Choosing a Service/Hosting Provider


I'm pretty sure that this question has been picked to death on
this list, but I couldn't find a good thread in the nanog archives.
If there is one in there, can someone drop me a pointer off-list?

Anyways, here is my question: What should people look for when choosing
a service or hosting provider?



Perhaps we could make this an extension of the datacenter BOF of the
Atlanta meeting..


But seriously, generally, it depends on what your objective
is. Different companies want either dirt cheap pricing and maybe not
so great connectivity or great connectivity and maybe not so great
pricing. What you have to do is detail what you want out of your
provider, remove the things that you will never find in the real world
(key point there) and THEN people can give you recommendations on who
can match those requirements. (Don't believe sales or marketing wrt to
service promises.. only experience. Sales etc only provide a guide



You can find a good deal of resources to answer this
question at The site has a
white-paper section the digs into many of the issues
that revolve around selection of appropriate
organizations. You can also find a checklist for use
during evaluation.

Good luck,

Kevin Facinelli

I think you're going about this exactly backwards. Try working it the
opposite way: What do you need in a provider?

For example, I'm now working for an ASP. For the first time in my life I'm
the colo customer instead of the runner... Anyway. So my requirements now
have less to do with good peering policies and bandwidth, and more to do
with latency and price. Phatpipe is phatpipe -- if the 100mbit ethernet
going into the cage is the bottleneck, then it hardly matters whether
there's an OC12 or OC48 on the other end of it.

On the other hand, if you were running a huge FTP server (think, then you'd have different requirements. Also, whether you
manage your peering or just need an ethernet drop to plug into comes into

So work out your requirements, your ideal ISP, then look for someone to
match them, rather than looking for what's there and making your selection
based on that.

Matthew Devney