Pricing And Flexibility
Meeting Your Changing Needs
No one has a static business these days – whatever your colocation needs are presently, chances are good that they will be changing in the future. A good provider can continue to service your business as your needs grow and change. Perhaps all you need right now is a single server and 1 Mbps of bandwidth. But what if you need a full data cabinet with 16kW of power and and a 10Gbps connection down the road? Don’t be afraid to ask the prospective provider if they can meet this demand easily while still offering you a competitive price. They should be able to provide meaningful answers!
No Hidden Pricing
Even today, you’d be surprised how many colocation providers use line-item pricing for the basic things that you need to put together a colocation package. You’ll see a great deal advertised – “only $X for a NNNMbps!” – only to find out that a minimal amount of data usage is included. Other gotchas are power circuits that don’t include power, no IP address space with a network uplink, no support, etc. This nickle-and-dime approach is not customer-friendly. A good provider will gather your requirements, then quote you a single price that includes the bandwidth, cabinet space, power and IP addresses that you need. Furthermore, the better providers will also include basic remote hands support, and will have available additional services such as installation (rack-and-connect service), professional services, expanded IP allocations, and more. A stripped-down, no-frills deal may look like a bargain – but it’s usually not.
Price Isn’t Everything
This is a good spot to reiterate the lesson from the previous paragraph – be sure that you know what you are getting for the price you’ve been quoted! That being said, price is an important consideration when choosing a colocation provider – but it is not the only consideration. You should not be looking for the purely lowest price. Focus instead on finding the best value. It is very easy to fall into the trap of treating colocation like a commodity and therefor becoming fixated on the lowest bidder. If you do this, you will almost certainly end up sacrificing something, and may face relocation if the bargain-basement offer fails to deliver. Do a bit of sampling, and you’ll start to get a sense of what is a fair price, a high price, and a just too-good-to-be-true price. Fair will be a range; once you’ve found a fair price for colocation, evaluate the provider against the other considerations we’ve covered to determine if they are the winning candidate.