Finally, an easy to understand explanation of what full rack colocation is and how colocation pricing is determined. Contact DSC to find out how you may qualify for 85% off of colocation services.


full rack colocation services

Full Rack Colocation

An Apartment Complex for Your Dedicated Servers

A colocation center is essentially a data center for rent. You can think of it as an apartment complex for your dedicated servers. With colocation, you can rent an entire rack. This is also referred to as full rack colocation. You can put whatever hardware you need to in that rack.


A colocation facility allows you to rent space to store your servers



Why Full Rack Colocation May Be Right for Your Business

If you have a start-up company or a smaller business and you don’t have the facilities at your location or the capital to construct your own IT center to house your servers, then you may want to take advantage of a colo facility. You can put your own hardware at their facility.

When you use the services of a colo provider, you are putting your equipment into a facility that is safe, secure, and reliable. These facilities have back-up power, backup Internet connectivity, and powerful HVAC systems designed to keep your equipment at a constant cool temperature.



colocation rack

A colocation facility will store your equipment on rack; they are safe, secure, and reliable – Image Source: Alexis Lê-Quôc from New York, United States [CC BY-SA 2.0]


Full Rack Colocation Uses

Off-Site Backup

You may want to use your full rack as an off-site back up solution. You can fill it with multiple servers where all of your data is stored off-site. In this situation, you would have one router or switch that would control where the packets will go. This will give you an incredible amount of storage space that your staff or clients can connect to.

A full server rack could hold anywhere from 300 to 400 servers. The huge advantage of this scenario is that your data can be protected from disaster situations that may affect your main business site. You will have an automatic backup of your data, thus reducing or eliminating any downtime.

Networking Solution

You may also want to use your full rack for a complicated networking solution like a hosted firewall. In this situation, you may choose to put multiple routers, multiple switches, multiple firewalls on one single server. This is how your infrastructure will run within that colocation facility.

The Difference Between Full, Half, and Quarter Rack Colocation Services

A server colocation service and its corresponding pricing is largely determined by the amount of space you need to rent for your equipment. The following are a number of terms that will help you understand colocation a bit better and the difference between full, quarter and half racks.



Rack Space


Different components will take up different amounts of space on a rack – Source: Wikipedia



The unit of measurement used when talking about rack space is “U,” which is equal to 1.75 inches in height. For example, a piece of equipment that is 3.5 inches high would take up 2U of rack space.

Full Rack:

A typical full-sized rack cage found in a data center is 42U high and either 19 or 23 inches wide. The individual pieces of equipment held on these racks are usually anywhere from 1U to 4U high. Most rack-mount servers take up 1-2 Us of space.


1u colocation rack

A full sized rack is usually 42 U high


Half Rack:

The term half rack has several different meanings. It can be used to refer to:

  • A piece of equipment that only takes up half the width of a rack frame – two such pieces of equipment can be placed side by side on a rack.
  • A piece of equipment that only takes up half the depth of a rack frame – two such pieces of equipment can be placed on the same rack, one in the front and one at the back.
  • A rack enclosure that is half the height of a full rack (22U tall).

Quarter Rack:

The term quarter rack usually refers to 10U of space on a full sized rack or about one-quarter of the space on the rack.



remote hands service

The amount of rack space you require will affect the final price


Racks May Vary in Size, So Find Out The Size of Rack Your Colo Provider Has

It is important to remember though that racks are not always a standardized number of Us. You can have full racks that are 42U, 45U, 48U, or 50U. Find out from your colocation provider how many Us their full racks actually are. This is important information because you want to make sure that the rack space you are getting is going to be sufficient for the size of equipment that you have.

Factors that Determine Your Colocation Pricing

The Amount of Rack Space You Need

Data centers are equipped with racks that are designed to hold servers and other IT equipment. Rack space refers to the physical amount of space that your server(s) will take up on a rack. As stated previously, the more rack space you need, the more you will pay.

The Initial Setup of Your Hardware

You will find that you will need to pay an initial set up fee when you begin colocation hosting. Your equipment will need to be physically moved to the data center and then installed. This setup requires time to perform and may be done by the internal team at the data center or someone in your IT department.


on-site technical support

There may be a fee for initial set-up


The Type of Internet Connection You Want

You will also require an Internet-based VPN connection, which will be the way that you can access your equipment at the data center from your office. Often you will need an above-average bandwidth to compensate for the distance between the two locations so that your software can operate at high enough speeds. You may also need to purchase dedicated IP addresses as your current Internet Service Provider may not service the data center that you are going to use.

Additional Support for Your Equipment

Colocation is not a managed service, however, some data centers may provide this service to you for an additional fee. You will need to determine who will be responsible for monitoring and maintaining your equipment at the data center. If you are going to be doing that yourself, you will need to make sure that you send someone to the data center on a regular basis. Another option is to pay for an outsourced provider to be responsible for monitoring your equipment on a regular basis.

Location of the Data Center

The location of the data center may also affect the price that you pay for this service. For example, a data center located in the larger downtown centers such as New York, Chicago and Atlanta may cost more than one that is located outside of those centers in the suburbs. This is because the cost of real estate is usually less outside of the downtown areas.


DSC Will Customize Your Colocation Package

At DSC, we understand that each business is unique. That is why we customize our colocation packages to match your specific needs. Contact DSC today for your customized quote.


Want to Learn More about Colocation?

Find out our more about colocation and if it is right for your business. Click here to download your free copy of The Ultimate Guide to Colocation!


colocation ebook




You Can Trust DSC for Secure Full Rack Colocation Services

Digital Services Consultants is a premier data center located just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, in the suburb of Buford. We offer you the safest IT solutions possible including full rack colocation. Along with our top-notch server colocation, we provide a full range of internet- related and cloud services including cloud backup, system monitoring, software hosting, dedicated email, website development and implementation, web hosting, e-commerce, security, and a variety of related products and services.

We also provide network support for Linus, Microsoft server and workstation platforms, Fortinet firewalls, and Cisco Systems. DSC has been a trusted name in the IT industry in Atlanta for more than 30 years. Contact us today for all of your internet-related requirements.


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