Types of Colocation Facilities

In the technology era, the need for internet hosting is continuously growing. Businesses must maintain online availability and relevance to succeed in the competitive market. 

Most small and mid-size enterprises struggle to establish and maintain a server with the proper bandwidth to handle online traffic. Such companies can hire a colocation facility to cope with server disparity and compete with other bigger corporations. 

A colocation facility is a secure data center environment that leases space to other organizations to store networking assets or servers. Below are various types of colocation facilities. 

Retail Colocation

Retail colocation best suits startup businesses or those that require less space within a data center, usually a rack or caged-off area. In terms of space, the retail colocation provides under ten racks or cabinets. 

This option includes renting colocation racks located side by side or distributed throughout the data center but linked with close connects rather than taking the entire cage. Renters can also expect to share the space with other tenants. You have a chance to choose between a quarter, half, or full rack based on your business’s needs. 

Colocation measurements are per unit (U), and you can choose 1U, 2U, 3U, or 4U. Quarter racks are best suited for small and mid-size businesses, and they have about 10U colocation spaces. For startups or small-sized companies, you may be better suited with a half-rack, which includes about 20U colocation spaces. On the other hand, a full rack offers 42U colocation space. You can use them to store private cloud servers, graphic processing units for artificial intelligence, and even backup storage devices. 

Retail colocation providers offer power densities of less than 100 kilowatts. In some cases, the power may reach up to 200kw, 500kw, or 1MW. The colocation service provider will connect you to whichever telecommunication network you prefer, but bandwidth may vary. Retail colocation speeds may be as low as 25 Mbps. 

You will pay a monthly flat bundle services rate, including power usage, infrastructure, and network cost. The price for retail colocation is usually a little bit lower than wholesale due to limited space. Consider retail colocation if:

  • You don’t require a lot of space
  • You only need the space for a short time
  • You need to store small amounts of data in different locations
  • Have exceeded your storage capacity in another facility
  • You are not planning to expand

Wholesale Colocation

With wholesale colocation, the tenant rents out an entire data center space. The amount of space may vary based on the storage devices, networking gear, and the number of servers the cage can hold. This option best suits large companies, government agencies, and service providers. Clients who opt for wholesale colocation receive a private suite or a private cage. 

The provider first calculates the power density in each colocation rack to know the amount of space required for each private cage. For instance, if you need 500Kw power and the provider has a rack with 10Kw per rack, you will receive 50 colocation racks. 

On the other hand, a private suite colocation space is a suite within the data center that can be on a different floor, with hardened walls and secure door entry. This option offers higher security since the storage space is separate from other clients’. Most wholesale colocation clients require a minimum of 500kw of power, but this may vary based on unique individual needs. 

The provider also offers internet connectivity based on client preferences. Some clients may require faster speeds, greater resilience, and special features like roof rights, cross-connects, and dark fiber. In the case of wholesale colocation, the price will depend on the power, per KW, MW, or KVA, and space requirements. Providers offer custom pricing for long-term periods. This option may suit you best if you:

  • Need a lot of storage space
  • Must meet strict regulatory standards
  • Need room for future storage expansion
  • Require customization

Hybrid Cloud-Based Colocation

Hybrid cloud-based colocation is a solution that combines managed retail colocation with cloud interoperability. This means that you can use managed and software-defined colocation services with private or public cloud features. Therefore, this option best suits businesses with large amounts of data and those who want to optimize and scale their IT infrastructure for future growth.

The Bottom Line

Choosing a colocation facility should be easy if you understand your IT infrastructure capabilities and needs. Businesses with moderate requirements may choose retail colocation, while those that heavily rely on technology may be better suited utilizing wholesale colocation. If your company needs to add more data center capacity contact us for a Customized Technical Solution.

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