Colocation Services FAQ

Q: What's the difference between Colocation and Managed Hosting ("Web Hosting")?

A: There are several differences, but briefly, with colocation you provide the server hardware, software, content and administration; we provide the data center, bandwidth, power, IP addresses and infra-structure support. With managed hosting, everything except content is provided for you by your vendor. The trade-off is that managed hosting typically imposes a wide range of limits on your service, while colocation frees you to do just about anything that you would want. There is an excellent explanation of the differences between these two types of services at http://aboutcolocation.info.


Q: What's a Megabit? Please explain Megabits per second (Mbps)?

A: The Megabit is the most common unit of bandwidth usage measurement among colocation providers. Megabits-per-second describes the rate of data transfer across your uplink connection. This as opposed to Gigabytes (GB), which measure the volume of data across your uplink. The GB measurement is more commonly used by managed service providers (website hosts and dedicated server providers). Purely for purposes of comparison, if you were to sustain 1 Mbps of traffic across your uplink for a period of 30 days, that would be equivalent to just over 300GB. Of course, traffic rates will ebb and flow continuously, so sustaining an specific rate for more than a few seconds rarely happens. There is more about this topic at http://aboutcolocation.info.


Q: Do I have to pay if I want additional IP addresses?

A: No - not with us. While many other providers do charge for initial or additional IPs, we charge for neither.


Q: I just need a few IP's, but I'm told that I'll be given a 'subnet'. What does that mean?

A: A 'subnet' (which is short for 'sub network'), is essentially a group of contiguous IPs that have been carved out of a larger group in such a way as allows them to be treated as their own little network of addresses. This enables us to provide you with IPs in little groups that can be neatly assigned to you, and kept separate from those IPs which have been assigned to other clients. The subject of subnetting is quite technical, but you can get a bit more of an introduction here: http://aboutcolocation.info/?IP_Subnets


 Q: I need to colocate multiple servers. Will you provide me with a separate uplink for each server?

A: We can do this if you want, but each uplink will be treated as it's own plan, with it's own separate bandwidth and pricing. There is a better way - you colocate a small hub or switch along with your equipment, and use it to interconnect all your machines in a mini-network. Then you connect that to your uplink. In this way, all your machines share one pool of bandwidth, which gives you the best pricing. We typically provide more than enough space to include a switch when colocating more than one server.


Q: Do you provide me with a firewall?

A: No. Because requirements for this kind of thing vary widely among clients, we do not provide you with firewall services. You are more than welcome to colocate a hardware firewall along with your other equipment (as long as you stay within your allotted space and power usage overall), or you can run software firewall services right on your servers. In this way, you have complete control over your firewall settings.


Q: Do you require that I use rackmount equipment?

A: No. All our cabinets contain front rails to accept servers and equipment with front wing brackets. But if you are using tower servers or other machines that will not mount in this way, you can get a data cabinet shelf for a small one-time fee, and rest your equipment on top of that. We do offer a finite number of power outlets according to the space allocated to you; if you need more outlets, we require that you provide your own data cabinet-grade power strip. like the ones made by Tripp-Lite. Office-grade power strips are not allowed.


Q: I need a DSL / PRI / *whatever* line to my server(s). Can I get that?

A: Absolutely. Since our data center is truly carrier-neutral, you can order service from any provider that can run a line to the facility address. We'll take care of the internal run to your equipment. Currently there is no charge for the internal run. We can assist in locating a service provider if you wish.


Q: Can I really get support 24/7? Do I have to pay for it?

A: Our facility is staffed 24/7 with technicians who are there to help you. You can call or email the data center any time day or night to get assistance with your equipment. This is called 'remote hands' service, and basic remote hands service is included FREE with your colocation plan. You can use remote hands service to get a server reboot, have a terminal put on your server so the screen output can be read, have a few commands typed at the keyboard, trace a cable, read indicator lights, etc. Hardware repair, software or hardware installation or configuration are NOT covered under remote hands service - if you need this kind of assistance, and cannot perform work yourself, you can either supply your own third-party provider, or hire the facility technicians to do it under a Professional Services work order.


Q: I need more bandwidth/space/power? Can I upgrade my contract?

A: Of course! You an upgrade your contract at any time - just contact us and we will give you our best possible price on the change. In fact, if you have a bandwidth overage for any given month, we will offer you an upgrade at our best possible price in lieu of charging you the more expensive one-time overage charge for the excess.


Q: Do you provide DNS service?

A: No. Colocation is by definition a 'hands-off' offering, so we do not provide forward or reverse DNS service for our clients. There is a secondary DNS service, provided as a courtesy by the data center, which you can use if you wish. It requires creating a special user account on your server(s) and a few other steps. If you do not wish to run your own DNS servers, third-party DNS is easily had these days - there are many free and paid providers out there, and you domain registrar is likely to offer it, so that is a good place to start. Reverse DNS has become increasingly important as tool to combat SPAM. We can send all reverse DNS requests for the IP subnet(s) that you have been allocated to the nameserver(s) of your choice.


Q: Do I have to install my own equipment?

A: No. You are welcome to do so if you wish, but if it is not feasible for you to do your install in person (or to secure someone to do it for you), you can ship your equipment to the facility with installation instructions, and the technicians will rack it and connect it for you at no charge.


Q: I have a question that is not answered here. Can I ask you?

A: Of course - simply use the 'Ask A Question' link below.