The following information is provided to help clear up some of your questions about full and partial server racks, full cabinets and private cages and suites in data colocation centers.
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If you're exploring the options available in server data center colocation services, full or partial rack colocation can be a great way to go. But what's the difference between the options available at a data center? Let's take a look at a couple commonly used options for full and partial racks.
What's a rack?
A rack is a shelf system that acts as housing for servers, telecommunications technology and similar technology. Built to standard widths of 19" and to accommodate several rack units (U) in height, a rack allows different components to be placed into it. Component height can vary, but is standardized upon how many U spaces it takes up, and they can be slid into a server rack shelf, making switching out failed components a quick process. The racks contain both Internet and power connectivity and are placed in the buildings and suites in a correct way to provide optimized cooling.
What's the difference between a full and partial rack?
As an option in data center colocation, you can explore possibilities from server partial racks (you are only renting the number of "U's" you need) to full network rack solutions. Depending on what's available in the data center you're investigating, you may be able to find smaller server racks as well. The standardization of the rack system means you can rent as many U spaces as are needed in a rack.
A full rack means you're renting all the U spaces in that rack, which can be helpful if your business needs are anticipated to change quickly. If you need your own servers and are expecting more steady growth, renting a partial rack means that you'll only pay for the space you're using, in terms of how many U spaces are utilized by your hardware in the full rack.
What are the benefits of using full or partial server racks?
Because rack systems are standardized, they allow you to only use what you actually need in terms of space. This same quality also means that it's fairly straight forward to add capacity quickly, allowing you to adjust to rapidly changing business conditions. These benefits are in addition to the usual benefits of a data center, which frequently includes power, network and power redundancy, and physical security.
If you're anticipating rapid growth in your business, you may want to start with by renting a full rack, even if you're not using all the U slots that are available. By doing so, you make it easier for technicians at the data center to quickly upgrade your service without having to swap out components as may need to happen if you rent a partial rack. Some data center services will offer either shared and/or dedicated bandwidth depending on which type of service you are renting.
If you run a medium-sized business and are looking at options for data center colocation of your servers, full cabinet colocation is an excellent option to help keep your business both strong and flexible. Whether you're expanding your website or are just thinking about ways to increase your reliability and speed, utilizing a data center server rack cabinet helps you provide the best possible service for your virtual public. But what is a full cabinet and why is renting one at a reliable data center a great option for your business' servers? Let's start by taking a good look at the basics.
What is a full cabinet?
A full server cabinet at a data center is essentially a cabinet that is able to contain numerous networking and computing components and has mesh doors on the front, allowing visual inspection of the components while at the same time limiting access to them, because the cabinet has a standardized width and a standardized height in terms of rack units (U). This standardization allows components of different heights to be mixed in the cabinet, allowing you to customize the cabinet to meet your business' needs.
Data centers can offer a wide variety of services beyond the type of cabinet selected. They can offer either shared or dedicated network service and are rated on a tier system from 1-4 that helps provide a range of redundancies, power back-up options and limits to downtime. In this system, a tier 1 data center is lowest with over a full day of downtime per year and a tier 4 data center having multiple redundancies and protections, and allowed only a maximum 26 minutes of downtime annually to maintain its certification.
What are the benefits of renting a full cabinet?
By renting a full network cabinet, you can meet your business' changing needs quickly and easily. A full cabinet allows you to have additional capacity added to your server setup without significant delays or downtime. If you anticipate that your business will suddenly have significant growth, renting a full cabinet provides you room for immediate growth, allowing you to customize your cabinet to meet your changing needs.
Data cabinets under a colocation rental agreement come with a number of options you may not otherwise consider. Because colocation sites already have highly improved network access and power availability, they can keep your servers operational during difficult circumstances. Data centers often keep additional components on site to replace faulty units, minimizing downtime from equipment failure. The centers are frequently set up with strong physical security, including video surveillance, biometric security and additional protections to keep your data safe.
Choosing private cage data center colocation ensures that the highest level of security protects your resources. Only IT professionals from within your organization and technicians at the data center in question will be able to access those private cages - no other client will have access to your valuable equipment. Private suites also provide more flexible cooling options. Instead of taking the needs of multiple clients into consideration, a data center can customize the cooling options for the cages within the suite to the exact specifications that are needed for your servers.
With private server cage colocation server racks and other equipment are stored in a caged environment that is only accessible by the client who is renting it. This in turn creates a number of benefits that can't be ignored.
Private cage colocation also provides the opportunity to customize your cage as you see fit. You control exactly how much space you're going to rent, the total pieces of equipment and types of resources that are stored inside and more. This makes upgrades, troubleshooting and other necessary functions far easier than ever before.
Private cages for colocation purposes (which are often commonly referred to as suites due to their configuration) are best suited for enterprise businesses for that reason. An enterprise business likely has needs that are changing by the day. Your storage requirements tomorrow may have little resemblance with the requirements of six months from now, a year from now or longer. With a private cage, you have complete control over the space and can continue to change the way that it is being utilized depending on your needs at the moment.
With private cage colocation, you aren't just purchasing access to private space for your company - you also control the specifications of the suite or cage itself. Many providers offer added value features like unique locking capabilities for each cabinet, for example, or biometric and electronic locking for additional layers of security. Private cages also come with fully adjustable mounting rails so that you can make the most effective use of the space you have available to you without worrying about the physical requirements of the cage itself suddenly becoming an issue.
In terms of colocation, there are always important things that you need to keep in mind. Chief among those is the fact that you're renting space for servers and other computing hardware based on your organization's exact needs, which means that you need to carefully consider what those needs actually are for the highest level of return on investment. As a customer, you provide the servers and the storage. Colocation providers give you everything else - from the building those servers are stored in to the bandwidth required to run them and everything in between.
When you're considering network cage and suite options, each facility can be very different. If you contact the facilities directly, the sales agents will obviously promote their specific areas of focus. These may or may not be good for your needs.
At COLOPeople.com, we work with you directly to understand YOUR needs and requirements then make suggestions for the facilities that meet your needs. Then we will assist you in negotiating for the best pricing, negotiating your contracts, reviewing your contracts, and finalizing your needs so what you want is what you are actually getting. COLOpeople.com has clients in all ranges up to Fortune 50. You know many of them but we do not share our client information. It is confidential.