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  1. #1
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    Question Co-location in USA and EU, full rack

    Hello!

    I have about 30 clients that I host for at the moment, and I am going to start a small hosting company to handle my clients since I will probably get more clients the following months.

    I need co-location in both USA (I'm moving to Florida soon, so somewhere close is always a plus) and EU, with great full-rack offers (40+ U). I will need to offer all my clients 100Mbps and around 1-2TB transfer each. I guess having my own little data center is not an option?

    Thanks in advance, I'd appreciate any replies!

  2. #2
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    Depends on the total number of racks you need.

  3. #3
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    Probably not viable to have your own datacenter for such a small footprint.
    If you have the $ to blow, you can start with your own full rack in each location, but expect to spend minimum ~$800 just for the rack, and extra for the bandwidth.

    You don't need to get the same amount of bandwidth under contract, as you offer to your clients, as your usage will probably not be the same amount as you offer them.
    So with bandwidth, etc I would estimate $1000/month per location as a starting point.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cresci View Post
    Depends on the total number of racks you need.
    As it looks now I will need one full rack (40-46~ units) per location, but it might increase in the future.


    Quote Originally Posted by CGotzmann View Post
    Probably not viable to have your own datacenter for such a small footprint.
    If you have the $ to blow, you can start with your own full rack in each location, but expect to spend minimum ~$800 just for the rack, and extra for the bandwidth.

    You don't need to get the same amount of bandwidth under contract, as you offer to your clients, as your usage will probably not be the same amount as you offer them.
    So with bandwidth, etc I would estimate $1000/month per location as a starting point.
    Oh alright, $1000/month is no problem, you sure that price is enough for the rack, bandwidth, speed, power and IPs?

  5. #5
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    Just an estimate ... how much bandwidth? How many IPs?
    $800 is enough for rack and 20A, normally, but its just estimate. Can be $800-$1000.
    I added ~$200 for bandwidth.

    You will most likely not use all the space in the rack, your limit will be power usage...
    If you want to fill up as much as possible, you need to add second circuit so at least 40A per rack, and you are looking at estimate around $1100-$1200 per rack, more if you are doing higher power (60A, etc if its allowed)

    You need to get your specific exact requirements and then contact some providers in the locations you are interested.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGotzmann View Post
    Just an estimate ... how much bandwidth? How many IPs?
    $800 is enough for rack and 20A, normally, but its just estimate. Can be $800-$1000.
    I added ~$200 for bandwidth.

    You will most likely not use all the space in the rack, your limit will be power usage...
    If you want to fill up as much as possible, you need to add second circuit so at least 40A per rack, and you are looking at estimate around $1100-$1200 per rack, more if you are doing higher power (60A, etc if its allowed)

    You need to get your specific exact requirements and then contact some providers in the locations you are interested.
    Thanks for your reply.

    I will need one IP per server. And each client will have a 2TB transfer limit, however they will probably not use all, maybe 1TB in average max? Not sure I haven't controlled this before.

    How can I calculate how much power I need? Have never need to worried about this before hehe. Well I dont have to fill the whole rack, it depends on the price. If it's cheaper to have 30 servers in each rack then of course I'll do that.

    Yeah thanks for your heads up I will look more into power, bandwidth etc.

  7. #7
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    Depends on specs... post specs of what the majority of your servers will be
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  8. #8
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    Haven't really decided exactly which servers to buy, but it will be with following specs:

    1x Intel Xeon 3430 2.4 GHz
    2x 250GB SATAII HDD
    2-12GB DDR3 RAM, most of them 4GB

    Currently looking on http://www.twp.nl/index.php?task=10&...WPSS1271333614 and some Dell rack servers.

  9. #9
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    These specs will use 1A each. A 20A circuit will allow you to have 15-16 of them. Two 20A circuits, 32 of them (30 if you count for switching, KVM and other gear).

  10. #10
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    Also, you can expect these specs to cost around $750-1000 (for the extra RAM) each unit, if using a Supermicro server with remote KVM capability.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by CGotzmann View Post
    Probably not viable to have your own datacenter for such a small footprint.
    If you have the $ to blow, you can start with your own full rack in each location, but expect to spend minimum ~$800 just for the rack, and extra for the bandwidth.

    You don't need to get the same amount of bandwidth under contract, as you offer to your clients, as your usage will probably not be the same amount as you offer them.
    So with bandwidth, etc I would estimate $1000/month per location as a starting point.
    I would agree with this 100%.

