Discussion:
Best Pricing for Full Rack Secured in South Bay Area?
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W
2014-09-05 21:43:50 UTC
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Our company is considering the option of downsizing the physical office and
moving the IT infrastructure into a cage at an ISP. Questions on this:

1) What are the going rates these days for a full rack that is secured, or
for a very small cage with multiple racks inside?

2) What is the best package available for data? I would want the cage to
have full gigabit access to the ISP infrastructure. Unlikely we will use
that much data but having a package that gives a lot of data with the
monthly rate is desirable to avoid billing surprises.

3) Can someone recommend specific ISPs that have a minimum OC3 uplink to
their backbone provider located in Cupertino, Sunnyvale, or West San Jose?

Cost is an issue. We don't want the best money can buy. We want the best
price-performance combination.
--
W
Thad Floryan
2014-09-05 22:32:12 UTC
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Post by W
Our company is considering the option of downsizing the physical office and
1) What are the going rates these days for a full rack that is secured, or
for a very small cage with multiple racks inside?
2) What is the best package available for data? I would want the cage to
have full gigabit access to the ISP infrastructure. Unlikely we will use
that much data but having a package that gives a lot of data with the
monthly rate is desirable to avoid billing surprises.
3) Can someone recommend specific ISPs that have a minimum OC3 uplink to
their backbone provider located in Cupertino, Sunnyvale, or West San Jose?
Cost is an issue. We don't want the best money can buy. We want the best
price-performance combination.
I needed to do that in 2000 for a client (which months later became
my employer and in 2006 went belly-up). Without any regrets, the best
choice then was Equinix and I believe it still is the best choice due
to them popping-up as the first hit searching using Google with this:

colo facilities silicon valley

and finding this as the first hit:

http://www.equinix.com/locations/united-states-colocation/silicon-valley-data-centers

During 2006 I needed to scale-down the systems by 50% at the colo
and here's my final rack setup diagram at Equinix (28kB):

http://thadlabs.com/FILES/Thad_San_Jose_colo_2006.07.10.pdf

Note the address of the above is 11 Great Oaks Blvd, San Jose.

With that written, I've also been extremely pleased with the service
and uptime at the Milpitas data center of NTT-Verio -- NTT = Nippon
Telephone & Telegraph, Japan's equivalent to the original AT&T and my
website has been there since 1995; I'm in Los Altos and here's a ping
and a traceroute to my server a moment ago (heh, note the traceroute
shows a path through Equinix at 11 Great Oaks Blvd) followed by a
contact page for NTT-Verio:

procyon bash 2985/2987> ping thadlabs.com
PING thadlabs.com (192.220.75.50) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from thadlabs.com (192.220.75.50): icmp_seq=1 ttl=53 time=14.9 ms
64 bytes from thadlabs.com (192.220.75.50): icmp_seq=2 ttl=53 time=15.7 ms
64 bytes from thadlabs.com (192.220.75.50): icmp_seq=3 ttl=53 time=14.3 ms
64 bytes from thadlabs.com (192.220.75.50): icmp_seq=4 ttl=53 time=17.5 ms
64 bytes from thadlabs.com (192.220.75.50): icmp_seq=5 ttl=53 time=14.4 ms
^C
--- thadlabs.com ping statistics ---
5 packets transmitted, 5 received, 0% packet loss, time 4417ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 14.395/15.422/17.525/1.154 ms

