Datacentre or Colocation "Colo" Racks are individual server or system housing units within a larger datacentre suite.Datacentre Colocation

Colocation providers generally offer a tiered service in terms of occupancy; these tiers are generally defined as:
  • Racks – Individually located datacentre racking that provides either single or multiple cabinets usually they are 47u or 42u in size.
  • Suites – An enclosed area with your datacentre racks located within them.
Individual racks are generally sold to websites owners or for companies looking to provide a centralised IT or disaster recovery service.

There are compelling advantages for any organisation that wishes to purchase racks within a datacentre or colocation environment. We have listed out some of these advantages below to help guide your decision.

  • Secure Environment
As standard colocation providers offer 24x7x365 manned security and access controls such as biometric scanners. Colocation providers generally operate under a standard security scheme such as BS1799 or ISO 27001 which generally includes proximity card access.
  • Environmental Controls
Servers, Storage area Networks and switching and routing hardware are all prone to failure if not kept within a strict environmental operational environment. Colocation centres offer strict service level agreements in terms of humidity and environmental statistics.
  • Connectivity
Generally colocation centres are considered ‘carrier neutral’ allowing for customers within the centre to choose between a plethora of internet access providers. This choice allows for your website to connect to either national or international carriers depending on your target markets.
  • Centralised working
If your organisation has a number of locations, a data centre rack is the perfect solution for centralising your IT resources. Certain configurations could be applied to your remote offices such as an MPLS connection which will enable all your users to access your colocation rack privately and securely using a carrier virtual private network.
  • Fully redundant architecture
Your colocation provider will offer multiple tiers of redundancy in terms of electrical power and connectivity.

With any technology deployment there are things to keep in mind and consider. We have listed out potential pitfalls to consider when purchasing a colocation rack.

  • Power Cost
Power costs are generally applied retrospectively as a monthly recurring cost. Pricing for power ranges between providers but per rack may come in as high as £600.00 per month. Always check the power costs usually expressed as a KwH (kilowatt per hour) and test the power your collocated hardware will draw.
  • Power Feeds
Power feeds are usually delivered as 16amp or 32amp, make sure that the kit your proposing to deploy continuously draws below the stated maximum. A guide for 16amps is usually 11.2amp concurrent power draw and for 32amps 22amp continuous draw. If you go above the stated maximum you may trip the power socket and cause downtime to your hardware.
  • Connectivity
If a colocation provider does not offer connectivity from independent providers evaluate the quality of the single connection being offered perform ping and other tests to check suitability. 
  • Support
Support is generally offered as packages of ‘remote hands’ purchased in packs. Check the levels of support offered in terms of hardware support or if it’s just general system reboots. Check the service level agreement in terms of response times and operational hours.

At Compare the Cloud, we’re here to help you get started and to identify suitable technology partners to help with your deployment. Take a few minutes to tell us about your company in our Cloud Comparison Tool, and we’ll present you with some informed options – and help you take full advantage of Cloud Computing and selecting a colocation rack.

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