Server Colocation Services in China

China has become an increasingly popular destination for businesses to host their data centers. With governmental initiatives to improve IT infrastructure in China, China Telecom is the third largest colocation provider in the world – owning 6 percent of the world’s colocation market share.

What is server colocation?

Server colocation is renting of space (usually in racks), bandwidth, and other server maintenance services from existing data centers to house one’s servers and networking equipment. This removes the need for businesses to store their own servers on-premises, which also eliminates the cost for building and maintaining server facilities in-house.

Server colocation providers offer space, power and back-up power in case of failure, cooling and climate control, as well as physical security for the server, storage, and networking equipment. Businesses then connect to their servers through a variety of connectivity options, be it private lease lines or even bulletin board system.

How much does server colocation cost?

The cost of renting server colocation space can vary depending on location of the colocation service. Typically, one rack of space of around 48U – 50U with a 1G/s connection costs about USD$1000 a month. Although rental is paid on a monthly basis, colocation services usually require a commitment of least one year.

In China, a 2U space costs around USD$140 a month, with a minimum contract of 3 months. Some colocation services offer a 2U space for RMB12000 a year, which is roughly USD$150 a month, including a bandwidth of 10Mbps and power of less than 400W. In Hong Kong, a single U can cost as low as USD$95 a month. This includes 4Mbps of guaranteed bandwidth, unlimited data transfer, 0.1kVA power allocation, free reboots, 100Mbps network port (RJ45), and 2 IP addresses.

What is the difference between a data center and a colocation?

A data center is an establishment that houses servers and other computer networking hardware and equipment whereas colocation is the rental of data center space to enterprises to host their own servers and computer networking equipment. Both data centers and server colocations provide redundant or backup infrastructure for power supply, data networking connections, environmental controls such as air conditioning and fire suppression, as well as other security features.

The only difference between data centers and colocations is the ownership of the hosted server or equipment placed in the data center. Enterprises that choose to use colocation services own their own server and equipment whereas data centers have ownership on their server hardware and other equipments.

How many data centers are in China?

To date, there are 416 data centers in China. The data center market in China was valued at USD$13.01 billion in 2019 and is forecasted to increase to USD$36.18 billion by 2025, according to ReportLinker. China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom are the biggest players in China’s data center industry.