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Understanding Colocation Pricing: A Comprehensive Guide

What is colocation?   

Colocation refers to the practice of housing privately-owned servers and networking equipment in a third-party data center facility. Instead of maintaining their own dedicated data centers, organisations can rent space, power, and bandwidth in a colocation facility to store and manage their hardware. This allows companies to benefit from the data center's infrastructure, security measures, and connectivity while retaining control over their own servers and equipment. 

Significance in the Tech Industry: 

  1. Reliability and Redundancy: Colocation facilities often provide redundant power sources, cooling systems, and internet connections, ensuring high levels of reliability and minimising downtime. 
  2. Scalability: Businesses can easily scale their IT infrastructure by adding or removing servers as needed without the need to invest in or decommission their own data center space. 
  3. Security: Colocation providers typically implement advanced security measures, such as surveillance, access controls, and fire suppression systems, to safeguard the housed equipment. 
  4. Connectivity: Data centers are strategically located to provide high-speed and reliable connectivity, facilitating better performance for hosted applications and services. 

 Understanding Pricing Structures for Effective Budgeting: 

  1. Space and Power Costs: Colocation providers typically charge based on the physical space occupied by servers (rack space) and the power consumption. Understanding these costs is crucial for budgeting and optimising resource usage. 
  2. Bandwidth Charges: Many colocation facilities charge for data transfer and network usage. It's important to estimate the required bandwidth to ensure that costs align with the organisation's network usage patterns. 
  3. Service Level Agreements (SLAs): Different providers offer varying levels of service and uptime guarantees. Understanding SLAs helps in evaluating the cost-effectiveness and reliability of a colocation service. 
  4. Additional Services: Some colocation providers offer additional services such as managed security, backup solutions, and technical support. Understanding the pricing of these services helps in budgeting for comprehensive IT management.
  5. Contract Terms and Commitments: Colocation contracts may have specific terms and commitments. Understanding the contract details, including any potential penalties for early termination or changes in resource usage, is vital for effective budget planning. 

Factors Influencing Colocation Pricing

Colocation pricing is influenced by diverse factors such as location, space requirements, power and cooling considerations, connectivity options, redundancy levels, contract duration, and the availability of technical support and managed services. An in-depth understanding of these factors is essential for businesses seeking cost-effective and tailored solutions in the dynamic landscape of data center services. 

1. Location: 

  • Geographical location plays a significant role in pricing. Colocation facilities in prime or high-demand locations may charge higher rates due to increased real estate costs and demand for data center services. 
  • Proximity to network hubs and reliable power sources can also affect pricing. 

2. Space Requirements: 

  • Rack Space: Pricing often depends on the number of rack units (U) occupied by the equipment. Businesses can choose the amount of rack space based on their needs. 
  • Cabinet: Larger enclosures like cabinets offer more space and security, but they come with higher pricing compared to individual rack units. 
  • Cage: Some organisations may require a dedicated caged area within the facility, providing an additional layer of physical security. 
  • Suite: A suite refers to a fully enclosed space within the data center and typically involves higher costs due to the exclusive nature of the area. 

3. Power: 

  • Power Density: Higher power density requirements, measured in kilowatts (kW) per rack, can result in increased costs. Colocation providers may charge based on the total power consumption of the hosted equipment. 

4. Connectivity: 

  • Network Connectivity: The availability of diverse and high-speed connectivity options can influence pricing. Colocation facilities with multiple carrier options and peering relationships may offer better connectivity at a premium. 
  • Cross-Connect Fees: Costs associated with connecting to other tenants or external networks within the data center may be part of the pricing structure. 

5. Redundancy and Uptime: 

  • Tier Rating: Data centers are classified into tiers (e.g., Tier I to Tier IV) based on their level of redundancy and uptime. Higher-tier facilities with more redundancy and guaranteed uptime typically have higher pricing. 
  • Redundancy Options: Offering redundant power, network connections, and cooling systems may result in increased costs but provides added resilience. 

6. Duration of the Contract: 

  • Longer-Term Contracts: Committing to a longer-term contract may lead to discounted rates. Colocation providers may offer incentives for extended agreements, promoting stability for both parties. 

