The “ALL INCLUSIVE” Colocation Cost Con

Power = electrical power and electrical power = vast profits for the colocation provider or legacy reseller.

Data centres, especially in London are critical to the country’s growth and ability to compete on a global stage. Over charging for services is simply stifling UK PLC’s ability to ride the economic challenges.

Source Managed Services ( have been contacted by increasing numbers of enterprise customers simply fed-up with being charged for power they are restricted from using by the provider.

So where’s the con?

Simply put, some Data Centre providers and their legacy resellers are charging for the maximum amount of power presented to the commando socket, multiplied by the price per amp. So a 16Amp commando attracts 16Amps of power cost, even though you contracted to 10amps and have been contractually restricted to using just 10Amps.

Let’s take a small data centre requirement for example, one that is common throughout London’s small to medium organisations, the engine of our UK economy.

Just four server cabinets/racks located within a leading data centre in Central London. The suite has a contracted maximum power draw of 10kW due to the cooling restraints of the facility. Each of these cabinets has dual (A+B pdu’s) 16Amp commandos to provide resilience. Each cabinet however requires just 2.5kW or roughly 11amps. So, the Customer is expecting pay for the 11Amps per cabinet at the rate per amp (circa £20-25 per month).

Having this fixed pricing may be important to the budgeting process for the user and as such they are willing to pay for the full amount of allocated power, whether used or not.

On closer inspection however it seems that some data centre providers are charging them for the maximum amount of amps presented to the suite, in this example 4 x 16amps on the ‘A’ feeds and 4 x 16amps on the ‘B’ feeds. So this Customer, requiring just 44Amps and happy to pay for it (and even understanding that the provider needs to make some profit), is being charged for 128amps, over three times the actual delivered!

From the continued migration away from these legacy providers, it is clear that as UK’s data centre tenants become aware of this over-charging they will evolve to the new approach of cost clarity and transparency from leading providers such as Digital Realty.

Source, for example, present their Customers with metered power, regardless of the requirement, charge for the power used, not the commando presented and compliment this with fixed rental pricing for over twenty years, regardless of the committed term.

The industry has ceased adapting and has now evolved. Now is the time to examine your ‘all-inclusive’ power charges and challenge them. If your provider won’t evolve, then please contact Source for cost clarity, transparency and honest consultancy.

Fenton Bard

Fenton is a founding director of Source Managed Services, one of the UK’s leading independent providers of data centre a colocation services. For more information please contact Source on 0845 467 0160, [email protected] or – Source – a fresh approach.

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