“Fractional” colocation customers usually pay for “infrastructure” – space within rack cabinets, power and network bandwidth from a single provider. When a customer has populated four full racks, or is using substantial amounts of power or bandwidth resources, “suite” colocation becomes an attractive option. Cage colocation is suitable for very large installations, where the costs of purchasing and maintaining infrastructure such as backup power and air conditioning from a single source begins to become prohibitive. At this stage, “suite” colocation becomes a viable option. Suite colocation is generally sold by the square foot by property management companies, rather than hosting providers. Rather than obtaining power and network resources from a single source (the hosting company), the customer may opt to install their own resources. Bandwidth is generally available from many different providers within a facility, providing great flexibility to the customer. This type of colocation is particularly well suited to peering situations, where information is flowing to and from a large number of carriers. For example, a VOIP service provider would benefit from being able to negotiate multiple connectivity contracts which are used simultaneously – a cheap “short-hop” network like Cogent to service major North American cities, in combination with a higher-cost “long-haul” provider such as Global Crossing, Bell or Worldcom to provide overseas connectivity.
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