procyon bash 2985/2987> traceroute thadlabs.com
traceroute to thadlabs.com (192.220.75.50), 30 hops max, 60 byte packets
1 router (172.20.20.1) 1.601 ms 3.113 ms 3.406 ms
2 cablegw (24.6.16.1) 12.202 ms 17.182 ms 18.612 ms
3 te-0-3-0-12-sur04.santaclara.ca.sfba.comcast.net (68.85.216.13) 18.834 ms 19.096 ms 18.928 ms
4 te-1-1-0-1-ar01.oakland.ca.sfba.comcast.net (69.139.198.94) 20.027 ms te-1-1-0-8-ar01.oakland.ca.sfba.comcast.net (68.85.155.150) 20.649 ms te-1-1-0-0-ar01.oakland.ca.sfba.comcast.net (69.139.198.86) 21.173 ms
5 be-90-ar01.sfsutro.ca.sfba.comcast.net (68.85.155.14) 21.343 ms 21.591 ms 21.409 ms
6 he-3-10-0-0-cr01.sanjose.ca.ibone.comcast.net (68.86.93.229) 24.157 ms 27.532 ms 25.273 ms
7 he-0-13-0-1-pe03.11greatoaks.ca.ibone.comcast.net (68.86.83.138) 23.069 ms 14.842 ms 13.753 ms
8 ae-13.r02.snjsca04.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.66.33) 17.295 ms 14.691 ms 13.786 ms
9 ae-2.r00.mlpsca01.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.4.101) 19.328 ms 21.320 ms 21.845 ms
10 ae-0.r00.mlpsca01.us.wh.verio.net (129.250.26.161) 20.209 ms 21.087 ms 20.835 ms
11 ge-25.a0454d.mlpsca01.us.wh.verio.net (128.121.129.26) 21.173 ms 21.710 ms 20.571 ms
12 thadlabs.com (192.220.75.50) 24.412 ms 24.878 ms 24.986 ms

procyon bash 2985/2987> date
Fri Sep 5 15:23:11 PDT 2014

Here's one NTT page describing their worldwide network of colos:

http://www.us.ntt.com/products-services/data-center-services/colocation/colocation-data-centers.html

Thad
Igor Sviridov
2014-09-06 03:56:10 UTC
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Post by W
Our company is considering the option of downsizing the physical office and
I think it's a good idea, i've done it a few times (or just build office infrastructure in colo from start).
This way you do not need to keep moving your infrastructure each time you move office.
With fast connectivity available in many bay area locations difference with local is imperceptible.
You would still likely need to have a minimal office infrastructure (wifi, printers), but it can be quite trivial.

I've also noticed that remote environment often ends up better documented
and maintained (even if it's only 5 minutes away).
Post by W
1) What are the going rates these days for a full rack that is secured, or
for a very small cage with multiple racks inside?
When you're talking about "secured rack" i assume you mean locking cabinet, something like
http://www.electrorack.com/colocation-cabinets.htm

In private cages you can use 2-post or 4-post racks; shared cages probably do not fit your requirements.

There are too many variables to give a specific number:
- power
- term
- is bandwidth included or not
- number of cabinets

You can use ~$1000-1500 per cabinet as a ballpark figure.
With contemporary servers if you fill the rack you'd likely require more power than initial vendor offering would include.

Some datacenter vendors, like Equinix, claim to be carrier-neutral and specifically exclude connectivity from their offerings.
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network-neutral_data_center

The upside is they usually have a larger selection of ISPs and carriers (they do not compete with them), which can give you
diversity/reliability and competitive bandwidth pricing; the downside is increase of complexity, and often in price.

If this is first time you're colocating (and you do not have outsize bandwidth needs) you may consider a non-carrier-neutral
datacenter, which offers connectivity as well, in a package.
Post by W
2) What is the best package available for data? I would want the cage to
have full gigabit access to the ISP infrastructure. Unlikely we will use
that much data but having a package that gives a lot of data with the
monthly rate is desirable to avoid billing surprises.
Bandwidth in datacenter environment is usually sold with burstable (typically 95-percentile) billing:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burstable_billing#95th_percentile

Almost any ISPs would sell you a GigE pipe, but many would require at least 100Mbps commit.
All-inclusive (non-carrier-neutral datacenters) in my experience are happy to sell
you GigE with low (10-20MBps+ 95-percentile) commit as a part of the package.
With burstable circuit you need to be mindful about your traffic consumption, since hacked
or misconfigured server can quickly rack up charges on a fast pipe.

Flat-rate (unlimited) GigE can run you a few K per month by itself.
Post by W
3) Can someone recommend specific ISPs that have a minimum OC3 uplink to
their backbone provider located in Cupertino, Sunnyvale, or West San Jose?
I suspect OC3-s are less common now, being supplanted with MAN
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro_Ethernet

No idea about Cupertino, it probably only has corporate datacenters.
Equinix has datacenters in Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, downtown San Jose and South San Jose.
There are quite a few datacenters in Santa Clara, due to cheaper city power and available city fiber.

http://www.datacentermap.com/usa/california/santa-clara/

For specific ISPs see next paragraph.
Post by W
Cost is an issue. We don't want the best money can buy. We want the best
price-performance combination.
Among carrier-neutral vendors i've used i can recommend Equinix and QTS (Santa Clara).
Neither is cheap, but service is great. Equinix can be slightly more expensive and has a reacher offering.
You would need to obtain cross-connect(s) within facility and connectivity from another vendor.

