How to decide between half and full rack colocation

You’ve decided that colocated services are the way forward for your business. You want a reliable data centre so you don’t have to worry about building, maintaining and updating a large computing facility. These rentable data centres take care of all the extra expenses and work with the kind of security that provides peace of mind.

However, you’ll need to analyse the pros and cons when deciding whether a full or half rack is the best solution for your business. Read on to learn more about these options so you can make the most informed decision.


What is Colocation? 

Colocation can be a difficult concept to describe if you’re new to it. Simply put, the term means that servers and other IT equipment from many different companies are ‘co-located’ within one data centre. 

Also referred to as a ‘colo,’ these data centre facilities rent out rack space to third parties. It’s a simple solution designed to assist businesses that don’t have enough resources to maintain their own data centre, but still need the benefits.

Some of the benefits include lower costs, fewer members of staff, easier scalability, and the ability to choose a data centre that’s near your users. Last but not least, because the contracts you sign last at least one year, your monthly expenses are extremely predictable.


Half rack colocation

Half racks offer 20U of colocation space – a perfect solution if your needs are on the smaller end of the spectrum. At 1.75”, a rack unit (or ‘U’) measures the thickness of a single unit server.

Because of the smaller size, most half rack options are less expensive than full rack options, typically ranging between £299.00 to £479.00 per month. They also include: 

  • Power feeds of 2 to 8 amps at 240v
  • Multiple connectivity options 
  • Lockable, segregated racks for extra security

This isn’t a good solution for your business if you’re planning on growing beyond 20U, as you’d need to migrate to a larger enclosure, or contract for another. Half racks don’t give you a lot of available room to add additional equipment, but if you don’t predict on adding more equipment, this can be the most efficient and cost-effective option for your business.


Full rack colocation

If you do planning on scaling your business and adding more equipment, full racks are generally the best option. The larger size allows you to store many more servers and network equipment. 

Like half rack options, full racks are lockable cabinets for extra security. They can only be accessed by IT professionals that are approved by your business.

Because of the extra cost, you don’t want to pay for space that you don’t need, so make sure that your business actually needs this extra room. However, you may want to consider private cages or suites if you anticipate lots of growth that will soon require multiple cabinets. 

Private cages give you a little extra flexibility, such as adding desks, keyboards, monitors, additional cooling elements and more room for network equipment.


Choosing your colocation service provider

There are many providers available for colocated services, and it can be overwhelming to decide who to go with. After all, this is a long term decision that will determine the safety and upkeep of your IT equipment. 

Besides software, hardware, and cost, here are some important aspects to consider:

Security

Ensure that the provider offers both logical and physical security. Logical security is more difficult to determine than physical security, so do your research, or talk to a provider’s customer service department for clarity. You also want features such as biometric or security card access, 24×7 on-site personnel, and the ability to mitigate DDoS attacks.

Carrier options

It’s important that the data centre has various connectivity options available, including a range of blended transit and off-net, direct connection options. The best will be able to provide a wealth of options to suit any budget and requirement. 

Contracts and SLA

Part of the contract should include an SLA (Service Level Agreement) that guarantees certain levels of service, such as uptime, throughput and the mean time between failures and recovery. Ensure that you compare SLAs with the providers you’re considering, and find the one that gives you the most security.

Privacy

Make sure that the colocation service provider you’re considering has the necessary technology, policies, and procedures in place to match your regulatory compliance requirements. For instance, if your data is being transferred to another country, determine the privacy laws there and if any would be violated. 

On-Site Monitoring and Managing 

It’s important to find a provider that provides a consistent temperature-controlled environment. However, that’s not all you need to ensure your equipment is working properly. 

It’s necessary to keep track of the on-site security measures, cooling performance, power conditioning and the general operation of your equipment. You can do this yourself by travelling to the data centre on a regular basis. Another option is to determine if your provider also offers managed services. 

Moreover, environmental probes, rack monitors and power management software can help you monitor the health of your equipment even when you’re not at the location.

The My Netwise customer control panel provides most of this data to end clients as standard, meaning less of this responsibility is placed on the service user.


Colocated services for your business

As you can see, choosing a half rack versus a full rack service is all about your infrastructure needs in the moment. You also need to take into account your anticipated growth.

Geographic flexibility and the ability to travel to your colocation provider is important. It’s also recommended to shop around to find the best deals, SLAs, and features for your area.

Now that you know which option is best for your business, contact Netwise today. As one of the UK’s leading colocation service providers, we offer state of the art, highly resilient private facilities

What is data center hosting and how can it help me?

A data center is a facility that encompasses a company’s IT services and data management. Learn more about data center hosting in this guide.

While many large companies are starting to build bigger data centers, most small to medium-sized businesses can’t afford to do that. Rather than trying to compete, data center hosting lets your company store information and have your customers connect to servers in a remote location. In these locations, things are better maintained than they would be in-house.

Here are just a few reasons you should consider data centre hosting.


Secure your data better

With the average cost of a data breach now somewhere around £3 million, you can’t afford to let go of your critical information. For small and medium businesses, it’s hard to have the same kind of infrastructure to protect you as large enterprises. However, with a dedicated data centre taking care of your client and company data, you get the same protection that large companies rely on.

New ways of stealing information are created every day. There’s a lot of incentive for people to steal your data, no matter what industry you’re in. Information about your customers can be sold to companies who want to market to them or even competitors who want to steal customers from you.

