What makes colocation so appealing? Colocation services are quite flexible when it comes to providing server space. In contrast, one main issue with private data centers is that they can only house a certain number of servers. As a company grows, more IT space is almost guaranteed to be required. With an in-house data center, enterprises are almost guaranteed that they will have to spend more money to expand.
Space is just one aspect of what a colocation facility uses to calculate a company’s total charges. Power and network usage are other elements that factor into total cost. They also offer other services that can be added on for extra cost.
A server room has numerous rack spaces that are used to house each server. Typically, the measurements of a single rack space are about 42 units. Rack space is measured from the floor to the ceiling. Colocation companies provide both open rack spaces as well as cabinets. A cabinet is just a fancy term for a closed rack space. Every server can be fitted into a rack of a specific size.
The size of a rack can be identified by its ”U” rating. For instance, rack space can be 1U or 2U. A single ”U” unit is defined to be about 1.75 inches. Therefore, rack space can easily be measured. When purchasing servers, it is important to make sure that the appropriate type is purchased. Other than servers that can be mounted on racks, there are tower servers as well. These can be placed horizontally. Colocation facilities will be able to provide clients with the features to install tower servers. However, rack mounted servers take up less space and are deemed to be more efficient. Space for tower servers can be more expensive, as well.
Moreover, before actually opting for colocation services, it is important to make sure how these facilities calculate charges for their clients. The primary way of billing for colocation companies is via rack space. Facilities can charge their clients according to different specifications. For instance, some facilities will charge per U space being used. There are also some facilities that charge for half-cabinet and full-cabinet space, as well. The more options that are available, the easier it is for companies to actually decide on what they need.
Managed versus Unmanaged Services
Sometimes servers need to be rebooted. Rebooting can only be done manually. Although remote management allows companies to monitor their equipment quite easily, rebooting and hardware troubleshooting can only occur from onsite. For this purpose, many companies have to hire individuals who must be prepared to travel to the facility at any time.
However, many colocation facilities provide a solution through managed services. These services place the burden of performance control on the shoulders of the facility. The facility’s technicians will handle the maintenance and operation of servers and other equipment. These services, however, can be relatively expensive. Companies that do not have a lot of funds to spare tend to go for unmanaged colocation services.
Wade Gagon believes there are many factors to consider when evaluating colocation pricing. His articles educate readers about the features that set different data centers apart.