Collocation Access

Daniel Golding dgolding at
Thu Dec 28 19:06:30 UTC 2006

On Dec 28, 2006, at 11:14 AM, Leo Vegoda wrote:
> On Dec 28, 2006, at 4:49 PM, Joe Abley wrote:
> [...]
>> Which makes it hard for me to understand why they bother, and why  
>> they go to such great lengths to enforce arbitrary rules about  
>> what is acceptable and what isn't.
> Indeed. I'm surprised the market hasn't produced facilities with  
> better thought through and executed security and access controls.  
> Is there not enough competition in each metro area for anything  
> other than lowest common denominator?
> Leo

Time for a colocation reality check. Why would facilities need to  
have tight security? Lets count off the reasons...

- Federally mandated - For some government and gov contractor work,  
there are high security requirements. There are a few data centers,  
run by defense contractors, that cater to this sector. It is highly  

- Customer demand for higher security - In light of the lack of  
security issues that we've encountered so far, most customers are  
unwilling to pay anything more for higher security.

- Need for colocation facilities to differentiate themselves - Right  
now, having available power and cooling is differentiation enough.  
For those who haven't noticed, its a very "tight" colocation market -  
demand growth exceeds supply growth overall,  and in several areas  
(London, Chicago) there is effectively no available high quality  
carrier neutral colocation. Given this, why beef up security, which  
will eat into colocation provider margins?

What constitutes tougher security anyway?

- Armed guards?
- Outside facility video surveillance? (as well as inside), more  
careful reception of incoming hardware (explosive swabs, anyone?),
- Mandated biometric authentication? (yes, we have hand geometry  
readers, but their use isn't mandated for all),

The current fetish for ID checking is "security as theatre" rather  
than true security. However, some aspects of the colocation  
experience ARE, in fact, perceptual. Neon, cool mantraps, snap glass,  

Until supply catches up to demand, only price and power will matter  
to most folks, along with an acceptable level of facility redundancy  
(Tier III for most).

- Daniel Golding

More information about the NANOG mailing list