Affordable colocation: are you comparing apples to apples?

Are you evaluating how affordable colocation could be for your company?  If so, you've probably considered the benefits of using colocation:

  • hardened data center facilities to protect against natural and man-made disasters
  • telecommunications choices, especially in carrier neutral data centers
  • better uptime through tier III or higher rated power and cooling redundancies
  • improved security
  • TIA 942 compliant data center facilities and SAS 70 data center compliance without all the expense

How do you make sure that your comparing apples to apples?

Most colocation provider quotes can be broken down into these components:

  • Floor space
  • Rack space
  • Power
  • Managed services
  • Telecommunications

Floor space and rack space:  many colocation facilities combine these two components so you can only buy space in their racks.  Some facilities allow you to purchase floor space and bring your own racks.

Power:  Electrical power can be the most expensive component of colocation.  Understand how power is supplied to your eqiupment.  If downtime is expensive, you should look for A/B power from two discrete power feed/generator/UPS systems.  Power should be billed by actual usage.  Beware of providers who bill based on your circuit size.

Managed services:  Managed services can include many IT-related services, from remote hands to application, operating system and break/fix support.  Understand what you are paying for.  Many providers pre-bill block hours and provide services whether you need them or not.  If you do not need managed services, you shouldn't have to pay for them.

Telecommunications:  More choices are typically better with telecommunications choices.  You may need point-to-point connections from the data center to your office location and branch offices.  You may need Internet bandwidth.  You may need a combination of many circuits.  At a carrier neutral data center, you'll be able to choose your telecom provider based on the best combination of price and value.  Beware of monthly cross-connect fees, port charges and other add-ons.

Use these criteria to determine which outsource data center has the best combination of price and value for your business.

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.
Alex Carroll