Colocation in the US.

Tony Varriale tvarriale at
Wed Jan 24 19:20:07 UTC 2007

I think the better questions are: when will customers be willing to pay for 
it?  and how much? :)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mike Lyon" <mike.lyon at>
To: "Paul Vixie" <vixie at>
Cc: <nanog at>
Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 11:54 AM
Subject: Re: Colocation in the US.

> Paul brings up a good point. How long before we call a colo provider
> to provision a rack, power, bandwidth and a to/from connection in each
> rack to their water cooler on the roof?
> -Mike
> On 24 Jan 2007 17:37:27 +0000, Paul Vixie <vixie at> wrote:
>> drais at (david raistrick) writes:
>> > > I had a data center tour on Sunday where they said that the way they
>> > > provide space is by power requirements.  You state your power
>> > > requirements, they give you enough rack/cabinet space to *properly*
>> > > house gear that consumers that
>> >
>> > "properly" is open for debate here.  ...  It's possible to have a
>> > facility built to properly power and cool 10kW+ per rack.  Just that 
>> > most
>> > colo facilties aren't built to that level.
>> i'm spec'ing datacenter space at the moment, so this is topical.  at 
>> 10kW/R
>> you'd either cool ~333W/SF at ~30sf/R, or you'd dramatically increase 
>> sf/R
>> by requiring a lot of aisleway around every set of racks (~200sf per 4R
>> cage) to get it down to 200W/SF, or you'd compromise on W/R.  i suspect
>> that the folks offering 10kW/R are making it up elsewhere, like 50sf/R
>> averaged over their facility.  (this makes for a nice-sounding W/R 
>> number.)
>> i know how to cool 200W/SF but i do not know how to cool 333W/SF unless
>> everything in the rack is liquid cooled or unless the forced air is
>> bottom->top and the cabinet is completely enclosed and the doors are 
>> never
>> opened while the power is on.
>> you can pay over here, or you can pay over there, but TANSTAAFL.  for my
>> own purposes, this means averaging ~6kW/R with some hotter and some
>> colder, and cooling at ~200W/SF (which is ~30SF/R).  the thing that's
>> burning me right now is that for every watt i deliver, i've got to burn a
>> watt in the mechanical to cool it all.  i still want the rackmount
>> server/router/switch industry to move to liquid which is about 70% more
>> efficient (in the mechanical) than air as a cooling medium.
>> > > It's a good way of looking at the problem, since the flipside of 
>> > > power
>> > > consumption is the cooling problem.  Too many servers packed in a 
>> > > small
>> > > space (rack or cabinet) becomes a big cooling problem.
>> >
>> > Problem yes, but one that is capable of being engineered around (who'd
>> > have ever though we could get 1000Mb/s through cat5, after all!)
>> i think we're going to see a more Feinman-like circuit design where we're
>> not dumping electrons every time we change states, and before that we'll
>> see a standardized gozinta/gozoutta liquid cooling hookup for rackmount
>> equipment, and before that we're already seeing Intel and AMD in a
>> watts-per-computron race.  all of that would happen before we'd air-cool
>> more than 200W/SF in the average datacenter, unless Eneco's chip works 
>> out
>> in which case all bets are off in a whole lotta ways.
>> --
>> Paul Vixie

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