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Washington DC Data Center: Which Offers the Best Customer Support?

Washington DC Data Center: Which Offers the Best Customer Support?
Studies have found that 93% of businesses that lose access to their data assets for ten days or more file bankruptcy within 12 months.
Let that sink in.
Making the decision to outsource your hosting to a Washington, D.C. data center is a leap of trust for many IT managers, all in hopes of ensuring better business continuity and reliability.
From smart cooling controls to facility location, it pays to evaluate the data center of your choice thoroughly. While all data center providers may appear equal, asking the right questions is key to finding a data center provider who can deliver your data center needs.
If you're considering a telecommunications provider in Washington D.C., reviewing local vendors' support records can enlighten you on the right choice for your business' needs. For data centers, we've collected information on the top six in the Washington D.C. metro area to help you search.

Washington D.C. Data Center Providers With Outstanding Customer Support

1. Atlantech Online

While we may be biased, we've proven ourselves as a valuable data center provider for our customers. All the companies on this list have valuable benefits for their customers, but few are as invested in the area as Atlantech Online.
Since our start in 1995, Atlantech has become a leading provider of data center, colocation, hosted voice, and other unified business communications services. Our Washington, D.C. data center is conveniently located for individuals who live and work in suburban Maryland, Washington, D.C., and inside the Beltway in Northern VA. In addition to convenience, Atlantech offers a full array of services to organizations who are hoping to enhance their communications with hosting, fiber-optic Internet connectivity, cabling, and more.
Atlantech customers report quick and ready ticket resolution via phone call, including for after-hours and weekend requests that require special accommodation. Other clients report that the team has gone above-and-beyond to guarantee satisfaction, including our willingness to meet one client's request to double bandwidth within several hours. This is one of the key benefits of a local company, and it's one that we're willing to prioritize every day: exceptional customer service.
Learn more about our data center services here or schedule a free data center consultation here.

2. Bytegrid

Bytegrid specializes in "compliant hosting" for clients in four industries, with their Silver Spring location found just outside the Beltway in suburban Maryland.
Bytegrid's data center and colocation services are specifically targeted for the compliance needs of customers in life sciences, health IT, government, and financial industries. Bytegrid's support options include online chat for prospective customers and phone support.

3. Tierpoint

Tierpoint is a nationwide provider of cloud and colocation services. The closest location offered to the D.C. metro area is in Baltimore, Maryland. Additional services offered by this organization include security, hosting, and business continuity planning. Tierpoint manages their customer support on a per-location basis, with dedicated phone lines for customers in each state or major geographic area.

4. zColo

zColo has been acquired by the Zayo Group, who offer cloud services in 53 locations throughout the U.S. and Europe. The Washington D.C. data center is located in the downtown portion of the metro area and is still known as "zColo." Zayo's other services include some fiber connectivity and infrastructure design. In addition to live chat, Zayo customers can reach phone representatives 24/7.
10 questions to ask before buying data center services

5. CoreSite

CoreSite’s Reston and Washington D.C. data center campuses provide a platform for businesses to meet evolving compute needs presented by digitization across industries. The interconnected campus provides access to clouds, networks and managed service providers needed to build a holistic hybrid cloud solution in a dense, scalable environment.
Strategically located along the region's rich fiber routes, CoreSite offers robust connectivity within and between Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. CoreSite continually invests in market expansions to provide options for its customers and prospects to grow with CoreSite in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia.

6. Equinix

Equinix is a global data center provider that offers services in 40 countries worldwide. Their data centers in the Washington D.C. metro area are located to the west of the metro area, just outside the Beltway in Ashburn, Virginia. In addition to data centers and colocation, Equinix offers some complimentary services, which include consulting services and infrastructure design. Equinix's phone support includes dedicated lines for sales and customer service/support.

What Does Great Data Center Customer Support Look Like?

