Corporate IT

Equipment placement or Colocation: what you need to know about technical issues

Wouldn’t it be great if using Colocation was as easy as co-working: you bring your laptop, take a seat, connect to Wi-Fi and start working. But co-working spaces are too different from data centers, and laptops are no substitute for IT infrastructure. We tell you about the most important technical issues related to the placement of equipment in a commercial data center in this article.

Data centers that provide colocation services, i.e. placement of server and other equipment, create the right conditions for their operation. In such data centers, fast data transmission channels, optimal temperature and humidity conditions are maintained, an access control system is configured and a plan of action for the restoration of engineering systems in case of failure is developed. In other words, the service provider is interested in ensuring that the client equipment and all the systems responsible for the data center’s life support function stably in any, even abnormal, situations.

In fact, the client equipment does not necessarily belong to the client. He can rent it from the same provider for any period of time and buy it back later, if the need arises.

Usually Colocation service is chosen by companies that do not want to spend time, money and human resources on creating their own data center. With Colocation, they get much of the benefits of local infrastructure (besides the fact that it will be physically located nearby) and something else. For example, they can choose an out-of-country provider who will offer to place equipment in the most reliable data centers in the region, provide their own tech-support specialists and additional products that will increase the performance and security of the client’s IT infrastructure.

Colobridge platform is built on the base of machine rooms of two fault-tolerant geographically distributed Tier III data centers – Equinix and Telehouse. They are located in Frankfurt am Main (Germany), are part of the European top 5 and are united by a single logical platform. 

Colocation allows businesses to take advantage of the infrastructure of any data center that suits their needs. However, a company must also meet a number of conditions for the placement of equipment. Foremost, these are the technical requirements of the data center, which provides its infrastructure to the client.

Technical requirements for Colocation equipment

As an example, let us consider the requirements for placing servers and other equipment on the Colobridge technology platform. Like many other providers, Colobridge offers rack mount telecommunications cabinets for this task. These are sophisticated designs for compact and secure mounting of servers, data storage systems, routers and other equipment.

Under what conditions are the equipment suitable for placement in a telecommunication cabinet:

  • Is assembled in an enclosure that is prepared for rack-mounting;
  • meets the electrical safety and fire safety requirements of the data center;
  • has all the accessories required for standard installation (skids of no more than 815 mm dimensions, power cords, “lugs” and fasteners);
  • complies with data center power standards (IEC-320-C13 in Colobridge);
  • dimensions do not exceed 482.6 mm in width, 815 mm in depth and 44.45 in height (1 unit)
  • distance between 19-inch profiles is 450 mm, between the mounting holes – 465 mm.

Certified data centers can help in the placement of equipment, which has been made to the design changes that are not described in the instructions. Also, equipment with non-standard cooling schemes is not accepted, as in this case the provider will not be able to provide it with optimal climatic conditions.

If you need to place equipment that does not meet the above requirements, please contact Colobridge specialists. We will find the best solution for your business needs and help you migrate your services and data to the new site.

Limitations on Colocation

The service provider reserves the right to refuse colocation if the client plans to use self-hosted servers. This is due to limitations associated with the specifics of the cooling system. For example, Colobridge data center machine rooms use a system of cold and hot aisles to maintain optimal temperature. The air in the racks moves according to the Front-to-Back scheme: cold air flows into the free space in front of the equipment, and hot air coming out from the back side is directed to the heat exchanger, from which it comes out ready for reuse. This is an efficient and fairly common cooling scheme, but it is not suitable for either.

Otherwise, Colocation is just the right service for those who do not tolerate any limitations. A rented rack can accommodate equipment with any performance parameters and without reference to a particular vendor, deploy absolutely any business services on it, use it as a primary or backup site.

If you have any technical questions about equipment deployment in German data centers, ask Colobridge specialists. We will select an appropriate solution for your business tasks, plan and organize migration, and, if necessary, perform setup under your guidance as part of the additional “remote hands” service.

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