10 networking capabilities to look for in your services provider Posted on April 22, 2018 by Tim Burke The right services provider can ease the burdens of sustaining your network performance. But take care in choosing one. You can start by asking and answering whether the services provider you’re considering can… 1 Scale in tandem with your business? Meeting both your current and (often unexpected) future needs requires a services provider that’s been successful at combining breadth and depth of capabilities — cloud as well as managed services; data centers, co-location, and network operations centers; vendor-neutral needs assessments; and diverse professional services. 2 Help you assess your network performance, security, and future requirements? Seek a service provider able to get you the network visibility you need by identifying network performance bottlenecks, rightsizing your environment, determining software/device end-of-service/life, and evaluating your readiness to deploy new apps. 3 Understand the importance of security and has the ability to deploy the best security solutions? You need a services provider able to deliver a variety of security assessments along with managed security services and network security built into all of its cloud and network operations. 4 Offer network monitoring and management services? Look for a services provider with long experience and the ability to scale such network related services as network performance monitoring (on-site and remote), application monitoring, trending and capacity planning, fault prevention, service level management, and custom reporting. 5 Field virtualized and software-centric networking solutions? Meeting burgeoning bandwidth demands means transitioning to virtualized, software-centric networks. You’ll need a services provider committed to virtualization (check their data centers) and software-centric technologies like SD-WANs and network function virtualization. 6 Deliver an extensive range of secure cloud and managed services? Services providers that field a range of both cloud and managed services make it possible for you to craft flexible, scalable service configurations to meet your ever-changing networking and IT needs. 7 Operate secure data centers/network operations/co-location/backup sites? When a services provider operates a data center/network operations infrastructure, you benefit from around-the-clock dependability of the services and capabilities that infrastructure supports, thanks to resources that exceed the standards of today’s quickly evolving technologies. 8 Help you with application development? Some services providers can develop and integrate applications that are secure, fault-tolerant, and leading-edge — and precisely configured to your requirements. 9 Furnish experienced professionals able to augment your network to meet performance and security requirements? Look for a provider with a diverse professional services team that can optimize network performance, assess wireless needs, ensure apps and processes are behaving, and help you implement the most effective security policies. 10 Offer a flexible, customizable SLA that covers all services? The right services provider enables you to specify your technology requirements — from complex cloud environments to managed services to virtualization, storage, servers, and more — and roll it into one integrated service level agreement.