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  #1  
Old 09-23-2003, 07:28 AM
Eiv Eiv is offline
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what questions to ask when colo


I know this maybe sound stupid. But what kind of questions do you ask when colocation??



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  #2  
Old 09-23-2003, 08:33 AM
centrahost centrahost is offline
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Besides the normal stuff like,
Rack Space?
Power Outlets?
AMPS of Power?
IP Addresses?
Mb/s Bandwidth?
You will need to ask them about setup fees for deploying your boxes when you ship them. You need a gaurantee on how long it will take after Fedex drops the hardware for them to plug you up. You need to BE SURE (don't just ask them , check it out) they have live breathing humans at the Data Center 24/7 available and able to tackle ANY hardeware issue you might have without ANY hassles. Read the fine print.

There are many more things to check out. besides this but these are the basics.

This is going form the assumption that your Data Center is not local.

Colo can cost you your business unless you cover your butt at all times!

  #3  
Old 09-23-2003, 10:33 AM
RSanders RSanders is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Detroit
Posts: 799
Colocation can range from joe blows office, to unmaned telecommunication buildings.

First figure out what you need, then try to find a host that suites you. As quality goes up, so does price.

Some of the thing to consider are labor rates, procedures such as rack time, reboots, and return shipping. Also, what carriers are in the building, and what type of connectivity you have.

Depending on the business your in, ask about SLA's. If your mission critical, its good to find a host to back uptime.

There are so many different hosts, its like buying underware. Everyone needs a different size and cut, so its not finding the best, its finding the best one for your needs. Trick isn't always knowing what to ask, but realizing what you need.

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  #4  
Old 09-23-2003, 10:56 AM
Kx-2 Kx-2 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
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Absolutely critical to scan over the SLA (service level agreement) like a hawk. This is the set of agreements that the Colocation provider will need to adhered to while you are with them.

Discretly ask about the size of the company and also how many technicians are on-call during weekdays, weekends and public holidays.

Cold boot options are good when you need to reboot your computer when it locks up.

Lastly, ask about what are the procedures or guidelines if a server is DoSed.

Hope that helps!

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  #5  
Old 09-23-2003, 11:00 AM
centrahost centrahost is offline
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Quote:
Absolutely critical to scan over the SLA (service level agreement) like a hawk.
I agree 100% with that!

  #6  
Old 09-23-2003, 11:09 AM
racksense racksense is offline
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Add:

Minimum contract length?
Termination notice required?

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  #7  
Old 09-23-2003, 03:37 PM
astutiumRob astutiumRob is offline
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Access to the equipemnet supervised, unsupervised, ad-hoc, diarised only, none
Cost of intelligent hands/ datacentre services if required
Infrastructure technology
bandwidth providers ....

*please* do the archives a favour - when you get a definitive list form this thread post it as a consolidated list

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  #8  
Old 09-23-2003, 04:14 PM
Netivex Netivex is offline
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 178
Some good questions that I have found:

Are your facilities staffed 24/7?
Make sure that datacenter is staffed and not just a NOC, a staffed NOC is about as useless as a package of 5 minute epoxy that is missing one of the tubes.

Do your techs know the basics of <insert operating system here>.
This is crucial, especially if they bill remote hands at insane prices like $250/hour and you have to take hours teaching someone how to navigate in Linux box to simple remove a few lines from a file and reboot.

How much do remote hands cost?
Make sure you get prices for both business hours and non-business hours (if there is any difference).

What billiing methods do you have?
There is nothing worse than signing up on a 1 year term under 95th percentile and finding out that they offer Average Sustained which better suits your needs.

Any Contracts/Minimum Commitments
If so, find out what they are before you sign in, its not exactly fun to find out that you need to take out a $1,000,000 insurance policy against your colo provider and that they may ask for proof of it after you have signed into the contract.

Are your techs knowledged in <insert hardware type/installation/configeration here
Once again, its a pain to sit on a phone and explain to someone how to install a hard drive in a system that uses both IDE channels... It's even worse when you have to tell them to move jumpers on the hard drive because you cannot have 2 masters on the same channel.

Do you currently have available copies of your AUP/TOS/SLA for my viewing?
If no, walk away and go elsewhere, if yes, be sure to read them over carefully... Nothing like finding out that you have to wait until a convienent time for the DC to ship your servers back to you.

