Colocation Pricing Series Part 3: What Is Included in the Price?

by | May 11, 2022

In Part 2 of our series, we explained how different pricing models can determine what’s in your base rent price in terms of operating expenses and power usage. But there are other services that you may need and only be able to purchase from your colocation provider. There is equipment that might be included or required and these expenses might be one-time or ongoing.

Here are some of the most common: 

You may need to provide the actual racks to support your servers, rack-mounted power strips or the cage in which the racks might sit. 

In some cases, vendors will also require “containment,” or the use of specialty racks that are designed to contain and direct the heat produced by the equipment so that the data center’s cold air supply doesn’t mix with the hot air emanating from the IT equipment. 

As we mentioned in Part 1, the equipment you need to connect to power is not always included. For instance, the branch circuit, also known as a “Whip” or a “PDU cable,” is the final electrical circuit between the outlets in your rack-mounted power strip and the circuit breaker – which itself is usually located in a floor-mounted power distribution unit (PDU). Both the branch circuits and the breakers may be your responsibility to install. Ladder racks, meanwhile, hold the branch circuits in place and are also a potential line item to look out for. Finally, a licensed electrician is required to hook these components up, and not all contracts include this service.

Server Support Equipment

Power Connection Equipment

At UPSTACK, we wanted to limit the confusion that can stem from this complex, multi-variate pricing. Our platform takes all of these factors into account so you can compare you colo quotes on an apples-to-apples basis and have clarity on what is and is not included in the pricing. Use our marketplace to get pricing that is clear and free of surprises.

Interconnection Equipment

Most often the physical cables that connect your equipment to another provider’s equipment are clearly listed as line items within a proposal as Cross Connects, but you still have to look out for whether these charges also include the cable trays that hold and route the cabling and the patch panels that serve as a point of connection for that cabling.

UPSTACK Tip: Ask whether the cable trays that hold and route the cabling and patch panels are included in the charge.


While colocation pricing may seem simple at first glance, it’s far more complicated by the endless ways in which pricing is customized and the lack of standards in what equipment and services are included in a base price. The quote has its main components – space, power, interconnection, hardware, and services – but that’s only scratching the surface.

With the description of pricing models in Part 2 and the knowledge to ask about included hardware and services to support your deployment, you are armed to understand colo quotes and ask the important questions of your sales reps.

Learn more about UPSTACK’s data center and colocation expertise or connect with an advisor for guidance.