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  1. #1
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    Colo4Dallas vs Softlayer?

    (First, sorry if this is off topic or in the wrong area just move it.)


    Anyways I have a server with xfactorservers (72.249.124.210)
    The owner Derek claims that Colo4Dallas is better then Softlayer.
    Just looking over the first bit 11 10Gig-E for Softlayer compared to four. I don't know where he get's his facts from, but it seems as this is unarguable.

  2. #2
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    They both have their advantages, but I think the bigger question is, if you're happy with your server, what's it matter whose better?

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  3. #3
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    Colo4Dallas is going to offer a better value as colocation is generally less expensive in the long run. Total capacity does not matter as long as it isn't saturated; # of different peers however can make a difference. Personally I would colocate with Colo4Dallas rather than renting from Softlayer again.

  4. #4
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    I would just like to know; also I noticed softlayer does not have AboveNet, but they have Global Crossing which appears to go to the same locations.

  5. #5
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    I will get back to you in a month or two. I'll be personally taking my shiny new equipment up this weekend.

    http://www.cpctechnology.com/ is running some specials on his cabs/cages/bread racks in C4D as well. Check out the colo deals, they're in there somewhere.

  6. #6
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    We think Colo4Dallas is far superior to Softlayer.

    Paul and the great guys at Colo4Dallas have the best facility in Dallas, by far.
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  7. #7
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    You're comparing apples and oranges here. Colo4Dallas does colocation and softlayer does mostly dedicated servers.

    Are you asking which has a better network, which is better for you, or which has better support staff? There are pros and cons of both providers depending on what exactly you are looking at. If you're asking network wise, I would say that they are so similar (assuming you're using Colo4Dallas's mix) that it is really a personal opinion.

    As TotalJ said, the capacity generally has nothing to do with the quality of their networks.

    We use both Colo4Dallas and Softlayer and we've found them to be great. Honestly I can't say I prefer one over the other generally or for specific things.
    Last edited by slable; 08-24-2009 at 07:28 PM. Reason: Typo
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  8. #8
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    Colo4dallas get my vote :-)
    Specially 4 You
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  9. #9
    SoftLayer definitely gets my vote here, but you are basically comparing two companies who service two completely different target markets. If you have the expertise and know how in house to manage your hardware, or if you have the extra capex sitting around to do so then Colo4Dallas is a good choice. However, if you don't have someone in the Dallas area then be prepared to pay a sizable fee to a 3rd party vendor to install your equipment.

    We were a Colo4Dallas customer until 2008 until we decided that it was just too costly to continue buying all of our equipment up front, paying for shipping, paying for spare parts, paying for someone to install the hardware, manage the hardware, and so on. Since we are a NY based company you can imagine the headache of hiring someone to do this in Dallas. The days of the 3am NOC alert and scramble to mobilize our hardware management company are over. The Colo4Dallas guys were great for simple reboots, but when it came to managing our higher end infrastructure we had to go with a 3rd party management company. We absolutely needed technicians who were familiar with our day to day operations.

    In August of 2008 we decided to make the switch to SoftLayer and it's been nothing but smooth sailing from there. They have our servers setup only hours after we order, they have bar none the best customer interface in the industry, and best of all there are no fees for on-site hardware management from 3rd party companies! Their interface gives us the option to control all of our servers, firewalls, load balancers, you name it directly through a web login. Recently we began heavily using their cloud computing environment for traffic spikes on our applications and they have worked beautifully. Needless to say that a cloud computing platform is not something our company wanted to dump countless dollars into for R&D. There are many areas I could elaborate on but I'll spare everyone that. Nowadays we focus entirely on scaling our applications, selling ad space, and brokering new deals.

    Nothing against Colo4Dallas. Their business is just not targeted to high growth, on demand scaling customers. They are more targeted to those who want to save money doing it themselves. They do have their niche in this industry, but for us SoftLayer was the best choice we could have made.

  10. #10
    You need to findout which company is right for you. No one but yourself can tell which company would be right for you!
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  11. #11
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    It's not really easy to compare them because one is colo and one just sells dedicated servers.
    Last edited by Linveo; 08-24-2009 at 09:52 PM.

