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From Space To Pricing: Five Elements To Compare When Looking For The Best Colocation Services

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Over a third of all data centers are due to run out of space, power or cooling capacity soon, and as a result, many of these companies will need to turn to colocation services. If you run a data center and are responsible for selecting a colocation services provider, you may wonder how to find the best colocation facility for your needs. While comparison shopping, here are five of the elements you should compare:

1. Space

In colocation centers, space is typically measured by square feet or meters – in most cases, you can rent space for racks or cabinets, or you can rent an entire cage. Some colocation companies provide the racks and cabinets for you, while others require you to bring your own. When crunching numbers, be sure to factor in the cost of buying new cabinets if applicable and ask the colocation center if they charge to bolt down the cabinets.

Cages are simply floor space surrounded by a metal cage. Due to their larger size, cages usually cost more than racks or cabinets, but they offer more privacy, greater security and small perks such as the ability to run your own fiber between your cabinets.  

2. Power

When you use a colocation center, it uses a sign-up form to help determine how much power you need, but if you want to guesstimate how much power you need before signing up, plug your servers into an electricity usage meter. If you already own your own equipment, that measurement should give you an idea of how much power you need.

Ideally, the company you select should offer the amount of power you need at a price you can afford, but it should also have a built-in provision to deal with your future power needs.

3. Cooling

Cooling is important to consider because it has a direct impact on your colocation experience. The more robust the cooling capabilities at a colocation center, the more efficiently and densely your servers can run. Ultimately, that saves you money in the long run. Keep in mind that while charges for power are levied separately usually, charges for cooling are included with the main fee. If you don't see cooling detailed on the list of charges, make sure to ask if it is included.

4. On-Site Presence

While space, power and cooling are essential, they can be useless if you don't have the right people on hand to help monitor your equipment. If your set-up basically runs itself, you may be okay with a facility that only has security guards or an occasional attendant on duty to let you in as needed to access your equipment. In other cases, you may want a colocation facility that has a dedicated team of on-staff professionals who can do anything from push reset buttons to change discs.

5. Pricing

In addition to the four elements explained above, you also need to consider the cost of the colocation services. Unfortunately, many colocation companies base their prices on different items, and that can make it hard to compare prices. Before comparing quotes, make sure that you break everything down in a way so that you are comparing apples with apples.

For instance, one company may offer prices based on how many kilowatts you use, but another company may base its price on circuits. Work out how much you would pay in both scenarios based on your current needs, and once you have a similar comparison for your basic space and power costs, you also need to factor in the cost of extras such as fees for common areas, surcharges for management, fuel fees and more.

Visit a colocation service online at a site like to discover more about your options.