It can be challenging to select a colocation provider because there are so many factors that need to be taken into account. Which facility offers the most features? The best price? And for companies that have a corporate presence in both Austin and Houston, there’s an additional question that has to be answered: which city?
While including colocation in a company’s IT plan has major bonuses (no need to host servers on site or employ staff to keep them protected and operating), both Houston and Austin colocation centers vary in terms of services offered, costs, connectivity, and service-level agreements. It’s important to choose wisely.
Service and Power Costs
When comparing prices, managers need to ensure that they are being quoted for comparable services. Two colocation centers may offer identical service lists, but the real costs involved could differ significantly.
Power and cooling specifications affect the price as well as the number of server storage cabinets that need to be rented.
A lot of colocation centers can only support up to 5 kW per cabinet, so companies that use blade servers will have to rent one cabinet per server. It’s a cost that adds up quickly. A few colocation centers now support higher power densities, but costs will vary if 10 kW or more per cabinet is needed.
Another issue to consider when comparing Austin colocation centers to their Houston counterparts is connectivity.
Some sites are carrier-neutral and permit clients to use any provider while others will only allow connections to carriers that they have relationships with.
Bandwidth costs, as well as the option to choose carriers, need to be carefully considered before making a decision.
Redundancy, Uptime, and Service Levels
When assessing the reliability of a colocation center, company managers should be aware that availability claims are normally based on broad interpretations of the tier system.
Many tier 1 locations have next to no downtime while some tier 4 sites constantly experience issues.
It is important to review a colocation provider’s operational history as well as its contingency plans and recovery procedures in the event of a problem.
Support and Security
Different colocation centers in Austin and Houston have their own support and security options.
Some have 24-hour on-site staffing while others have set business hours.
Clients who prefer to do their own equipment installation and maintenance need to ensure that the center’s security personnel allow third parties, such as a manufacturer’s field technician, to access their equipment (provided proper authorization is provided).
Some providers deny third-party vendors access to hosted equipment unless they are accompanied by the client.
It’s a reassuring security practice but could prove problematic if the client has no representatives located near the site.
- 4 questions to ask before choosing a colocation provider
- 5 tips for selecting a data center colocation provider
- Are Texas data centers price leaders or price laggards?
Colocation providers in Austin and Houston both provide quality services to clients seeking to outsource their IT needs, but choosing the right one can be tricky. Determining what is needed and knowing what to expect puts a company manager in a better position to make the best choice.
How did you find that Austin colocation centers compare to those in Houston? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.
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