It's probably easier to start with a non-carrier neutral datacenter, which would sell you a whole package.
Here is list of those i've used and can recommend, in the order of personal preference:

Layer42 http://layer42.net/ Santa Clara, Mountain View
Hurricane Electric http://he.net/ Fremont, San Jose
vXchnge (ex Bayarea.net) http://www.vxchnge.com/ Santa Clara
SV Colo http://www.svcolo.com/ Santa Clara
Post by W
--
W
--igor
W
2014-09-11 20:55:09 UTC
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Post by Igor Sviridov
Post by W
Our company is considering the option of downsizing the physical office and
I think it's a good idea, i've done it a few times (or just build office
infrastructure in colo from start).
Post by Igor Sviridov
This way you do not need to keep moving your infrastructure each time you move office.
With fast connectivity available in many bay area locations difference
with local is imperceptible.
Post by Igor Sviridov
You would still likely need to have a minimal office infrastructure (wifi,
printers), but it can be quite trivial.

Does anyone have a list of due diligence questions, or negotiating points,
for qualifying vendors and trying to determine in advance what your total
charge is going to be?
--
W
Thad Floryan
2014-09-11 23:33:27 UTC
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Post by W
[...]
Does anyone have a list of due diligence questions, or negotiating points,
for qualifying vendors and trying to determine in advance what your total
charge is going to be?
Googling "due diligence checklist for colocation" returned
10 useful hits on the first page. :-)

It was an interesting question, so here's all 10 hits
from just the first page of results plus several from
the 2nd page omitting the ones for India and other non-USA:

[PDF] Checklist - Peak 10
http://www.peak10.com/pdf/Peak10_ColoChecklist.pdf

Data Center Co-location Vendor Validation & Site Evaluation
http://www.infotech.com/research/ss/develop-a-co-location-strategy/data-center-co-location-vendor-validation--site-evaluation

Tagged - co-location site visit checklist | Info-Tech Research ...
http://www.infotech.com/tags/co-location-site-visit-checklist

Co-location Site Visit Checklist | TechTeleData - Broadband ...
http://www.techteledata.com/tag/co-location-site-visit-checklist/

Data Centre Co-location Vendor Validation & Site ... - LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140627114609-60148923-data-centre-co-location-vendor-validation-site-evaluation

[PDF]TelecityGroup whitepaper: Colocation in Europe - NGKF ...
http://www.datacenterconsulting.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/TelecityGroup_WHITEPAPER_COLOCATION_IN_EUROPE1.pdf

Storyboard colocation strategy - SlideShare
http://www.slideshare.net/Info-Tech/storyboard-colocation-strategy

Collocation Process - AT&T Towers
http://www.atttowers.com/towers/coloProcess.do

Due Diligence Checklists - Astute Diligence
http://www.astutediligence.com/Diligence_Checklists.htm

Guide to Data Center Colocation » Data Center Knowledge
http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/08/06/internap-colo-guide/

TelecityGroup: Data Centre | Data Centers
http://www.telecitygroup.com/

[PDF] Selecting a colocation data center - Sungard Availability
http://www.sungardas.com/Documents/SelectingAColocationDataCenter_WPS-048.pdf

Data Center Colocation Selection Guides and Co ...
http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/10/30/data-center-knowledge-guide-to-colocation-selection/

[PDF] Data Center Evaluation Checklist and Due Diligence
http://www.secure-24.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Data-Center-Checklist.pdf

Data Center Knowledge Guide to Colocation Selection ...
http://www.greendatacenternews.org/articles/share/506079/

Data Center Checklist - Windstream Communications
http://www.windstreambusiness.com/blog/2013/03/data-center-checklist

[PPT] Cloud Data center - Data Center World
http://www.datacenterworld.com/spring2014/account/Uploader/uploader_files/show/455

