In this short article, we are going to cover the expectations and services provided by a managed colocation provider as well as what colocation clients should look for in a managed colocation provider.
Managed Colocation Service Provider Responsibilities
When it comes to unmanaged colocation, the provider in question isn’t on the line for anything related to your server hardware however when it comes to managed colocation services, the provider will be responsible for a whole range of colocation issues. Here are but a few:
Power: Hands down, the largest concern of a managed data center provider is power. Your managed dedicated server provider is responsible for all primary and auxiliary power sources. This means the colocation hosting provider needs to install and maintain all primary PDU’s along with all backup PDU’s.
Cooling: Next to power, cooling is one of the more important physical requirements of managed colocation. Your managed web hosting service provider is responsible for all the cooling equipment/requirements needed to keep your colocation gear (servers, racks, cabinets) at a stable working temperature. Beyond cooling, your managed colocation provider is responsible for setting up and laying out their managed data center in a hot rack, cool rack grid to insure sufficient cooling over the entire DC.
Gear: Regarding the physical, your managed server colocation provider is responsible for taking care of and maintaining all of your servers, racks and cabinets on site. Some managed colocation hosts might ask the client (if they already have servers) to move the gear in however once the colocation equipment is in the data center, the manage data center host takes care of everything.
Software: This goes without saying but your managed web hosting provider is responsible for the operating software and OS of your servers. If the provider is a colocation Linux provider, your host is responsible for making sure the Linux OS is up to date and has all the current needed software running on the box. While clients can tell providers what software they want installed on a box, the host is responsible for the server OS and the programs responsible for making it work.
Security: Lastly, security. As your equipment is going to be managed in your hosts data center, your managed colocation host is responsible for keeping your colocation servers and colocation racks safe and secure from inside and outside threats!
Managed Colocation Service Client Responsibilities
As the managed colocation server client, your responsibility lies in finding a managed colocation service which provides you with the best possible resources to meet your needs. As the client, you are responsible for doing your homework to research/find the host which provides the aforementioned specifications.
Beyond the aforementioned needs, as a client you are in charge of the budget. As the colocation seeker, you are responsible for understanding and coming to terms with the providers managed colocation pricing. This is your main job – beyond understanding how your host will power you colocation gear or how your host will provide security to your colocation equipment, your job is to find the best managed colocation pricing to meet your budgetary needs.
Now, don’t get us wrong. It is your responsibility as the client to understand what tier your managed data center host operates out of (data center tiers run from 1 – 4) and it is your responsibility to understand what each tier means (redundancy, power supplies, security, data disaster recovery etc.). But again, beyond anything, as the managed colocation client, you have to decide your budget when it comes to colocation solutions.