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  #1  
Old 12-03-2004, 03:36 AM
scourtney2000
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Default Possible new colo/Need help/advice

I am looking for very specific kind of help. I am looking for entrepreneurial techs who have some ideas about the colo/hosting business. I realize that the business is faily saturated. I am looking for advice/potential business partners who have fresh ideas.

I believe I have a unique story. I am a principal in two companies in Baltimore, MD. One company, Litecast, provides dark fiber networks for carriers, enterprises, and institutions in Baltimore City. The other company, BaltiCORE, is a commercial ISP in Baltimore.

Recently we have come across thousands of square feet of empty, state-of-the-art colo space. I am sure the fact that Baltimore has empty colo is not a surprise, nor is it any different than any other major city in the US.

What might make this space different is:
1. It is priced to move,
2. It is connected to neutral fiber and an ISP, BaltiCORE, with a ton of capacity. BaltiCORE moves about 700 Mbps of Internet traffic currently.
3. It is ready to go now (and hs been).

I need help evaluating this opportunity. Specifically, I am looking for potential partners who know how to take advantage of this space. In support of this potential business I have created a site.

Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks in advance. Thanks DataCenterTalk
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  #2  
Old 12-03-2004, 07:35 AM
jsw6
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I was asked to follow up to your post. I operate a consulting company, and we cannot compete with our clients. As such, I am not looking for partners in this sort of business, but we can certainly provide the expertise necessary to help you evaluate the opportunity you've identified.

My initial thoughts are that you are extremely well positioned. Presumably you have a great deal of dark fiber which you own or have right-of-use on in the Baltimore market. You've also got a good sized IP traffic base already. These factors, in combination with the availability of inexpensive, already developed datacenter space, should allow you to minimize capital costs on construction, vendor NRCs on connectivity, and operating expenses on IP connectivity.

You've probably got a solid idea of what costs you need to evaluate. Any improvements to the facility necessary, such as power systems (watts/sqft needed in a datacenter environment have more than doubled in the past few years); security; additional fiber from building cable vault / riser rooms; network infrastructure; any needed cabinets, overhead cable ladders, and network and power distribution plant can all be substantial capital costs.

From an operating cost perspective you'll have circuits connecting your facility, on-site technical staff, some GO&A expense for administrative staff, sales persons, customer service, network operators, etc. You will also have maintenance contracts or staff expense for physical plant items such as gensets, UPS system batteries, HVAC systems, etc. There is a lot of complexity here, and evaluating a datacenter play from a whole business perspective takes time and detail-oriented folks who aren't afraid to walk away from something that won't work.

One other thing; you will absolutely want some additional transit. I notice you only advertise routes to Cogent at present, and while their connectivity is fine for most purposes, that is not at all an easy choice to defend to customers when they ask "isn't Cogent bandwidth bad?" You don't want to create challenges for your sales people / marketing effort, and being single-homed to Cogent is one that cannot be overcome with many potential clients.
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  #3  
Old 12-03-2004, 05:29 PM
Ananth
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Arrow Advice/Ideas...

I am looking for advice/potential business partners who have fresh ideas.
What kind of help and Ideas, Planning/Monitoring or Technical help?. We've involved number of datacenter builds, so Any Advice?

I believe I have a unique story. I am a principal in two companies in Baltimore, MD. One company, Litecast, provides dark fiber networks for carriers, enterprises, and institutions in Baltimore City. The other company, BaltiCORE, is a commercial ISP in Baltimore. Very Good, Good luck

Recently we have come across thousands of square feet of empty, state-of-the-art colo space. I am sure the fact that Baltimore has empty colo is not a surprise, nor is it any different than any other major city in the US.

What might make this space different is:
1. It is priced to move,
2. It is connected to neutral fiber and an ISP, BaltiCORE, with a ton of capacity. BaltiCORE moves about 700 Mbps of Internet traffic currently.
3. It is ready to go now (and hs been).

I need help evaluating this opportunity. Specifically, I am looking for potential partners who know how to take advantage of this space. In support of this potential business I have created a site. , We can provide/help to build a High avaliability datacenters. monitoring, managing, backup and disaster recovery solutions, Network management and application specified help.

