I'd like to hear what the august assembly here thinks of colocating options - DataCenter vs. a Telco facility.
The Telcos don't offer you as good support (or sometimes, any support). The DataCenters, on the other hand, are not regulated by the PUC (they do have redundant b/w from several different carriers, sometimes). So, the Telcos claim they have to be more reliable (and oftentimes, they have peering arrangements with another carrier). Also, I guess the no-frills b/w from a Telco should be cheaper relatively.
What do you think?
Also, is there a place that lists all the Colo options for a given city (I'm thinking Houston, TX)?
It really depends on the specific colos. For example, I once worked in a telco colo that was the pits. No enviromental monitoring for example. Also, keep in mind that telco colo often runs on DC, so you will either need DC equipment, or an inverter. Inverters add a point of failure.
Well I have been in a bunch in my time. I see it more of a mindset.
Telco Colo's: Likely no hands on support, Huge complex with lots of smaller CLEC's. Have 120VAC and -48VDC power, typically a rought more do it yourself kinda place. In my experience they charge more for stuff a typical webhost, server colocation guys take for granted and dont offer the hands on and managed bandwidth a colocation kinda person would need. This is where CLEC's, Telcos, Major ISP's and other types goto.
Datacenter. Typically have just 120VAC power. Typically have a managed bandwidth solution (IE ethernet handoff with a gateway address. Have techs there to assist in Remote hands type things, assist in simple admin type tasks. Will change tapes for you. Basically they try and fill a need for you company by being the guys near the servers.
I personally run a datacenter. Take one of my customers today. I get a call at 8am from a guy. He needs me to check he tape drive in his tape backup device in his cage cuase it's not working right. Come to find out the tape in the tape media is broken. All in the same phone call I eject the tape and throw a new one in there and he's rolling.
Or another example. This afternoon my datacenter staff get's an alert that one of our customers main webservers went down. We call the customer and dont get in touch with him. Since we have talked to him 2 times this week we decide to be a bit proactive and open his rack and plug a monitor up to the hung machine and find out it rebooted and is hanging waiting for a yes/no answer to a FSCK on startup. We do the fsck and the box comes bakc up and online, then when my tech is updating the trouble ticket and sending a email to this same customer he walks into the NOC in a mad panic. We then get to chuckle and let him know his box hd hung on a FSCK and he is online now. He sits down and check a few things, is happy and goes home.
The above two stories are typical of a Datacenter and something that is unheard of in a Telco situation.
In most large computer datacenters you can get -48VDC power as well as various AC voltages. This can be important if, for example, you want to install your new Juniper m40 but didn't realize it only accepts 220VAC or -48VDC, and you don't want to use 1/4 a rack with rectifiers to supply it.
DC power is the one, true way for critical infrastructure. Having worked for a telco, even PCs that we used for call processing assistance such as voice prompting or recording billing data had DC power supplies fed from both A and B buses. If standardized -48VDC connectors and outlets were available, you'd find datacenters marketing DC power as a signifigant advantage over facilities limited to an AC power plant.
telco space is usually sparsely manned, if manned at all. this does not have to be bad, especially if you plan to keep the lights on yourself. cooling requirements are much lower for telco equipment, so you will often see cabinets with no mesh and no fans, in addition to small hvac. one of the telco facilities i toured last week did not have a UPS - they are happy to be down for a few minutes while the generators kick in.
in general, telco colo is only appropriate if you are at a point where you can have your own staff take care of your kit. examine their hvac capacity and make sure their power is properly conditioned or bring your own kit to the table. not bad per se, just different and appropriate in a different set of circumstances.
I have personally been in both situtations and currently using both.
You would be surprised the telco hotel is up to industry standards for a data center except the staff. (depending where you go). There staffed normal business hours and at night there is no staff. So if you are lucky enough to be paying for the 24/7 your all set but if your server dies on a friday night and your not paying for 24/7 access you will have to wait till monday morning.
This is just my experience. All telco's are different and none the same you would really have to do some local research to get more of a imformative outlook.
Data center staffed 24/7/365
Telco Colo staffed 7-7 5days
Typically the big boys sit in the telco's riding the edge of each backbone, their equipment is sound and they know their stuff.
If you are unsure about your equipment go data center, and find a Tier 1 with 1 or 2 hops to the Intercity backbone.
Datacenters are usually built in the low rent districts but have redundant everythings.
Many telco facility operators now are providing Remote hands with Tier 1 services included and Tier 2 billed at a cost. You should refresh your search and ask about these options, as telco's usually give you access to many more carriers.
Seven and a half years!
We have a new winner in the 'dredge up the old post and comment' category.
Indeed, I almost shat myself seeing some of the usernames in this list.
Jay Sudowski // Handy Networks LLC // Co-Founder & CTO AS30475 - Level(3), HE, Telia, XO and Cogent. Noction optimized network. Offering Dedicated Server and Colocation Hosting from our SSAE 16 SOC 2, Type 2 Certified Data Center. Current specials here. Check them out.