7. Technical Support and Managed Services: 

  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs): The level of technical support and the terms outlined in SLAs can impact pricing. Facilities providing 24/7 support and faster response times may charge higher rates. 
  • Managed Services: Additional services such as security monitoring, backup solutions, and equipment management may incur extra costs. 

Understanding Colocation Pricing Models 

Understanding colocation pricing models is crucial for businesses to align their budgeting strategies with specific spatial and power requirements, ensuring cost-effective and tailored solutions in the rapidly evolving landscape of data center services.  

1. Space Reserved: Per Rack/Cabinet: 

  • Per Rack Model: In this pricing model, costs are determined by the number of rack units (U) reserved for the equipment. Businesses pay for the physical space occupied by their servers within the colocation facility, allowing flexibility in scaling as per spatial needs. 
  • Per Cabinet Model: This model involves charging based on the entire cabinet or enclosure reserved, offering a larger, secure space. While it may incur higher costs, it provides additional security and is suitable for businesses with larger equipment or security requirements. 

2. Power Provision: 

  • Fixed Power Model: Businesses are charged a predetermined rate for a fixed amount of power, often measured in kilowatts (kW). This model suits organisations with consistent power needs, providing cost predictability but may lack flexibility for variable power consumption. 
  • Metered Power Model: Colocation providers charge based on the actual power consumption, allowing businesses to pay for what they use. This model is suitable for dynamic workloads, offering flexibility but potentially resulting in variable monthly costs depending on power usage fluctuations. 

Overview of Equinix's Colocation Services: 

Equinix is a leading global provider of colocation services and is Orixcom’s colocation partner. They offer state-of-the-art data center facilities across strategic locations worldwide. Their colocation solutions cater to diverse business needs, providing secure and scalable environments for housing critical IT infrastructure. Equinix's colocation services encompass options such as dedicated rack space, private cabinets, and customised suites, allowing businesses to tailor their hosting arrangements to specific spatial requirements. 

Equinix's facilities are designed to meet high industry standards, offering advanced security measures, redundant power, and robust connectivity options. With a focus on reliability, flexibility, and performance, Equinix's colocation services support organisations in achieving optimal operational efficiency and scalability. 

Advantages of Choosing Equinix: 

1. Global Presence:

Equinix operates an extensive network of data centers in key business hubs worldwide, facilitating businesses with a global footprint to access strategic locations for their colocation needs. 

2. Interconnectivity:

Equinix is renowned for its robust connectivity ecosystem, enabling direct and secure interconnection to a vast array of cloud providers, networks, and business partners. This interconnectivity enhances the performance and efficiency of digital ecosystems hosted within Equinix facilities. 

3. Reliability and Redundancy:

Equinix data centers are built with a focus on reliability and uptime, often achieving high-tier certifications. Redundant power and network infrastructure ensure businesses experience minimal disruptions. 

4. Scalability:

Equinix's colocation services are designed to scale with the evolving needs of businesses. Whether expanding rack space or transitioning to private cabinets, Equinix provides flexible solutions to accommodate growth. 

5. Ecosystem Services:

Equinix offers additional services, including managed services, hybrid cloud solutions, and cybersecurity offerings. These services complement colocation, providing businesses with comprehensive IT solutions under one roof. 

6. Industry Expertise:

With years of experience in the industry, Equinix has earned a reputation for being a trusted partner in the colocation space which is why Orixcom have chosen them as their colocation partner. Their expertise in managing critical infrastructure aligns with the diverse needs of businesses across various sectors. 

Managed Colocation Pricing  

Orixcom Managed Colocation services offer a flexible solution for businesses seeking reliable infrastructure without the overhead of managing their own datacenter space. Unlike dedicated colocation, where a single customer occupies an entire rack, Managed Colocation provides shared rack space, making it ideal for small to medium-sized enterprises with limited equipment needs. Within these shared racks, multiple clients' equipment is housed securely, with access available under supervision to ensure data integrity and security. This service caters to clients who require the benefits of colocation but don't need a full rack, offering options like half racks or even quarter racks for those with minimal hardware requirements. 

