Understanding High Bandwidth Colocation

When you choose a data center for colocation, you need to make sure it meets your bandwidth needs. If it can’t consistently deliver what you need, your business will experience slow, unreliable connections. If you frequently use more bandwidth than your contract specifies, you’ll get unexpected surcharges. A large business may want to build its own data center. Either way requires careful study and decision making.

To make the right choice, you have to understand what makes a top-quality data center, as well as the pricing structures for high bandwidth.

What is high-bandwidth colocation?

The term “bandwidth” has an unusual meaning when used by data centers and service providers. It doesn’t mean a channel’s information carrying capacity but the amount of data you send and receive over a billing cycle.

High-bandwidth colocation is for businesses that regularly move large amounts of data. If you’re in this situation, you need to select a data center that will keep up with your needs. High-bandwidth uses include:

  • Heavy streaming of video

  • Many teleconferences with large numbers of participants

  • Self-hosted high-traffic websites

  • Offsite backups of heavily used servers and large databases

Your sustained data rate has a bigger impact on a data center than your peak usage. An occasional download of a huge file barely matters. Colocation center price structures reflect this.

What does a high-bandwidth data center require?

Several factors contribute to whether a data center can deliver on its colocation promises. They include the following:

  • High uptime, at least 99.999%, also called “five nines.” High-bandwidth use cases require it to be available all the time.

  • Reliable power with redundant sources.

  • A high level of interconnectivity. This means a choice of carriers, connections to multiple service providers, and redundancy to eliminate single points of failure.

  • A location that minimizes risks from intrusion, natural disasters, and other causes.

  • Geographic proximity to the majority of the users. A data center thousands of miles away will have latency issues.

For flexibility and high throughput, data centers follow a layered architecture. Several approaches to layering exist. In all cases, the common idea is that a core layer provides connectivity for the servers, while higher layers provide network and data link services. This approach lets the data center increase its capacity or change configurations without having to reconfigure everything at once.

Burstable billing

Moderate usage is usually billed at a fixed monthly rate, with a surcharge if the usage cap is exceeded. If you have a high-bandwidth contract, it’s more likely you will be billed based on your actual usage. The most common practice is 95th percentile billing, also called burstable billing.

What’s important to a data center is the rate at which you use data most of the time. An occasional burst doesn’t have much impact on its capacity. With 95th percentile billing, your cost is based on the lowest data rate which you exceed no more than 5% of the time.

Other factors in pricing include space allocation, power usage, and custom services. To learn more, look at Stratacore’s server colocation pricing guide.

Getting the data center you need

Make the right choice when it comes to sourcing colocation services. It’s a major decision for your business and requires careful study. Creating your own center requires expert guidance. Outsourcing the service means you need to evaluate the provider carefully and understand the pricing structure. If you need help with data center design, then Stratacore can help you with every step along the way. We have done it before and are the leader in the industry.

Ready to find the solutions to your high-bandwidth colocation needs? Let’s chat!

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