Coloco 101 – A Guide to the Sometimes Confusing Language of Colocation

Information technology is awash with technical language, industry-specific acronyms, and in-house slang. While plenty of tech lingo is necessary and fairly self-explanatory, it can sometimes be a little confusing for the uninitiated. Which is why we present to you Coloco 101.

The world of colocation is no different. If you’ve just made the (excellent) decision to move your servers to a colocation data center, chances are you’ve been bombarded with a whole load of new words and phrases. But don’t be nervous! Coloco is here to help.

We’ve put together a quick 101 on the sometimes confusing language of colocation. A beginner’s guide to the most important words and phrases. Similarly, A phrasebook to guide you through your first steps into the exciting world of colocation!


Firstly, a rack is a collection of servers, also a unit of measurement for servers. A full rack holds 42 servers.


Second, cabinets are the locked units that contain the server racks. In facilities where space is shared between multiple clients, cabinets share floor space with servers from other users and are an important part of keeping each organization’s servers separate.


In addition, cages are essentially just that – mesh spaces that contain dedicated server space in a raised-floor colocation facility. For security reasons, cages remain locked. In addition, they share power and infrastructure with the rest of the center.


A suite is the next level of colocation. Suites are private server space, removed from the rest of a shared colocation facility, and surround by solid, impenetrable walls rather than mesh cages. Some suites do share power and infrastructure with other colocation clients, but they usually also benefit from private, dedicated resources.


Colocation modules are a form of flat-pack, purpose-built add-on, or extra component, designed to allow colocation facilities to offer scalable capacity. They make it possible for clients to upgrade their requirements at pretty much any time. They use standardized components allowing them to be integrated easily into existing centers. In addition, they are a cheap and efficient way of making colocation even more convenient for its users.


Last but not least, hotels or carrier hotels are what people in the know call colocation data centers themselves. Based on the idea that organizations ‘book a stay’ in the facility, it is not uncommon to talk about data hotels when discussing colocation.  Global carriers may take down a large amount of space (4,000+ sq ft) in carrier hotels and create a major hub for its connectivity in that region.

Loved Coloco 101? To find out more about how colocation can help your business, or move your servers to a colocation center, get in touch and get rackin’ today!

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