Cost Comparison with Traditional Colocation Options: 

Importantly, pricing for Managed Colocation remains consistent regardless of the level of service chosen, ensuring affordability and predictability for businesses of all sizes. With Orixcom Managed Colocation, businesses can enjoy the convenience and scalability of shared infrastructure while still maintaining control and security over their equipment.  

Boost your adaptability and decrease latency with Colocation.

Tips for Optimising Colocation Costs

1. Right-sizing Your Infrastructure: 

Evaluate and adjust the size of your infrastructure to align with actual needs. Avoid overprovisioning by accurately assessing the required rack space, power consumption, and connectivity. Right-sizing ensures that you only pay for the resources you truly need, optimising cost efficiency. 

2. Choose the Right Colocation Provider: 

Conduct thorough research to select a colocation provider that aligns with your specific requirements. Consider factors such as geographical location, service level agreements (SLAs), redundancy levels, and additional services offered. Choosing a provider that meets your needs can lead to better cost-effectiveness and service quality. 

3. Implement Effective Monitoring Systems: 

Invest in robust monitoring systems to track the performance and health of your infrastructure. Real-time visibility into resource usage, power consumption, and overall system health allows you to identify inefficiencies and optimise configurations promptly. Proactive monitoring helps prevent potential issues, reducing the risk of downtime and associated costs. 

4. Optimise Resource Utilisation: 

Regularly assess and optimise the utilisation of your resources, including servers, storage, and networking equipment. Utilisation tools can help identify underused or idle resources, allowing for consolidation or decommissioning. This not only optimises costs but also enhances overall efficiency. 

5. Energy Efficiency Measures: 

Implement energy-efficient practices to reduce power consumption. This may include utilising energy-efficient hardware, optimising cooling systems, and adopting best practices for server virtualisation. Lowering energy consumption not only contributes to environmental sustainability but also leads to cost savings in the long run. 

6. Regular Audits and Reviews: 

Conduct regular audits and reviews of your colocation setup. Assess whether the current infrastructure aligns with your business goals and make adjustments as needed. Periodic reviews help identify potential cost-saving opportunities and ensure ongoing optimisation. 

7. Consolidation and Virtualisation: 

Explore consolidation and virtualisation strategies to maximise resource utilisation. Virtualising servers and consolidating workloads can lead to reduced hardware requirements, saving on both space and power costs. 

8. Automation of Routine Tasks: 

Implement automation for routine tasks, such as provisioning and deprovisioning resources. Automation streamlines operations, reduces manual errors, and enhances overall efficiency, contributing to cost optimisation. 

Storing physical hardware is expensive, let Orixcom manage it for you.  

Case Studies 

Terra Firma, an international fertiliser company based in Dubai, specialising in high-quality fertilisers, sought to enhance the security of its physical network and servers previously housed onsite. Recognising the challenges of maintaining physical security, constant monitoring for updates, and limited Disaster Recovery and Redundancy, Terra Firma turned to Orixcom for a solution. Orixcom proposed a move to Colocation and Dedicated Internet Access (DIA), leveraging the robust infrastructure of modern data centers. This shift not only heightened security but also provided access to cutting-edge technology in data center cooling and power supplies, ultimately reducing networking costs. As a result, Terra Firma now enjoys the ability to globally access and manage their applications, with their physical hardware securely housed in a colocation facility. The implementation of DIA ensures highly secure data transmissions between servers and users, marking a successful transformation with significant return on investment. 

Future Trends in Colocation Pricing 

By examining future trends and the potential impact of emerging technologies, businesses can stay ahead of the curve, making informed decisions about their colocation strategies and anticipating the evolving landscape of pricing models in the data center industry. 

Predictions on How Pricing Models Might Evolve: 

a) Dynamic Pricing Structures: 

Anticipate the adoption of more dynamic pricing models that align with fluctuating demand, allowing businesses to scale resources based on usage patterns. This can lead to greater flexibility and cost efficiency. 

b) Hybrid Pricing Models: 

Expect the emergence of hybrid pricing models that combine elements of traditional colocation and cloud services. This integration aims to provide businesses with a seamless and cost-effective blend of on-premises and off-premises solutions. 

c) Edge Computing Impact: 

With the rise of edge computing, pricing models may evolve to accommodate the unique requirements of edge data centers. Providers might introduce specialised pricing structures to cater to the distributed and geographically dispersed nature of edge infrastructure. 

d) Outcome-Based Pricing: 

A shift towards outcome-based pricing models may occur, where businesses pay for specific outcomes or performance metrics achieved through colocation services. This approach emphasises the value delivered rather than the traditional resource-based pricing. 