  12. #12
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    They both have their advantages, you must clarify what you want and expect from each one speed support speed quality ?
    For me one vote to Colo4Dallas
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney-E2 View Post
    We think Colo4Dallas is far superior to Softlayer.

    Paul and the great guys at Colo4Dallas have the best facility in Dallas, by far.
    I couldn't have said it better. Absolutely top notch!
    James Lumby

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney-E2 View Post
    We think Colo4Dallas is far superior to Softlayer.

    Paul and the great guys at Colo4Dallas have the best facility in Dallas, by far.

    Having toured both facilities in Dallas I would have to strongly disagree. There wasn't any one area in which the Colo4Dallas facility was better than the SoftLayer facility. From a pure facilities standpoint there are multiple other facilities which outrank Colo4Dallas. In the past 3 months I have been in and out of quite a few facilities in Dallas looking for providers. The Colo4Dallas facility, while impressive, was not one of the top 5 we toured. From a pure network standpoint SoftLayer blows them out of the water as does The Planet, Rackspace, and Layered Tech. Many of the aspects that styson77 pointed out also apply to our line of business in regard to flexibility and scalability. In particular, SoftLayer, Rackspace, and Layered Tech all offer some line of cloud computing services. Each of them also offer dedicated servers and in the instance of Rackspace and Layered Tech they also offer co-location options.

    I guess if you are a shared reseller with a few servers then the Colo4Dallas model is applicable, but when growth rates are unpredictable and on demand resources are in heavy need, SoftLayer wins hands down on this one. In today's internet world it simply isn't an option to put a bottleneck on your growth. For our company to successfully scale at the pace we need we would have to invest a much larger amount of capital with Colo4Dallas compared to SoftLayer, Rackspace, or Layered Tech.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregEm2727 View Post
    Having toured both facilities in Dallas I would have to strongly disagree. There wasn't any one area in which the Colo4Dallas facility was better than the SoftLayer facility.
    Hmmm, very interesting.

    Can you provide more info about the facilities you are talking about?
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by GregEm2727 View Post
    Having toured both facilities in Dallas I would have to strongly disagree. There wasn't any one area in which the Colo4Dallas facility was better than the SoftLayer facility. From a pure facilities standpoint there are multiple other facilities which outrank Colo4Dallas. In the past 3 months I have been in and out of quite a few facilities in Dallas looking for providers. The Colo4Dallas facility, while impressive, was not one of the top 5 we toured. From a pure network standpoint SoftLayer blows them out of the water as does The Planet, Rackspace, and Layered Tech. Many of the aspects that styson77 pointed out also apply to our line of business in regard to flexibility and scalability. In particular, SoftLayer, Rackspace, and Layered Tech all offer some line of cloud computing services. Each of them also offer dedicated servers and in the instance of Rackspace and Layered Tech they also offer co-location options.
    worth noting - colo4dallas is carrier neutral.. based on what you are saying, you should be looking for colo4dallas customers, not being a direct customer yourself.. Granted, if there are other facets of other datacenters you personally preferred, that is obviously not something anyone can or should debate.. Colo4dallas is a colo facility - they are not going to provide cloud computing or scalable infrastructure.. their job is to provide environmentally controlled and secured space and redundant power.. that is pretty much it.. I mean sure they provide bandwidth, backups and other such value added services - but, many larger companies colocating in that facility are just getting space and power - and many of those companies can provide the type of flexibility and scalability you are looking at - and at a pricing model that would make sense to you - afterall, that is their business... colocation and running a data center are a different business.. granted - some providers do all of the above - run a datacenter, run a colocation business, sell dedicated servers and sell cloud solutions or even shared hosting.. it can be argued whether specialization or diversification is the right path to go.. though, I guess this will vary as well..

    I guess if you are a shared reseller with a few servers then the Colo4Dallas model is applicable, but when growth rates are unpredictable and on demand resources are in heavy need, SoftLayer wins hands down on this one.
    completely an utterly disagree... a shared reseller with a few servers is a better fit for a dedicated server provider.. a company getting into colocation should be a pretty significantly sized company.. we colocate in cages in c4d.. we have all of our own hardware, networks, etc.. the model is only truly viable with 100s to 1000s of devices.. anything less then that, you should be looking for managed server providers - or, if you are insistent on owning your own gear - managed colo type of arrangements with customers of companies like C4D...

