Colocation Basics - What is Colocation?
Colocation - the moving or placing things together, sometimes implying a proper order. This term derived from collocation and often spelled "co-location", is used to mean the provision of space for a customer's telecommunications or computer equipment at the service provider's premises. For example, a Web site owner could place the site's own computer servers on the premises of the Internet service provider (ISP). Or an ISP could place its network routers on the premises of the company offering switching services with other ISPs. Businesses often colocate their equipment with a service provider in order to take advantage of higher bandwidth availability and backup power.
Colocation Services are composed of two (2) basic components:
- Rack Space Rental Fees - These fees are paid to the provider to "lease" space at the provider's data center. Normally the rental fees include basic electrical service up to a certain voltage and amperage. Additional fees may be assessed if there are unique power requirements. Fees are typically assessed by the single rack unit (1U), 1/2 rack (21U) or full rack (42U). Most rack mount servers are between 1U and 4U in size. If you colocate more than a single server, you will most likely be charged for at least one additional rack space to accommodate an Ethernet switch.
- Internet Connection Charges - These are fees paid to the provider for bandwidth. Most modern data centers provide bandwidth to their connected clients via a dedicated 10 Mbps or 100 Mbps Ethernet connection. 1000 Mbps (1 Gigabit) connections are available but usually cost more and few clients need this level of connectivity to the Internet. Fees are based upon the connection speed and not upon the total volume of data transferred. Typically, colocation providers meter data that is actually transferred across the client's dedicated port and passed to the Internet. Connections between a colocated client's equipment connected to their Ethernet switch is not metered and is transferred at the full speed supported by the switch.