Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Colocation Hosting Bandwidth Options

Where do you get the best deals on bandwidth? Where the telecommunications carriers are, of course. The farther you get from a carrier's POP or Point of Presence, the more you'll pay per Mbps for WAN bandwidth. That means there's only one thing to do. Move in with the carrier. Pack your servers because that really is the right solution.

Do carrier's actually take in boarders? Indeed, they do. CLECs or Competing Local Exchange Carriers often have termination equipment located on the premises of the ILEC or Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier. That's so they can get access to telephone lines to offer competing voice and data services. But what about other businesses?

Business meet carriers at a facility known as a colocation center or carrier hotel. The colocation center, or colo, is sometimes operated by a single competitive carrier. Others are run by third parties offering neutral territory to competing carriers and businesses all looking to make the best deals for IT services. The center operator provides a clean, secure, environmentally controlled building with wiring support infrastructure and backup power.

When you move into a colocation center, you usually bring your own servers and other network appliances. In some centers, you can rent servers on an exclusive or shared basis. You rent rack space for as many units as you need. Power and cooling are provided. You have the option to secure entire racks in locked cages for higher physical security. This is often called colocation hosting, regardless of who supplies the actual server equipment.

You connection to the outside world, including your own network access, is negotiated with the carrier of your choice. You may have several to choose from in a larger facility. Carriers are as anxious to be where the businesses are as businesses are anxious to have proximity to carrier services. Carriers have their own racks or rooms of termination equipment, just like businesses users. Service providers and service users get together in a "meet me" room or with a service drop from their switching rack to your server.

What types of bandwidth deals are available? Usually the best prices on each level of service. Remember that there are essentially no construction costs to provide you with service. Perhaps just a one-time fee for a service drop that may even be waived. Within the facility it is easy to run any type of copper or fiber optic physical connection, so there is no need to settle for installed lines with limited bandwidth just to get service.

Within the center, you generally have the option to get exactly the right type and quantity of bandwidth you need. This includes T1 or DS1, T3 or DS3, OC3, OC12, OC48 and higher SONET services. Also Ethernet from 10 Mbps through Gigabit Ethernet or even 10GigE. Many carriers can quickly and easily adjust the level of bandwidth they provider you on short notice. That's especially true of Ethernet services delivered on fiber optic cable.

So, who chooses colocation hosting rather than keeping everything within their own server rooms? Moving to a "colo" might actually cost you less per month that building, powering, cooling and staffing your own data center. In the case of businesses located outside of downtown metropolitan areas in major cities, especially those in rural areas, the cost of bandwidth may be much higher than in the carrier hotel. Out in the boonies, T1 connections may be all that is practical. It could easily make sense to use that T1 line to communicate with your server farm located within a distant colocation center. Chances are that neither your employees or customers can perceive that the servers running the online part of your business are 50 or 100 miles from your office and not located in the basement.

Does colocation hosting make sense for your business needs? Find out what options and pricing are available for your location with help from our team of voice and data experts. You may be surprised how much you can save by moving in with the carriers.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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