The next logical stage of infrastructure development, after dedicated servers, is colocation. With this model, a customer is leased rack space, power and network bandwidth by the hosting provider. The provider also manages site security, air conditioning and other requirements of the data center. All servers and peripheral devices such as switches, routers, firewalls and load balancers are owned and managed by the customer.
Entry Level Colocation or Fractional Colocation
Entry-level colocation, (often called “fractional colocation” when it is sold in units of less than a full rack cabinet) is available in various capacities based on the rack space requirements, such as a single-U solution (for a single server), “octal rack” (11 U, suitable for several servers plus peripheral devices), “half rack” (22 U) or “full rack” (44 U).
What All Does a Colocation Plan Include?
Colocation generally includes a basic amount of power service included in the basic price, for example “5 amps included with half rack plans”. Because the profit margins on power delivery tend to be high, customers need to carefully consider their power requirements when deploying colocated servers. If a single 1-U server burns 300 watts under maximum load, 5 amps of power is only sufficient for two such servers – leaving 20 units of space unusable.
Network Bandwidth of Colocated Hosting Plan
Network bandwidth is also sold as a commodity item under colocated hosting plans. Bandwidth may be metered or “burstable” (a large amount of capacity is made available to you, and you pay for the actual amount of data transferred, allowing you to accommodate occasional “bursts” of utilization) or unmetered (you are guaranteed an amount of network capacity, and may utilize this full capacity at no extra cost).
Almost every business customer with a colocated hosting service will realize the best value from unmetered bandwidth. Although the unit costs of raw resources are much lower with colocated hosting, in most cases the customer is still “stuck” with a single provider of space, power, bandwidth and services.
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