center or to other service providers and networks not located within the facility. They may also offer a point-to-point private connection to a public cloud provider, allowing you to integrate your private cloud or colocation space within a provider space to the public cloud.

4. Scalability

The goal of most businesses is to continue growing, and you don’t want your data solutions provider to get in the way of your future growth. Make sure the provider you choose has the capacity and flexibility to grow along with your business. Look for a company that provides a custom data solution instead of buying a one-size-fits-all product that may leave you paying for more than what you actually need. 

5. Customer Service

Finally, make sure the company you ultimately partner with provides you with excellent customer service and support. You’ll be working closely with your data solutions provider as they strive to help you solve your business’ data needs, and you want a company staffed with seasoned professionals who are ready to solve your needs around the clock. A great way to measure customer satisfaction with a company is by looking at their Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is an index ranging from -100 to 100 that measures how likely customers are to recommend a company’s products or services to others – basically a way to measure overall customer satisfaction.

At QTS, we’re proud to have an industry-leading NPS score of 63.5. Of course, these are only a few of the many factors that must be considered when choosing the right data solutions provider for your company. 

For more information about how QTS can solve your data needs, download our "Data Solved" white paper. 

To learn more about QTS and the data solutions we can provide for your company, visit our website or call us toll-free at 877.QTS.DATA. You can also follow us on Twitter at @DataCenters_QTS.

data, center, colocation, cloud