    Unless you've already got customers in both locations, I would focus on just one location for now, because you would be looking at combined costs of around $2k / mo at each location to start out.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by cresci View Post
    These specs will use 1A each. A 20A circuit will allow you to have 15-16 of them. Two 20A circuits, 32 of them (30 if you count for switching, KVM and other gear).
    this is spot on as well. We see the same thing using similar specs in our racks.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by funkywizard View Post
    Unless you've already got customers in both locations, I would focus on just one location for now, because you would be looking at combined costs of around $2k / mo at each location to start out.
    Even if he only has a decent amount of customers, it would be better to get the full rack + a decent amount of power/bandwidth.

    He can get more power/bandwidth later as required, but can say *today* to his customers that they can have their preferred location.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by plumsauce View Post
    Even if he only has a decent amount of customers, it would be better to get the full rack + a decent amount of power/bandwidth.

    He can get more power/bandwidth later as required, but can say *today* to his customers that they can have their preferred location.
    You'd think so, but it really complicates your operations. I've found it really hard to get good pricing on colo bandwidth without a pretty sizable commitment. And similarly, the cost of smaller amounts of rackspace tends to be a lot higher per server than when you get up to a full rack. So your first major problem is, that if you don't have enough volume, you either have to pay for something you're not using (not trivial when that outlay is $2k *minimum*), or you have to raise your prices.

    Secondly, many customers you bring on are looking to do business with *you* first, and looking to do business in *your location* second. Being in one location vs both locations is not going to double your sales or lead conversions. I ended up pulling out of the UK because I could no longer justify the added expenses of being there for just a couple customers. By having just one location to worry about, it greatly simplifies a lot of areas that you wouldn't think would take up a lot of time and add a lot of costs, but do. I don't have to worry about customs and taxes in multiple locations, I don't have to worry as much about what time zone the datacenter employees (sales / billing / etc) are working on, how I'm going to handle getting my servers built / repaired, having spare parts and inventory at two locations, and all of that. On top of it, you need to work out your pricing and business model at two locations. Since the company you are dealing with at Colo A might be charging different amounts for power, rackspace, bandwidth, remote hands, and so on than Colo B, it's hard to have a consistent set of prices and offerings at both locations. Without similar offerings at both locations, it can easily muddle your business model and not make it clear to your customers who exactly you're trying to target.

    For all these reasons, I feel really good about my decision to focus on just one location. When you try to be everything to everyone, you can end up really being nothing to nobody. Better to focus on one location, get that really solid, and then only expand to new locations if there is a large pent up demand coming from your customers. Even softlayer only has 3 locations, all in the US, and it's pretty obvious their Dallas location is the largest and most important to them. How long did it take them to even open up a second or third location? How many thousands of servers did they have in Dallas before they opened another location?
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  15. #15
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    Hi everyone and thank you very your replies.

    @funkywizard
    Alright thanks a lot of your useful hints. I have decided to focus on just one location first. I can take all my present costumers to one location that is no problem. Then I will look for more customers in the continent that I will start in. Which would be best? Where is the lowest co-location prices and highest demand on dedicated servers?

  16. #16
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    Check www.netrouting.nl , they have colo space in Netherlands and an USA location too.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CretaForce View Post
    Check www.netrouting.nl , they have colo space in Netherlands and an USA location too.
    I can find USA servers but not colo?

  18. #18
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    There are a lot of great colo sites out there but prices can vary wildly depending on the location and demand in that area. It wouldn't hurt to check the Colo Ads section of WebHostingTalk.
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  19. #19
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    Miami Colo

    Terremark (NAP of the Americas) is the flagship data center in Miami, however they recently just had a price increase. I would suggest looking into telx, QTS, or Coresite as they have better prices and solid facilities. They also have fiber to the NAP should you need to pick up a particular carrier / ISP.

  20. #20
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    I just found one of the colocation referral sites and got four quotes in about an hour. Have already chosen my company and we are going on a tour tomorrow. Can't wait to get everything into place!

  21. #21
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    Nice! Mind sharing which company and price? ;P

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tier2 View Post
    I just found one of the colocation referral sites and got four quotes in about an hour. Have already chosen my company and we are going on a tour tomorrow. Can't wait to get everything into place!
    In which location are you talking about though?
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  23. #23
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    I specifically wanted a company in Downtown Houston. I had servers in XO at 1301 Fannin during Ike and we experienced 0% downtime during the storm. Even though my house was without power for over 3 weeks. (The one time it sucked to live inside the city proper since they turned power on from the outlying areas to the inner city)

    The data center we are touring tomorrow is the Quasar datacenter in downtown Houston. They are not in 1301 Fannin, but they are close by and they also did not experience any downtime during Ike either.