[PDF] Read Article - Structure Tone Inc.
http://www.structuretone.com/ST/index.nsf/vFiles/NJDataCenters2013.pdf/$FILE/NJDataCenters2013.pdf

The above shows why the "Google/Yandex Search Link Fix" plugin
for PaleMoon or FireFox is so important: clean URLs without any
embedded tracking garbage -- Google can go pound sand. :-)

Thad
Igor Sviridov
2014-09-18 22:11:37 UTC
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Post by W
Does anyone have a list of due diligence questions, or negotiating points,
for qualifying vendors and trying to determine in advance what your total
charge is going to be?
Thad has provided a good list of due diligence questions;
many are likely answered on the vendor web sites.

Here are some points from my practical experience:

- most datacenters provide 24/7 access; ask about details, i.e. is this a 24/7 manned location, what access
procedures are required to reach datacenter outside of business hours; some vendors require phone calls, and even
staff dispatch, which can delay access.

- check if datacenter does offer battery-backed UPS (or flywheel etc) in addition to generator;
there are some vendors which only offer generator backup, making a minute of downtime between power loss and generator start
an end-user responsibility (in-rack UPS etc)

- ensure you understand what is provided by datacenter and what's your responsibility; in some cases this can be flexible
and you can make choices to your advantage; i.e. who provides cabinets or racks, shelves, PDUs (power distribution units);
this again depends on cage vs cabinet choice.

- ask about things you may need during site visit, such as ladders, tools, dollies, crash-carts, work space or conference room, etc;
this is less of concern when you own a cage, where you can store most those and become self-sufficient

- depending on your requirements you may need to talk about redundancy (multiple uplinks, redundant routers or switches on ISP side)
and procedures to respond to security incidents and denial of service attacks

When negotiating:

- keep an eye on contract term, and charges to get out of the contract before end (expansions usually are easier, but check);
month-to-month is unusual, common terms are 12-24 months; some vendors ask for increased monthly rate once initial contract term
expires (holdover rate), before you enter into new term agreement.

- when buying burst-able bandwidth familiarize yourself with 95-percentile billing, commit and overage rates;
it's always useful to run your own traffic accounting to verify ISP billing (or at least to see if it's in ballpark)

- datacenters usually have limits on how much power they can deliver into given space; those limits are primarily
caused by HVAC capabilities, but often have business-related underpinnings (i.e. they want you to use X amount of space
per W of power, otherwise they would end up with unsold space when they run out of power or HVAC capacity);
ensure that your growth would not be prematurely stopped by power limits;

- decide between 110V and 208V circuits; usually per-Watt pricing is the same, but 208V is more convenient
(you can get more Watts via one circuits with comparable Amperage); most computer equipment can take either 110V or 208V.

- there are various ways to account for amount of power you can deliver into the specific space;
some datacenters have Watt (or Amp with fixed voltage supply) limits, other, especially when renting
cages use "power capacity for space" metric.

- as usual, the larger your order is the more flexible the vendor would be.

