Ok, so I’m obviously not really Bruce Lee, may he rest in peace. But you have to admit, the title for this blog is a little more compelling than something like, “CEO Tips for Colocation in Hong Kong.”
Sourcing for colocation in Hong Kong can be tricky if you are not sure of the risks that each data center proposes. We at Global Communication Networks have several successful deployments in Hong Kong and have been able to steer clear of any risk to our clients. Hopefully via this blog you will be able to garner some valuable information that will keep you out of harms way as well.
Sourcing in Hong Kong can indeed be tricky. These are some of the lessons we have learned from our projects there:
Lesson 1: Make a wish list. The first thing we suggest when planning a colocation project is making a checklist of all of the data center requirements that you will expect for your data center. (We have developed checklists with criteria ranging from 25 to over 100 data center requirements.) An example of some basic requirements that most would take for granted when looking for colocation in Hong Kong include the following: list of on-net carriers in the colocation, cost for caged space versus single rack, peering exchange in the building, whether the data center is carrier neutral, the cost of running fiber to pick up necessary carriers for the data center, PUE, and the weight limit per rack.
Lesson 2: Prioritize, but be flexible. There are several colocation facilities in Hong Kong but very few, if any, will fulfill every requirement on your checklist. Mega i Advantage is the largest and one of the oldest carrier neutral facilities in Hong Kong. They have the most on-net carriers in the building and have links to two peering exchanges in the building. The problem with Mega i is that the carriers that own the remaining space are selling their square footage at a premium.
Recently we learned from one carrier whom we asked to price out a 24 rack cage that they would need to price the cage as the equivalent as 32 individual racks since that would be how many racks they could sell if the cage were not taking up the space. In addition to paying for space equivalent to 8 racks more than they needed, the cost per rack was also much higher than the non Mega i competition.
Lesson 3: Get to know the carrier landscape. Hong Kong is in a growth phase for colocation and Pacnet has been one of the carriers driving the growth with their data landing station (DLS). The DLS is where much of the fiber coming into Hong Kong lands. In addition to Pacnet, several other data centers have built or are in the process of building their data centers around the fiber landing. The problem that we see with this area for now is that there are very little on-net carriers that have made their home in these data centers. Pacnet is on-net in their DLS but few other notable carriers are also on-net. We have learned the the HKIX Peering Exchange will be deploying a node in Pacnet’s planned second building located by the DLS, but it will be some time before this build is actually completed.
Lesson 4: “Remote hands” services vary. Another thing to keep in mind when sourcing for colocation in Asia is “remote hands,” or lack thereof. Most data centers offer it in some shape or form, but you need to know if their service is an “in house” service, or an outsourced service. You also need to know the hours that they offer remote hands since it may not be 24/7 and they are 12 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. In addition, that depth of remote hands service that each data center may offer will be different, and you will need to make sure exactly what is included in a service call since a regular server swap may not be included.
Lesson 5: Consider the obstacles when shipping equipment. Finally, when planning global colocation one of the questions you need to ask yourself is: Do you want the data center to provide the racks, or do you want to ship your own? If you decide to ship your own keep in mind that getting your equipment through customs in Asia, parts of Europe, or South America can be tricky, and you need to be ready for the obstacles that may present themselves along the way.
Global Communication Networks has sourced, negotiated and project managed colocation in Hong Kong and all over the world. Should you have questions or need assistance on your next project, please do not hesitate to contact a GCN representative for further assistance.