Many colocation providers advertise wholesale services. Read this before you fall for it.
Retail and wholesale colocation is different
The market has different names for these services.
For small needs, we hear retail colocation, “per-rack colo”, enterprise colocation. Let’s call it retail colo.
On the other hand, large needs are often called wholesale colocation, private suites, custom data centers or data center as a service. Let’s call it wholesale colo.
What makes them different
Retail colocation is about “micromanagement”. Retail customers want certain rack types, certain PDUs, certain cross-connects, and generally manage their infrastructure on a server level.
This is much more work for colocation providers, as account managers must understand the technical details to ensure customer satisfaction.
In this part of the market, providers are much more involved as clients go through migrations and often need help doing so. Retail clients need a synchronisation on all sides (power, rack space, and cross-connects) to ensure business continuity. This requires much more work on the provider’s side.
Wholesale clients have very different needs. Typically you won’t be working on the type of rack and cross-connects they need, but power density, certifications, custom security measures, and dedicated power deployments.
This brings a fundamentally different approach to the sales and data center operations dynamic.
Wholesale colocation typically brings different cooling and power setups that don’t work well for retail deployments. It might not affect you as a client directly, but somehow at some point, it probably will.
Wholesale clients often have their own team and have much simpler deployments. Clients parks their truck, offload their racks, plug power, and fiber and everything is up and running.
Retail providers are not necessarily wholesale providers (and vice-versa)
As you can see, these two market segments are very different. We have seen retail providers try to deliver medium-sized deployments (+/- 20 racks) and fail at it-
We very much encourage providers to focus on what they are good at.
We recommend that when shopping for a colocation provider, make sure your provider is good at what they do. If you see tons of private suites and very few single-rack tenants, it might not be the right provider for your retail deployment.
Searching for the right provider for the type of colocation deployment you need? We’ll find the perfect fit for you.