This is a large area to cover so those are just some of the highlights.
Post by W
--
W
--igor
W
2015-01-18 03:11:37 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Can someone suggest web sites where there are commercial customers providing
reviews of datacenter providers? The datacentermap.com web site has a
place for reviews, but no one has provided any. I can go to a place like
Yelp, but those are more often than not consumers not the IT guy of a
commercial account.
--
W
Post by Igor Sviridov
Post by W
Our company is considering the option of downsizing the physical office and
I think it's a good idea, i've done it a few times (or just build office
infrastructure in colo from start).
Post by Igor Sviridov
This way you do not need to keep moving your infrastructure each time you move office.
With fast connectivity available in many bay area locations difference
with local is imperceptible.
Post by Igor Sviridov
You would still likely need to have a minimal office infrastructure (wifi,
printers), but it can be quite trivial.
Post by Igor Sviridov
I've also noticed that remote environment often ends up better documented
and maintained (even if it's only 5 minutes away).
Post by W
1) What are the going rates these days for a full rack that is secured, or
for a very small cage with multiple racks inside?
When you're talking about "secured rack" i assume you mean locking cabinet, something like
http://www.electrorack.com/colocation-cabinets.htm
In private cages you can use 2-post or 4-post racks; shared cages probably
do not fit your requirements.
Post by Igor Sviridov
- power
- term
- is bandwidth included or not
- number of cabinets
You can use ~$1000-1500 per cabinet as a ballpark figure.
With contemporary servers if you fill the rack you'd likely require more
power than initial vendor offering would include.
Post by Igor Sviridov
Some datacenter vendors, like Equinix, claim to be carrier-neutral and
specifically exclude connectivity from their offerings.
Post by Igor Sviridov
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network-neutral_data_center
The upside is they usually have a larger selection of ISPs and carriers
(they do not compete with them), which can give you
Post by Igor Sviridov
diversity/reliability and competitive bandwidth pricing; the downside is
increase of complexity, and often in price.
Post by Igor Sviridov
If this is first time you're colocating (and you do not have outsize
bandwidth needs) you may consider a non-carrier-neutral
Post by Igor Sviridov
datacenter, which offers connectivity as well, in a package.
Post by W
2) What is the best package available for data? I would want the cage to
have full gigabit access to the ISP infrastructure. Unlikely we will use
that much data but having a package that gives a lot of data with the
monthly rate is desirable to avoid billing surprises.
Bandwidth in datacenter environment is usually sold with burstable
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burstable_billing#95th_percentile
Almost any ISPs would sell you a GigE pipe, but many would require at least 100Mbps commit.
All-inclusive (non-carrier-neutral datacenters) in my experience are happy to sell
you GigE with low (10-20MBps+ 95-percentile) commit as a part of the package.
With burstable circuit you need to be mindful about your traffic consumption, since hacked
or misconfigured server can quickly rack up charges on a fast pipe.
Flat-rate (unlimited) GigE can run you a few K per month by itself.
Post by W
3) Can someone recommend specific ISPs that have a minimum OC3 uplink to
their backbone provider located in Cupertino, Sunnyvale, or West San Jose?
I suspect OC3-s are less common now, being supplanted with MAN
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro_Ethernet
No idea about Cupertino, it probably only has corporate datacenters.
Equinix has datacenters in Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, downtown San Jose and South San Jose.
There are quite a few datacenters in Santa Clara, due to cheaper city
power and available city fiber.
Post by Igor Sviridov
http://www.datacentermap.com/usa/california/santa-clara/
For specific ISPs see next paragraph.
Post by W
Cost is an issue. We don't want the best money can buy. We want the best
price-performance combination.
Among carrier-neutral vendors i've used i can recommend Equinix and QTS (Santa Clara).
Neither is cheap, but service is great. Equinix can be slightly more
expensive and has a reacher offering.
Post by Igor Sviridov
You would need to obtain cross-connect(s) within facility and connectivity
from another vendor.
Post by Igor Sviridov
It's probably easier to start with a non-carrier neutral datacenter, which
would sell you a whole package.
Post by Igor Sviridov
Layer42 http://layer42.net/ Santa Clara, Mountain View
Hurricane Electric http://he.net/ Fremont, San Jose
vXchnge (ex Bayarea.net) http://www.vxchnge.com/ Santa Clara
SV Colo http://www.svcolo.com/ Santa Clara
Post by W
--
W
--igor
Igor Sviridov
2015-01-19 00:30:48 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by W
Can someone suggest web sites where there are commercial customers providing
reviews of datacenter providers? The datacentermap.com web site has a
place for reviews, but no one has provided any. I can go to a place like
Yelp, but those are more often than not consumers not the IT guy of a
commercial account.
Here is one popupar place (with it's own biases):
http://www.webhostingtalk.com/ - "Colocation and Data Centers" forum.
Post by W
--
W
--igor

David Kaye
2014-09-06 18:59:01 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by W
Cost is an issue. We don't want the best money can buy. We want the best
price-performance combination.
You might consider the Fiber Depot, 274 Brannan (the old Hawley Terminal
building). It's now run by Swig. I located telecom equipment there and
found the rates extremely reasonable at the time. I don't know what their
ISP colo is going for but it's the non-glamorous answer to Paul Avenue.

http://www.swigco.com/property-pages/sf-274-Brannan.html




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