Best server colocation in Houston


Best server colocation in Houston

Posted on Oct 24, 2009 by Paul White

I bought my server off ebay about a month ago.  Slowly over the last month I have been upgrading the hardware to ensure it would be ready for hosting my clients' websites.

Finding a Datacenter in Houston


I started searching for a datacenter about 3 months ago.  If you google for Houston Datacenters, you will find many. But just because they are ranked top on google doesn't mean they are the best value.  Many of the datacenters I found charged way too much.  They wanted around $150 / month plus transfer, plus power.  Then I came across a google ad on my blog that was advertising dedicated servers in Houston.  I clicked on the ad and checked out a small company called Acronoc.  After reviewing their website, it would appear they do dedicated boxes, colocated, and VPS hosting.  I contacted them, and colocation, and they responded within minutes.

Overview of the Datacenter


Acronoc is a small datacenter in the Houston Wedge Tower.  I had to make arrangements to meet one of their guys, to get in.  This is normal, as datacenters are not run like a retail store, with a check in window.  Once I was inside I was greeted by one of their network admins, several racks of servers, and the wine of high RPM fans.  The temperature inside the datacenter was a cool 70 degrees.  Over all it was about the size of a master bedroom.  To the average person it would appear to be messy.  But to your advanced computer user it was beautiful.  Racks of servers, Cisco Switches, and cabling.  Plus on their bench they had organized parts ready to build new dedicated boxes.

Why you should colocate with Acronoc?


Even though I just got my server setup today, I want to stress that the real test of a datacenter is their ability to overcome natural disasters and acts of god ( hurricanes, wind storms,  electrical outages, terrorists with a 747 ).  Last year during hurricane IKE the datacenter never lost power, this is nice to know.  But reliability is not the only reason to host with them.  They go above and beyound to make things easy and simple for colocated customers.

No Rails needed on your Rack Server


Most datacenters make your provide your own rails when you colocate.  This is expensive, as when you guy a server from dell they charge you an extra $150 for rails.  Even if you are scouring ebay for them getting rails for under $50 is rare.  Acronoc uses rack shelves making things very easy and simple.  Just slide your server in and then plug in your power and Network cable and you are set.

No need to bring your own power cord


They provided me with a power cord which is nice, plus they gave me remote reboot access through their network in case I ever needed to power cycle my server.

No Additional charge for Power


Their standard 1U rack colocation price which at the time was about $50 / month includes the rack space, a 100 Mbit port, and Power.  Some datacenters meter your power usage, which can really suck if you don't have an older server ( more than 2 years ) that tends to eat its share of power.

Good price on Transfer.


Overall I am paying about 6 cents per Gigabyte of transfer. This value is scalable and gets cheaper as you need more transfer.

More than enough bandwidth to grow.


Even though I am only using a 100 Mbit port,  they could give me multiple Gigabit ports if I needed them. 

Fast Ping times


Even though in an earlier post I mentioned that I had slower ping times to acronoc, this had more to do with comcast routing everything through Atlanta, rather than the fiber running acronoc's network.  I can assure you their network is fast.
UPDATE: November 14th, 2009
My ping times to Acronoc used to be about 55ms.  This has changed. I now can ping Acronoc in 20ms.  This makes them faster than even L3 here in Houston.  It used to be when I would ping them the routing would take the packets out to Atlanta before making it back to Dallas then Houston.  Now the hop to Atlanta has been eliminated.  Not sure if this is a change on comcast's side, or Cogent, but the speed in noticeable.  Even better my clients up north ( NYC ) are reporting much faster connections as well.  Much faster than their connections to Godaddy's Arizona DataCenter.


Plenty of Parking


There are several Parking lots and garages next to the wedge tower. If you go up there on the weekends parking is free in the lots.

Summary
For anyone who needs to colocate a rack server in houston.  I highly recommend Acronoc.

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