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Top 21 Things You Need To Know Before Choosing A Colocation Service Provider

  1. Choose a Top Quality Internet Network – A worldwide Tier 1 International fully redundant OC192 backbone with additional 10 GigE network connections to hundreds of other Internet networks is the best service a business can acquire.  Ask the colocation provider(s) that you are considering about their Internet network connection size and network details.
  1. Choose a State-of –the-Art Class A Colocation Facility – A facility that has highly scalable and super fast connections to the top Internet backbones, redundant UPS and Prime Source type of generator backed electrical power, redundant A/C systems, 24/7 on-site technical support and physical security.
  1. Does the Colocation Provider Include Remote Hands for Free or for a Fee? - Ideally, you want to find a provider that does not charge for remote hands service because it can be very costly.  There is no need to pay a fee when there are state-of-the-art providers that offer it for free.  These colocation providers who include remote hands service for free often have faster, more responsive and experienced technical service personnel who will be there around the clock, when you need them most.
  1. Does the Colocation Provider Have Technical Staff On-Site Around the Clock 24/7? - To ensure technical reliability and security for your colocation service, it is highly recommended to choose a provider that has 24/7 on-site technical support 365 days a year for all of your technical needs.  Ask the colocation service providers that you are considering if they have technical support staff on-site around the clock - even at night.  
  1. How Long Has the Colocation Service Provider Been in Business? – Longevity translates to experience and stability in any industry.  It is wise to find a colocation service provider that has proven itself over time, having survived the dot.com bust, moreover sustained business and growth repeatedly for numerous years.  Look for a colocation service provider which has been in business for over 10 years. (See also the History of Colocation).
  1. Is the Colocation Service Provider Financially Profitable & Stable? – Profitability means satisfied customers!  A financially sound company allows for better pricing and overall technical security because there are no hidden/excess charges attributed to alleviating company financial burdens.  A provider that is profitable will not cause you the frustration of a forced move due to bankruptcy.  Make sure that you research to find a provider that has never claimed bankruptcy or had any major layoffs in its history.  Choose a provider that has been consistently profitable for many years.
  1. Does the Colocation Provider Charge An Extra Monthly Fee for Cross Connects? – Look for a provider that does not charge for up to 10 – cat 5 cross connects per customer cabinet.  This service should be included with the set-up.  Many colocation service providers will charge as much as $100 - $350/month for each cross connect to your cabinets.  Find a colocation provider that will give you a fair rate on all the services and that does not rely on unnecessary costs. 
  1. Does the Colocation Service Provider Charge An Extra Monthly Fee for ip Addresses? –  ip addresses are given out by ARIN for free, as long as they are justified by the company that will be using them.  Equally, a colocation provider can offer them for free with their service.  Steer clear from companies that try to charge you; it is a telltale sign that they are reaching for ways to make money off of you since they are financially struggling.
  1. Does the Colocation Service Provider Charge An Extra Monthly Fee for Power? – Power for your collocated servers and equipment can often be included with your colocation space without any hidden costs.  Consider the total cost of each colocation service providers' package including the bandwidth, cabinet/rack space, ip addresses, cross connects, etc.  Make sure to compare the total package, not just space and power. 
  1. Network Redundancy: How Many Other Networks Does the Colocation Provider Connect to? – For a colocation provider to be considered a Tier 1 international Internet backbone with the fastest connections possible, it must have the largest backbone available on the market (OC192) and additionally have up to 10 GigE connections directly connected to hundreds of other national and international Internet networks for its network to truly be redundant.
  1. What Size of Internet Connections Does the Colocation Provider Utilize (T3, OC3, OC12, OC48, OC192), Realizing OC192 is Ideal? – There are many colocation providers out there, some even set up in garages where only a few T1's or a T3 is utilized.  Make sure that the provider you choose is a legitimate colocation facility that can deliver the technical reliability and security your business deserves.  Look for a provider that has the ability to provide you with the best connectivity and redundancy for fast delivery.  An OC192 offers the best connection available and will eliminate latency issues that you will find with smaller infrastructures.
