Colocation Terminology

To help out anyone who is new or looking to have their first server colocated, i have compiled a few important terms that you will probably hear when getting quotes from your potential colocation centers.  Knowing the proper terminology goes a long way to good commuication and making sure that you get the proper package setup for your colocation needs.

Colocation Terminology

The table below contains some common terms and explanations as they relate to colocation services. The definitions of these terms are or should be consistent among the reputable providers in the market.


This refers to the total amount of data transferred to and from your colocated equipment and includes web, FTP, email, and all other traffic that passes through our core routers. Network traffic that passes through your private VLAN but does not reach our core switches is not counted in your monthly usage. This mean that you might have 2 colocated servers connected through a private VLAN utilizing 100 Mbps or 1000 Mbps Ethernet port to exchange data. An example of this might be a web server exchanging data with a database server. This data exchange is not seen by our core switches and therefore is not counted in your monthly bandwidth allocation.

Monthly Price

The amount that you pay for your service each month. For colocation, this is a combination of your monthly bandwidth usage (calculated from the previous month, your rack space charges and any additional service or management fees as requested.

What is a “U”? (Unit of measurement for Colocation)
1U = 1.75″ of Vertical Rack Space 2U = 3.5″ of Vertical Rack Space 3U = 5.25″ of Vertical Rack Space 4U = 7.00″ of Vertical Rack Space. This measurement is used to indicate the total amount of rack space occupied by your colocated equipment.

95th Percentile Explained

Samples of your actual bandwidth usage are taken every five minutes from your VLAN port on our core switch, utilizing Cybergauge Bandwidth Reporting. The program then averages the totals and posts the result as a five-minute usage point on your report. Over the month, we will continue to plot the five-minute averages, which total about 8,640 points plotted on the graph.

We then take the top five percent of your usage (432 points, or 36 hours) and throw it out!

Your usage is determined based upon the highest remaining usage plotted. This method of billing provides you with a number of advantages. Any usage bursts that are untypical of your bandwidth requirements are not charged to you, and this equates to receiving the difference between average bandwidth and your highest 36 hours of bandwidth usage free each month.

We then give you access via the web to view your Daily, Weekly, Monthly and MRTG graph reports at any time.  If your package(s) include a specific amount of bandwidth, any overage(s) will be billed at your contracted rate at end of the calendar month.’s dedicated-based bandwidth is a burstable access, which uses the “sustained usage” formula to determine the monthly access rate. At the end of each month of service, based on readings taken every 5 minutes, which are placed in ascending order, the 95th percentile is determined as the “sustained usage rate”.

Set-up Fee

One time charges that are incurred at the initiation of service. These charges generally cover our labor costs and the cost of any equipment required to implement your service.


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