    In today's internet world it simply isn't an option to put a bottleneck on your growth. For our company to successfully scale at the pace we need we would have to invest a much larger amount of capital with Colo4Dallas compared to SoftLayer, Rackspace, or Layered Tech.
    this is because of your specific requirements.. It is much more cost effective for us to build out in cages in existing datacenters - manage our own networks, manage our own upstream feeds, our own firewalls, etc.. once you rely on upstreams to handle core functions for you, you ultimately lose control and ability to scale or develop as you want to - and instead, are forced to comply with networks and infrastructure someone else has built...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cartika-andrew View Post

    completely an utterly disagree... a shared reseller with a few servers is a better fit for a dedicated server provider.. a company getting into colocation should be a pretty significantly sized company.. we colocate in cages in c4d.. we have all of our own hardware, networks, etc.. the model is only truly viable with 100s to 1000s of devices.. anything less then that, you should be looking for managed server providers - or, if you are insistent on owning your own gear - managed colo type of arrangements with customers of companies like C4D...
    I can appreciate your view on this as it was once shared by myself. I had the notion that spending up front to save in the long run was the way to go. This was until a few industry veterans were brought in who enlightened me to the fact that there is no guarantee of a "long run". For us it is much more capital friendly to start small on a monthly plan basis and grow as needed rather than dumping tens of thousands of dollars into an investment when there is no need to do so. Dedicated providers like those I mentioned have already done this for us.

    There is no need to buy expensive routing and switching equipment, firewalls, load balancers, and the like when we can simply rent on a month to month basis. If worse comes to worse and we loose a few customers we simply cancel that server for a month. On the other hand if we go out and spend 5k on a server and a customer of ours cancels we are stuck trying to sell a high price piece of equipment.

    At a dedicated provider we wipe our hands clean and be done with it. Why pay for something you aren't using?This model applies to any level of business. Why do the larger resellers such as HostGator, 10TB.com, and ResellerChoice use dedicated server providers and not colo their own equipment? It's much less of a burden on the bottom line and net cash flow.

  18. #18
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    This is like comparinga Train to a Coach. Its a stupid question
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  19. #19
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    SoftLayer has a better network mix and DDoS protection at the network layer while Colo4Dallas has lesser in the mix and no DDoS protection. However, as others have mentioned, they target at different market, so there is nothing much to compare here except for their DC and network.
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  20. #20
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    Were I putting gameservers specifically in a facility (and I have in both SL and colo4dallas) I would go with colo4dallas and someone like TMS or when we colocated there through PSFServers but I think they have moved out.

    Raw numbers in terms of overall bandwith doesn't mean anything for this. It is the quality of the network and how full it is. I mean you can throw a 10g link in a facility but if it is used to 95% of capacity regularly you are going to have trouble. Different facility on a 1g link running at 10% capacity and for a gaming server which one do you want to be in?
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coolraul View Post
    Were I putting gameservers specifically in a facility (and I have in both SL and colo4dallas) I would go with colo4dallas and someone like TMS or when we colocated there through PSFServers but I think they have moved out.

    Raw numbers in terms of overall bandwith doesn't mean anything for this. It is the quality of the network and how full it is. I mean you can throw a 10g link in a facility but if it is used to 95% of capacity regularly you are going to have trouble. Different facility on a 1g link running at 10% capacity and for a gaming server which one do you want to be in?
    SoftLayer's network is way better than C4D for sure. C4D has only Level 3, InterNAP and TW Telecom, while SoftLayer have Level 3, InterNAP to be comparable to C4D, but they also have more upstream carriers in their mix.
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  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by GregEm2727 View Post
    I can appreciate your view on this as it was once shared by myself. I had the notion that spending up front to save in the long run was the way to go. This was until a few industry veterans were brought in who enlightened me to the fact that there is no guarantee of a "long run".
    I still do not believe you are looking at this accurately...

    For us it is much more capital friendly to start small on a monthly plan basis and grow as needed rather than dumping tens of thousands of dollars into an investment when there is no need to do so. Dedicated providers like those I mentioned have already done this for us.
    Well of course - for most starting up, this is certainly the better option. Why pay for networking and hardware when you do not need it.. This is EXACTLY the role of providers running their own networks, etc...