Do you allow escorted/unescorted access to your facilities at <these hours>
It's always nice to know that you can go in to fix things when their staff goes braindead.

How many switch ports do you provide?
Some places will hint at the idea that you just send your servers and everything is great, but fact of the matter is that you usually only get 1 ethernet drop and have to provide your own switch/hub... which you best hope doesn't need configured because if it does be prepared to pay.

Who are your bandwidth providers
Pretty self explanitory why... I'd hate to be paying $200/mbps for cogent bandwidth.

How much is additional rackspace/cabinets
Unexpected growth always happens... And it wouldn't be to great if they came out and said $200/U + connectivity.

Are there additional fees for cross connects?
Always something worth knowing... if you commit to excess bandwidth and get discounts, its always nice knowing that you could sell that bandwidth to somebody else in the below the DC's rates... or vice versa, if you don't want to be paying $200/mbps and somebody else in there is offering bandwidth at $65/mbps its always nice to purchase bandwidth from them.

These are all questions from presonal experience... I have been in a lot of Datacenters, from FDC to Peer1 and STILL haven't found one that I am 100% satasfied with... some have great bandwidth but take 4 hours to get a tech to the DC to do support, and then bill you $250/hour to explain to them how to edit files with VI editor ... others have amazing tech support but a network that is hardly online.

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  #9  
Old 09-24-2003, 12:10 PM
kushmit kushmit is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally posted by Netivex
Some good questions that I have found:

Are your facilities staffed 24/7?
Make sure that datacenter is staffed and not just a NOC, a staffed NOC is about as useless as a package of 5 minute epoxy that is missing one of the tubes.

Do your techs know the basics of <insert operating system here>.
This is crucial, especially if they bill remote hands at insane prices like $250/hour and you have to take hours teaching someone how to navigate in Linux box to simple remove a few lines from a file and reboot.

How much do remote hands cost?
Make sure you get prices for both business hours and non-business hours (if there is any difference).

What billiing methods do you have?
There is nothing worse than signing up on a 1 year term under 95th percentile and finding out that they offer Average Sustained which better suits your needs.

Any Contracts/Minimum Commitments
If so, find out what they are before you sign in, its not exactly fun to find out that you need to take out a $1,000,000 insurance policy against your colo provider and that they may ask for proof of it after you have signed into the contract.

Are your techs knowledged in <insert hardware type/installation/configeration here
Once again, its a pain to sit on a phone and explain to someone how to install a hard drive in a system that uses both IDE channels... It's even worse when you have to tell them to move jumpers on the hard drive because you cannot have 2 masters on the same channel.

Do you currently have available copies of your AUP/TOS/SLA for my viewing?
If no, walk away and go elsewhere, if yes, be sure to read them over carefully... Nothing like finding out that you have to wait until a convienent time for the DC to ship your servers back to you.

Do you allow escorted/unescorted access to your facilities at <these hours>
It's always nice to know that you can go in to fix things when their staff goes braindead.

How many switch ports do you provide?
Some places will hint at the idea that you just send your servers and everything is great, but fact of the matter is that you usually only get 1 ethernet drop and have to provide your own switch/hub... which you best hope doesn't need configured because if it does be prepared to pay.

Who are your bandwidth providers
Pretty self explanitory why... I'd hate to be paying $200/mbps for cogent bandwidth.

How much is additional rackspace/cabinets
Unexpected growth always happens... And it wouldn't be to great if they came out and said $200/U + connectivity.

Are there additional fees for cross connects?
Always something worth knowing... if you commit to excess bandwidth and get discounts, its always nice knowing that you could sell that bandwidth to somebody else in the below the DC's rates... or vice versa, if you don't want to be paying $200/mbps and somebody else in there is offering bandwidth at $65/mbps its always nice to purchase bandwidth from them.

These are all questions from presonal experience... I have been in a lot of Datacenters, from FDC to Peer1 and STILL haven't found one that I am 100% satasfied with... some have great bandwidth but take 4 hours to get a tech to the DC to do support, and then bill you $250/hour to explain to them how to edit files with VI editor ... others have amazing tech support but a network that is hardly online.
Thanks, this is great info.

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