Impact of Emerging Technologies on Colocation Costs: 

1. 5G Technology: 

The widespread adoption of 5G technology is likely to impact colocation costs by increasing demand for data center proximity and connectivity. Colocation providers in strategic locations with robust 5G support may experience increased demand, potentially influencing pricing. 

2. AI and Machine Learning Integration:

The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) into colocation facilities can enhance efficiency and optimise resource utilisation. While upfront costs for these technologies may exist, their long-term impact on operational efficiency can contribute to overall cost optimisation. 

3. Renewable Energy Integration: 

The growing emphasis on sustainability may lead to increased adoption of renewable energy sources within colocation facilities. While initial investments in eco-friendly infrastructure may incur costs, the long-term benefits include reduced operational expenses and a positive environmental impact. 

4. Security Enhancements: 

Continued advancements in cybersecurity technologies may lead to additional investments in securing colocation facilities. While these measures aim to mitigate risks and enhance overall security, they may influence pricing structures to account for the cost of robust security measures. 

5. Edge-to-Cloud Integration: 

The seamless integration of edge computing with cloud services may impact pricing as businesses seek cohesive solutions that span both environments. Colocation providers offering integrated edge-to-cloud services may introduce pricing models reflecting this holistic approach. 


Understanding colocation pricing is a strategic imperative for businesses navigating the complex landscape of data center services. Through the exploration of diverse pricing models, from space allocation to managed services, organisations can tailor their colocation strategies to align with specific needs and budget considerations. Examining case studies offers practical insights, while anticipation of future trends allows businesses to stay agile in the face of evolving pricing structures and emerging technologies. As businesses increasingly rely on colocation for secure, scalable, and reliable infrastructure, the ability to optimise costs becomes paramount. By implementing tips for cost efficiency, staying informed about market trends, and leveraging advancements in technology, businesses can ensure that their colocation investments not only meet their current requirements but also position them for success in the dynamic and ever-evolving realm of data center services.  

Thinking of moving your servers? Colocation might be the answer.  


  1. What is colocation, and how does it differ from traditional hosting? 
    Colocation is a hosting solution where businesses rent space in a third-party data center to house their own servers and networking equipment. Unlike traditional hosting, colocation provides organisations with greater control over their hardware, offering a secure and scalable environment for managing critical infrastructure. While traditional hosting involves leasing a complete server or hosting services from a provider, colocation allows businesses to bring and manage their own servers within a shared facility, benefiting from the data center's infrastructure, security, and connectivity. 

  2. Are there any hidden costs associated with colocation services? 
    Yes, there can be hidden costs associated with colocation services. While the upfront pricing may cover essentials like rack space, power, and basic connectivity, businesses should be mindful of additional charges such as cross-connect fees for connecting to other tenants or external networks within the data center. Moreover, costs may arise from exceeding allotted bandwidth limits, specialised security requirements, or unexpected service requests. It is crucial for organisations to thoroughly review service level agreements (SLAs), contract terms, and potential additional fees to ensure transparency and accurately budget for the full spectrum of colocation services. 

  3. Is colocation cost effective? 
    Colocation can be cost-effective for businesses, depending on their specific needs and circumstances. While it may involve upfront costs for equipment and setup, colocation offers long-term savings by eliminating the need for dedicated data center infrastructure. Sharing the costs of power, cooling, and facility maintenance with other tenants typically results in lower operational expenses. Additionally, businesses benefit from the reliability, security, and scalability provided by professional data center facilities. The cost-effectiveness of colocation is further enhanced when organisations carefully assess and right-size their infrastructure, negotiate favourable contracts, and leverage the expertise of colocation providers for optimal efficiency and performance. 

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