    There is no need to buy expensive routing and switching equipment, firewalls, load balancers, and the like when we can simply rent on a month to month basis.
    their is a point where the TCO turns - but, again, for the average "consumer" of hosting services, this is exactly correct and accurate.. it is afterall exactly why providers like us make our living..

    To prove that we actually agree - why does rackspace, or theplanet, or even colo4dallas invest in data centers and equipment.. it is so that their customers do not have to.. what you are missing in this argument, is there is a place for each investment, and for each vendor - depending on the model they are trying to deliver and their target audience...

    If worse comes to worse and we loose a few customers we simply cancel that server for a month. On the other hand if we go out and spend 5k on a server and a customer of ours cancels we are stuck trying to sell a high price piece of equipment.
    unless you know you can re-allocate that server correct? isnt that exactly what rackspace or theplanet do? - at least til the end of lifecycle or advertising cycle for that unit? You are still thinking smaller scale (and nothing wrong with that).. we for example have set orders of x units in for each month.. if we lose more customers then expected or we do not grow as quickly as expected, we pair back the order for a month or 2.. if we gain more customers then expected, churn less then expected, then we crank up that order...

    At a dedicated provider we wipe our hands clean and be done with it. Why pay for something you aren't using?This model applies to any level of business.
    obviously this does not apply to any level of business - otherwise why would anyone actually be a dedicated server provider? why would anyone actually own a DC or have a NOC?

    why do the larger resellers such as HostGator, 10TB.com, and ResellerChoice use dedicated server providers and not colo their own equipment? It's much less of a burden on the bottom line and net cash flow.
    these are just a few examples.. How about Mosso (Rackspace), Dreamhost, Godaddy, Mediatemple, Fluidhost, etc, etc, etc.. who own their own facilities and/or control their own NOC presences...

    There are a FEW providers who started off as resellers for example, and grew very very large - and based their model on upstream relationships.. those are quite rare.. The majority of real owners of market space (as a hosting provider that is) - control their own environments, have their own data centers or nocs and in turn, realize the growth required by moving up the food chain and acquiring customers such as yourself who cannot and should not take on those expenditures - as frankly, it does not make sense to their business..

    End of the day, I actually do not believe that we fundamentally disagree at all.. but, it is worth noting, that there is obviously a viable model for owning all of this equipment (very large scale = DataCenter, smaller scale = colo) - and frankly, MANY customers would prefer to work with smaller NOCs running on significant colo space vs the large data centers - many, would prefer to deal direct with the big boys... again, its a question of level of support.. no different then dealing with a big box hosting provider or choosing a smaller, more niche player..

    There is a market for everything..

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by GregEm2727 View Post
    Why do the larger resellers such as HostGator, 10TB.com, and ResellerChoice use dedicated server providers and not colo their own equipment? It's much less of a burden on the bottom line and net cash flow.
    Just to clear something up, we use a mix of colo and have partnerships with some managed service providers such as softlayer and others. We have built out our network to allow customers to select the datacenter GEO location they would like to be placed in, Using hosted service providers for this allows us to grow quickly without managing a large number of co-location centers.

    When we open a new geo location we look at the numbers and work on agreements in that area with both managed providers and co-location and select what suits our needs best.

    We always say don’t put all your eggs in the same basket, We don’t have just 1 co-location center or managed service provider providing services to all our customers, our network and vps servers, dedicated servers etc. are distributed around the USA and managed from a central location in New Jersey.

    Both colo and hosted services like Softlayer, theplanet etc. all have there up sides and downsides, You need to look at your business and decide what works best for you, for us it was a mix of both.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregEm2727 View Post
    (...)Why do the larger resellers such as HostGator, 10TB.com, and ResellerChoice use dedicated server providers and not colo their own equipment? It's much less of a burden on the bottom line and net cash flow.
    Like ResellerChoice, I'd like to highlight that we (UK2Group.com/10tb.com) both run our own DC's (we just picked up one more actually) and work closely with Softlayer. We currently have around 25% servers @ Softlayer.

    Softlayer has been good for 10tb.com, it allowed us to scale very very fast, moving above 2000 servers in less than a year using their infrastructure and tech setup. Sure, from time to time it would be nice to be fully in control like in our own DC's, but as partners go, Softlayer is pretty much perfect.


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