The Washington D.C./Northern Virginia area is one of the fastest growing data center markets in the world:

Source: Synergy Research Group

Reasonable energy costs and great tax incentives make the area attractive to data center operators, who can then pass those savings on to you. But don’t let the cheap sticker prices fool you.

Digging into Northern Virginia colocation prices

Here’s a pretty standard colocation pricing configuration that’s being heavily promoted in the Washington D.C./Northern Virginia market today:

Market Average Colocation Hosting Prices in Ashburn, VA — Base Configuration
Colocation ComponentsMarket Avg. Price
1 x Cabinet with 48U of Rack Space
4.99 kW of 208V/30A Primary and Redundant Power
25 Mbps Internet Bandwidth
1 x Infrastructure Cross-Connect
$1,300/ Month

This looks like a really good deal — the cheapest colocation in Ashburn — just $1,300/month for a 4.99 kW cabinet, bandwidth, and a cross connect.

It looks even better when you compare it to SCTG’s pricing: $1,750/month for the same. It would seem that SCTG is 35.6% more than all the cheap colocation in Northern Virginia. But all these cheap providers are using colocation pricing models that hide the true cost of doing business in their facility.

Colocation costs add up quickly for production configurations

Let’s take a deeper look at the pricing for these “average” colocation services in Ashburn, and extend them out to to represent a configuration that will truly meet the needs of a business that’s servicing customers throughout the Washington D.C./Northern Virginia area.

Colocation Hosting Prices in Ashburn — Production Configuration
(2) 208V/30A Primary and Redundant Power Cabinets
Colocation ComponentsSCTGAshburn Market Avg.
2 x 4.99 kW 48U Cabinets$3,500$2,600
100 Mbps Premium Internet Bandwidth$0.00$700
3 x Infrastructure Cross-Connects$0.00$750
2 x Carrier Cross-Connects$400$500
4 x Switched PDUs$0$200
1 Hour Remote Hands$0$250
Total Per Month$3,900$4,800

When a company’s colocation requirements are actually met, the real colocation pricing creeps out — with a big shock to those who bought based on a base price.

This is why it’s worth pushing to get a full colocation price list. Once you account for the costs of premium bandwidth, infrastructure cross-connects, carrier cross-connects, switched PDUs, and Remote Hands to keep things running, the so-called cheap colocation is actually $900, or 23%, more expensive than SCTG.

And if you were to add disaster recovery services to your colocation deployment, SCTG could be 40% more affordable than so-called cheap providers.

(Our data center in Ashburn has a direct line to our Chicago facility that transfers in only 20 milliseconds — a time so quick you can do asynchronous replication for your SAN, making failover almost instantaneous.)

Avoiding colocation price traps in Northern Virginia

If you take the time to understand all the elements involved in your colocation hosting — and what they cost — you can avoid the traps of cheap colocation in one of the world’s most densely networked cities.

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