Does anyone have any ideas? Lots and lots of fresh ideas for state of the art datacenter build Thanks in advance. Thanks DataCenterTalk[/QUOTE]
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  #4  
Old 12-03-2004, 08:47 PM
kjbaudry
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Default Consulting & Brokerage

We can help. You can check us out at www.kjbaudry.com

Please call or e-mail me directly and lets start talking.

Ken 770-512-8554
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  #5  
Old 12-04-2004, 01:01 AM
scourtney2000
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Thank you very much for you feedback. I am learning alot on the forums already.

I realize that Cogent is not a popular choice in the forums, but I have to say I have had no problems with their connectivity to date. I knew about the supposed problems when we purchased the connectivity originally. The pricing was really good, so I decided to take a chance.

I don't know what people are talking about. The connection has never gone down. I have not experienced any problems with network latency or packet loss. I have not had any mysterious routing issues.

In the Baltimore marketplace there is very little resistance to Cogent. Since this is not a Cogent city (I have a unique relationship with them) most clients in Baltimore simply have not heard of Cogent, so it has not negatively impacted our sales efforts.

I am currently looking to muli-home the network. What connectivity would you recommend? I was thinking Level3.

I have gathered alot of info from the forums. I realize I am not interested in shared hosting. I want to try to put something a little more sophisticated together. I realize now that I need a product to offer that is dedicated and managed.
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  #6  
Old 12-04-2004, 02:28 AM
jsw6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scourtney2000
I realize that Cogent is not a popular choice in the forums, but I have to say I have had no problems with their connectivity to date.
I'm pleased with Cogent transit I utilize in a number of client networks as well, and our clients have signed for several new Cogent circuits under promotional pricing currently available. As I said in my post, the Cogent product is fine (for the most part; though there are isolated/ocassional problems), but when offering co-location / dedicated server products (if dedicated is among the service offerings you are considering) you'll find a great deal of resistance from "high end" clients who are willing to pay more per Mbps.

We don't evaluate transit purchasing options on a purely technical basis because it doesn't work. Customers ask who your transit providers are because they think they're smart, and those who believe what they read about Cogent on the boards, or have been burned by companies who have used Cogent in the past, will balk at being single-homed to them. We look at transit from a sales and marketing perspective as well; and that's very important when considering an opportunity like yours.

Quote:
most clients in Baltimore simply have not heard of Cogent, so it has not negatively impacted our sales efforts.
Do you intend to market primarily to Baltimore customers?

Quote:
I am currently looking to muli-home the network. What connectivity would you recommend? I was thinking Level3.
It's a complex question that depends on your location. Customers generally respect Level(3) and Global Crossing, who are both good and inexpensive choices. AboveNet is certainly available at a reasonable cost as well, but eventually, customers will catch on to the same problems that hosting companies who use AboveNet are beginning to identify, e.g. limited staff resources, peering problems, and so on. UUnet, Sprint, and Savvis are all reasonable choices from a "high end" perspective but you'll typically pay more to those providers for the same Mbps. There are plenty of others out there, such as WilTel, Qwest, TWTC, etc. but we generally don't find value in their offerings from a price, performance, turn-up, and service perspective.

If you'd like to take a serious look at all the options available to you, get in touch with me off-board and I'll be happy to spend some time on your project. We've got a great deal of experience doing what you are looking at, and aren't looking to bill you anything for a couple of hours on the phone or putting you in touch with some vendor reps.

When you get into more detail, e.g. hard costs on equipment, network topology, and so on, we'll figure out what consultation arrangement suits you best; but for initial calls we consider our time spent to be an investment in a future relationship. These things don't always pan out, and once in a while we find we've got 10 or 20 hours into something that doesn't make us a dime; but that's part of doing business for a group like mine, and we're very satisfied with the returns we've received by being willing to spend some time up-front.
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  #7  
Old 02-14-2005, 11:51 AM
MPCN_Russ
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Hello,

I would highly recommend nLayer and Global Crossing. nLayer's network is top notch and their peering is awesome. Global Crossing is quite good aswell. I've been on both of them on multiple GigE's and have had 0 problems with them.

If anything I would definately choose nLayer.

Thanks,
Russ
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