To have a satisfactory and productive relationship with your data center provider, your organization needs more than just redundancy and reliability (though these factors are crucial). You need a provider that delivers peace of mind.
When you call, regardless of whether it's 3 pm on Christmas or 7 am on a random Tuesday, you need to know that an empathetic expert will answer immediately. Factors that can contribute to satisfaction with data center support can include:
  • Culture: Does the organization base its business model on providing service that exceeds expectations, even if it's not the easiest or cheapest way to serve their customers?
  • Availability: Does it offer 24/7/365 customer support, including for billing? If you call, is your call handled by a live representative or a voicemail inbox?
  • Variety: Does the vendor offer multiple channels, including email, ticketing, and online self-service tools?
  • Redundancy: Does it deliver redundant structuring? In data centers, this isn't the same as customer service, but they have a real impact on the customer experience. Seek out data center providers with exceptional commitments to redundancy and reliability, including 24/7/365 on-site staffing and SLAs.
Atlantech is proud to offer both high-quality business communication services and best-of-class customer support for businesses in the greater D.C. metro area. For more information on our 24/7/365 expert service availability and channels, we recommend "What Does Fantastic Support Mean for Atlantech Customers?"

6 Reasons to Value Fantastic Support

1. Downtimes are costly.

System failures can happen anytime. Recent industry reports reveal that an unplanned data center downtime costs $7,900 per minute. Cut down on these outage costs with on-site support who can do emergency reboots and respond quickly to issues.
While taking measures to prevent unplanned outages is a priority, quick response times by on-site support is equally valuable.

2. Real-time monitoring for better performance management.

Making sense of the data coming in is no walk in the park. It's not uncommon to be short of staff who will look after your monitoring and management platforms.
To help your data center crew, go for a provider who augments the efforts of your IT staff without busting the budget through 24/7/365 support. Be on the lookout for data centers with standardized documentation in their support processes, including disaster recovery, maintenance, and change management.
Additionally, you get a clearer picture of the entire infrastructure with real-time monitoring. As a result, performance and operational baselines are established, allowing for quick problem identification and resolution.

3. Data center management calls for specialization.

The specialized knowledge and experience of the support staff will have a huge impact on your data center operations — from power distribution to security to hardware management.
Consider working with a provider who has the most experienced technicians and engineers from various domains involved in data center management. Having a cooling expert around is not too much different than a staff member who wears multiple hats.
In a similar vein, it also pays to select a provider whose support team can assist you in adding extra space and maintaining network efficiency once your enterprise grows.

4. Help with network peaks and valleys.

Industries have their own network peaks and valleys. Take banking and finance, for example. Financial organizations will often experience a spike in network usage during tax season. Picture what happens when there's not enough in-house support to handle the surge in IT activity.
Although some data centers have traditionally employed the over-provisioning approach as a way to anticipate network surges, it could also result in thousands of dollars wasted on unused space, power, and cooling. It's wise to look for a data center provider who gives you the option to outsource support when you truly need one.

5. Compliance with state boards and regulatory laws.

Beyond meeting security standards such as protection against DDoS attacks, you need to work with a data center whose support team understands the unique regulatory requirements of your industry.
There's HIPAA for health care industries and FISMA for financial institutions. This component is critical for industries whose regulatory boards tend to change their stringent requirements frequently.

6. Chance Favors the Prepared

You've heard it before, but we're going to say it again: chance favors the prepared.
At first glance, picking a data center who merely provides for your space and networking requirements at the lowest rate may be the best decision budget-wise. However, it's important to note that paying extra for on-site support might be the best decision you'll make in the long run.
10 questions to ask before buying data center services
Tom Collins
Post by Tom Collins
October 30, 2019
Tom is the Director of Enterprise Sales & Marketing for Atlantech Online. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the Internet Service Provider industry and is known for translating technology into positive results for business. A native of Washington, DC, a graduate from University of Maryland (degrees in Government & Politics and Secondary Education), Tom is also a five-time Ironman finisher.