  1. What Kind of Security Does the Colocation Facility Offer? – For you to feel completely secure, it is highly valuable to find a provider that has invested in state-of-the-art security, whereby digital surveillance cameras are throughout the facility, card key locks at every entrance and exit within the facility exist with an enforced access list, and personal locking cabinet(s) are provided.  It is important to note that individual secure locking cabinets are much more secure than an open rack in a shared cage.
  1. Does the Company Specialize in Colocation or Something Else, (i.e. Phone Service) and Sell Colocation on the Side? – When deciding what provider your business would best benefit from using, make sure that you research the origin of the company’s services.  If the company specializes primarily in phone service, web hosting or dedicated servers, then their colocation service will likely be more costly and you will be getting less service for your money.  A company that specifically sells colocation is technically built to handle its necessities:  maximum Internet speed via the largest backbone and network connectivity, expansive space opportunity and equipment security, along with the appropriate technical support necessary on a 24/7 basis.
  1. Does the Colocation Facility Have Redundant Power? – The provider you choose should have continuous redundant UPS and generator backed electrical power where back-up battery banks are always online to keep the power on until prime source type of back-up generators take over if ever there was an outage within the city.  This would protect your business from being harmed from outside factors and allow Internet business to sustain regardless.
  1. Does the Colocation Provider Use a Standard Back-Up Generator or a Prime Source Type of Generator for Back-Up Power? – A provider that utilizes standard back-up generators is not capable of sustaining power over 4 hours in an outage situation.  Therefore, it is important that you choose a facility that has continuous power, which can only be provided by a prime source type of generator.  (Prime source generators are rated to run indefinitely, if needed, as the primary source of power).
  1. Is the A/C System in Each Section of the Colocation Facility Redundant? – It is crucial for the provider to maintain an especially cooled environment for all of the servers it houses on a continual basis.  Heat is the enemy of servers and network equipment.  Having redundant A/C systems means that if any of the A/C systems fail, another A/C system is already helping to cool each separate colocation suite and can therefore take over as the primary cooling system.  Choose a provider that has a state-of-the-art A/C system that provides air in each section of the facility redundantly. 
  1. Consider the Cost of Future Needed Internet Bandwidth Upgrades – A profitable colocation service provider is going to handle upgrades fairly.  Research the pricing structures for future upgrades with various providers to know how you will be charged for additional Internet bandwidth as you grow.  Ask how much it costs for 100Mbps and 1,000Mbps Internet bandwidth.
  1. Does the Colocation Service Provider Have Brand Name Customers? – A provider that has brand name customers is a good sign.  Ask for a list of customers when shopping for a colocation provider.  This will allow you to learn the stability and technical reliability of that provider and help ensure that you are making a good choice.
  1. Does the Colocation Provider Offer Secure Locking Cabinets or Just Racks in a Shared Cage? – For maximum security, it is best to find a provider that offers secure locking cabinets to avoid any shared technical issues or even possible problems with theft.
  1. Does the Provider Offer Colocation at Multiple Locations Around the World? –  It is not necessary for a provider to have multiple locations around the world.  But if they do offer worldwide colocation services, then they have a stronger backbone and can provide your business with global opportunities that a smaller provider does not possess.  This is something to consider since Internet business is worldwide and it is every company’s goal to grow.
  1. Does the Provider Offer Non-Profit Plans to Organizations? – A provider that is profitable means that they are stable enough to give back to the community.  It is always a good sign when choosing a provider, if the provider offers non-profit organizations special opportunities, such as free Internet bandwidth for educational networks.  It reveals that the company has a heart to make a positive difference, utilizing its technical and financial strengths for the betterment of others!

***

Read Other Colocation and Internet Articles Related to this Subject:

  What is Colocation?

  History of Colocation

  Dedicated Servers vs. Colocation

  What is a Dedicated Server?

Below are more colocation articles from Colocation Co. - the colocation community resource site.

  Tips For Managing Collocated Servers

  Selecting Colocation Server Hardware

  Selecting A Gigabit Ethernet Switch For Colocation

  Tips For Collocating Blade Servers

  Colocation News Articles

Please feel free to continue and read other Useful Colocation Service Articles.

If you would like to submit an article on a useful topic related to colocation use or technology, please feel free to submit your colocation article here.  Thank you for your colocation service article contributions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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