Data centres not only keep your information protected physically, but they also assist with digital protect, to protect against intrusion over the network. With on-site staff and a high level of clearance needed to even get to your server, only a few privileged people ever get within a few feet of your servers. That means they can’t connect to the nearby network and they can’t harm the physical servers.


Compliance matters

As an increasing number of companies are being held responsible for the hacks that happen to their customers, you could be next. Rather than ending up in the news for all of the good work that you do, you could be in the news because of a huge security breach. If you’re in the medical industry or working on government contracts, this could cost you your job.

Using a data centre ensures that you’re compliant to the needs of your customers and clients. It costs companies a lot in time and energy to keep up with the changing compliance issues. Colocation allows you to take those worries off of your list.

Rather than losing your clients because of mismanaged accounts, let one of your competitors take the heat for that. Take advantage of the fact that data centres are well versed in how to protect your critical systems to keep you from a bad audit of your data management.


Cost savings

Ask any business owner and they’ll tell you the number one line-item cost that they worry about from day to day is the cost of staffing. However, if you want to have your data managed properly and your system up to date, you need to pay for the best talent out there.

Thankfully, data centres have done the work to hire the most talented IT staff around. Because they need people who can learn on the fly and also who have experience with a variety of challenges, they attract serious talent.

The cost of having a reliable IT professionals on staff who are flexible enough to handle anything thrown at them could drag down your profits. Instead, with a data center handling your company’s servers, you get a team of people who can tackle any issue. You’ll have immense flexibility to grow, scale, or implement new technology without having to take on massive staffing costs.


Scalability

Building your own data centre is challenging. Even if you’re in the tech industry, making space for servers and equipment is hard. Then you’ve got to make sure you’ve designed everything to stay cool and temperature controlled.

Rather than having to invest in real estate when you want to offer more to your clients, you can let someone else deal with that.

Building an in-house data centre also means that you need to know in advance how much space you will need. If you’re on a path toward growth, you could over or under-build, meaning you have to take on the whole project again in a year or two.

If you decide you need to grow, you can expand your services inside a data centre in 24 hours or less. If things are slowing and you need to scale down temporarily, you can often do it in the same amount of time. Data centre hosting can be form-fitted around your business needs.


Less to maintain

Maintaining your data centre is a hidden cost of building one. The cooling elements, power supplies, UPS batteries, and generators all need to be taken care of.

If you’re already stretched thin, adding a layer of maintenance is going to cause you some serious headaches.

Using a data centre means that you’ve got someone else worrying about batteries, fuel, and temperatures. They’ll also test and maintain redundancy on a regular basis.

You could save money and time without ever having to worry about major infrastructure upgrades or power supply issues ever again.


Data center hosting is a smart solution

Rather than taking on the nitty-gritty details of data management, data centre hosting gives you the chance to focus on building your business. Just like you’d hire someone to clean up your office in the evenings, hire someone to be the custodian of your critical business systems who have the tools to do it.

For more of the kinds of services a data centre can provide, check out our guide to connectivity.

Frank Pearson joins Netwise Hosting

We are very pleased to introduce you to the latest member of our ever-growing support team; Frank Pearson.

Frank

Frank Pearson

Frank is now a part of our critical out-of-hours support team, looking after customer support enquiries that come into the NOC overnight.

Digital security is where Frank excels, with a vast array of real-world experience to draw from in helping our customers with their support requirements. With work for the likes of Google on his resume, you know you’ll be in very safe hands if you happen to deal with Frank during a support case.

Frank is also an integral part of our internal development team, assisting with the build and execution of new systems and software solutions that benefit our customers on a day-to-day basis, with a keen focus always placed on security.

Our support team is growing, with additional operatives joining us over the next few months. Keep an eye out for further introductions coming soon.

Why choose London colocation?

Sometimes, you may ask yourself what the driving factor behind the critical importance of London as a colocation centre really is. After all, why not look into colocation options outside of the city, in the surrounding counties, or even further afar in a secondary market such as Manchester?

London data centre

The simple fact of the matter is that ISPs and colocation operators naturally gravitate towards centres of economic activity, where network density and commercial potential are at their strongest. In Europe, the most prominent hubs of this kind are London, Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam.

London and New York are currently estimated to be the world’s biggest retail colocation markets, according to TeleGeography, with each having at least 7 million square feet of gross data centre space. This of course makes London the largest in Europe – by a very considerable margin – over second place, Frankfurt in Germany.

Choosing colocation services in London means choosing to place your critical IT infrastructure in a location which lives and breathes excellence in global technology. Demand in the capital is high as carriers and service providers jostle for access in what is by far Europe’s most important technology hub. This in turn attracts a plethora of tech-start ups and international technology firms, who wish to call London home for their growing businesses.

London is arguably one of the best-connected cities in the world, with every major global carrier having a large presence here. By virtue of this, London is a vital artery between the USA, Europe and Asia – and being on-top of this pulsating technology centre provides you with the very best in connectivity, service and value.

As a consumer, your choice of service providers in the capital is dizzying – a luxury not found in many other metro-areas. Whether you require a single unit of colocation or your own private suite, there are a wealth of options available to you across the city.

Our private, bespoke London data centre is centrally located for easy access, yet remains outside the highly-congested City and Docklands areas. Additionally, our London Central facility is directly connected to both Telehouse North and Harbour Exchange / LD8, forming part of our own private high-capacity fibre ring. This allows us to combine best-in-class amenities with unrivaled Central London value.

We’d love to speak with you about your business requirements, and to tell you more about London as one of the world’s foremost colocation cities, so please do feel free to get in touch.