    The quote with a full rack, 10mb of burstable bandwidth on a 100mb port and a 20 amp circuit was about $1100 per month or so. I don't remember the exact dollar amount, but it seemed reasonable all the way around. Based on the other quotes it was about $1000 cheaper than the competition. I am needing to find out how much a second 20amp circuit is going to cost because we will be putting about 30 servers in there to start with right now.

    If you guys are interested I will be glad to fill in more details after our tour tomorrow.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by ejxt View Post
    Hi everyone and thank you very your replies.

    @funkywizard
    Alright thanks a lot of your useful hints. I have decided to focus on just one location first. I can take all my present costumers to one location that is no problem. Then I will look for more customers in the continent that I will start in. Which would be best? Where is the lowest co-location prices and highest demand on dedicated servers?
    As to which is cheapest / highest demand, that's the million dollar question I suppose.

    Generally, US colocation is cheaper than European colocation due to prices of power and labor. It would be worth looking at any of the top tier markets in the US if you're wanting to lower costs and maximize general interest:

    Los Angeles, San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Ashburn, New York, are the major interconnection points in the US. In these locations, there is the most competition among bandwidth providers, and you'll also see the best routing from these locations since so many networks interconnect there. Some of these locations may be more expensive for rackspace and power due to the higher costs of operating in major cities.

    You can also get some good deals on power / rackspace in second tier markets like Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, and probably a dozen other places I'm forgetting about, but generally your bandwidth options will be more limited, and sometimes (but not always) more expensive. Usually you would pick a second tier market either for cost reasons, or if you wanted to differentiate your services, as some customers may prefer a location closer to them, or for some other reason require or prefer a different location than the major metro areas. If you are marketing mostly in person, to people in the local community, it can be a competitive advantage to have your servers either in the same city, or in the closest nearby major metro area. If you are marketing mostly to the greater population, then cost and performance are going to be more important factors for maximizing the demand for your product.

    Bandwidth prices vary wildly from location to location and deal to deal, so it's hard to say if Europe or the US would be cheaper for that. Europe relies pretty heavily on peering, so if you're large enough to be at the major peering exchanges, and push a lot of traffic there, bandwidth can be cheaper in Europe. Or it can be more expensive, if you're a small player and you can't manage to negotiate a favorable deal from your providers.

    Always take into account cross connect and backhaul costs. Buying bandwidth from a large datacenter, these backhaul and cross connect charges can be amortized over the large amount of bandwidth used by the facility, but whether or not they pass those savings on to you is up to negotiation and market forces. If you know you want to do business with a particular carrier or provider, you will have to factor in the costs of getting to that provider from a particular datacenter you're looking at. Most of the time, carriers are present in datacenters known as carrier hotels, which charge a lot of money for rackspace, power, and cross connects. Because the carriers are all located there, that means you either have to pay a lot of money for rackspace in one of these facilities (to reduce backhaul costs), or you have to get transport into one of these facilities from a cheaper nearby datacenter. A few reasonably priced datacenters will have some carriers on-net in the facility themselves, which will help you save on these backhaul costs, and, depending on the facility, you may also be able to save on cross connect fees if the carrier you want is on-net in your facility. These are all questions you need to ask before you'll have a complete picture of the costs of doing business with a colocation provider.

    Hope this long winded answer is helpful to you.
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  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by tier2 View Post
    I specifically wanted a company in Downtown Houston. I had servers in XO at 1301 Fannin during Ike and we experienced 0% downtime during the storm. Even though my house was without power for over 3 weeks. (The one time it sucked to live inside the city proper since they turned power on from the outlying areas to the inner city)

    The data center we are touring tomorrow is the Quasar datacenter in downtown Houston. They are not in 1301 Fannin, but they are close by and they also did not experience any downtime during Ike either.

    The quote with a full rack, 10mb of burstable bandwidth on a 100mb port and a 20 amp circuit was about $1100 per month or so. I don't remember the exact dollar amount, but it seemed reasonable all the way around. Based on the other quotes it was about $1000 cheaper than the competition. I am needing to find out how much a second 20amp circuit is going to cost because we will be putting about 30 servers in there to start with right now.

    If you guys are interested I will be glad to fill in more details after our tour tomorrow.
    I'm always interested to hear more about datacenters. It drives my girlfriend nuts that whenever I visit a new city I want to go on a datacenter tour

    I would keep an eye out on the cost to get extra bandwidth. The quote you've got seems pretty good, but the bandwidth you've got there is not a lot. If you're expecting growth, then the cost of bandwidth could be a major factor going forward, so I would ask how much it would cost to get 100 megabit 95th, or 300 megabit 95th in the future. The last thing you want is to be locked into a location, with dozens of servers there, where you can't afford the bandwidth to do much of anything with those servers. If you're intended to continue using about the same amount of bandwidth you're using now, then feel free to ignore this advice
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