Everybody is talking about ChatGPT; an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that has dominated the news for more than a year. This web-based application provides answers to questions, or prompts, in seconds. In many cases, ChatGPT’s responses are accurate and helpful.

However, ChatGPT must be scrutinized because its information can be incomplete, misleading, or incorrect. Like a know-it-all who corners you at a cocktail party, ChatGPT may provide an answer that sounds good but may not be factual.

We decided to put ChatGPT through its paces by asking some questions about a subject we know well – colocation. We asked the AI tool 3 questions. The responses came back immediately and were mostly helpful. We graded the responses using the following scale. The tool got an “A” for answers that were factually correct and helpful. A “B” grade was earned for answers that were probably true but not well supported while we gave ChatGPT a “C” for answers that were incorrect.

The History of Colocation

The first question we asked was “What is the history of colocation?” ChatGPT did a respectable job answering this question. It provided a synopsis of the computer industry starting with mainframes in the 1950s. It asserted that colocation came into being in the mid 1990s, after PCs and the Internet became ubiquitous. By that time companies were looking for cost-effective and scalable solutions to house their servers. Colocation reduced capital expenses and saved money. We gave ChatGPT an “A” for the quality of its answer to this question.

Next, we asked “What is the history of colocation in the state of Connecticut?” The answer to this question was not as helpful. ChatGPT produced some well-written paragraphs that stated it did not have much additional information about Connecticut’s colocation history. It did note Connecticut’s history of innovation and the high concentration of financial services companies as factors contributing to the growth of colocation in our state. This response earned a grade of “B.”

Finally, we asked “Can you provide the names of the first companies to offer data center colocation services in Connecticut?” Here is where the AI tool came up short. First it made an excuse that it did not have access to any real-time data because its database only includes information collected before January 2022. Then it offered the names of 3 prominent colocation service providers that we know were not among the first in Connecticut.

Chat GPT acknowledged its answer was weak and admitted that it did not have any specific information about the first colocation service providers in Connecticut. It suggested referring to historical records or industry publications. Though it was somewhat forthcoming about how little it knew, we still believe it provided false information. It thus earned a “C” for its answer.

Colocation Pioneers in Connecticut

So which companies were the first to offer colocation services in Connecticut? We researched the web sites of the colocation service providers in our state to determine the following. The first colocation companies in Connecticut began providing these IT hosting services in the middle to late nineties. These pioneers were all small or medium service providers. One started in 1995, another in 1997, and a third in 1999. All three companies are still in the colocation business in Connecticut.

We learned the early history of CAPS from “Barky” (not his real name), a retired CAPS employee who visits our data center from time to time. He started his career at CAPS in 2000. Barky told us CAPS first offered colocation services in the year 2000. The company was founded 5 years earlier to provide business continuity services. These services provided alternate workspaces where clients could operate their businesses if their primary data center was not functioning.

CAPS’ first colocation services were delivered to large financial organizations that were legally required to operate continuously. The penalties for lost transactions were severe so these companies asked if CAPS could provide a “hot recovery” service. This led to the development of the colocation services that today constitute CAPS’ primary business.

Though the CAPS’ data center in Shelton employs a highly redundant design and advanced automated monitoring technology, our skilled human resources are essential to our extraordinary service delivery record. Let us look at the role people play in powering our facility.

Proper levels of power, temperature, humidity, security, and fire protection are all key to data center operations. Of these factors, a constant source of sufficient electrical power is the most critical requirement for successful operations. If there is an interruption in the flow of adequate electrical power, data centers immediately stop functioning.

Data center design includes several critical infrastructure components to deliver the power needed to assure operations. These include automatic transfer switches, redundant Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems, and redundant generator systems.

In addition to these critical infrastructure systems, skilled human resources are vitally important. On-site professionals monitor infrastructure systems, oversee ongoing maintenance, and plan and implement new client installations.

At our data center in Shelton, we are fortunate that Charley (not his real name) is a key part of our team. An electrical contractor whose company did the electrical work for major hospitals and office buildings around the state, he is a licensed E1 Master electrician who applies his extensive experience to make sure our data center is always up and running.

People Provide Additional Protection

Let us look at the kinds of things Charley does. Most days he gets to the data center early to inspect the various systems. A variety of automated tools monitor all critical infrastructure systems continuously, sending real-time alerts issued whenever a threshold has been exceeded. Still, it is important for human oversight to provide an additional level of protection.

On a given day Charley may check the Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) systems for alerts or signs of a leak. He may inspect the Voice and Data (VDR) Room, the UPS room, or check the Diesel Generator systems. He also walks through the data center and checks Power Distribution Units (PDUs) in client cabinets to gauge current flows and determine if any equipment is reporting an alarm.

On a regular basis Charley uses a voltmeter, a thermal sensor, and other tools to inspect the electric panels and PDUs in the data center. Elevated temperatures detected at the various connection points may indicate an electrical component is degrading and a technician should replace it.

If an infrastructure system requires maintenance, Charley would oversee the work performed by any of the skilled technicians that support our systems. His experience is often an immense help when dealing with subcontractors. In many cases he has known these people for a long time and can help get a particular problem resolved quickly and cost-effectively.

When a new colocation client is about to move in, Charley once again has a role to play. Each client has unique power requirements. Do they require 20-amp or 30-amp service? Would they like A/B power or is a single power circuit sufficient? Is a special connector required for a client’s systems? Having a licensed electrician who can provide professional guidance and complete any required wiring is invaluable.

Decades Without a Power Outage

Connecticut is known as “The Land of Steady Habits.” This may be due to the traits associated with our Puritan forebearers. People in our state are known for being industrious and doing things the right way. Though some might say that ongoing surveillance of our data center by humans is overkill, given all the automated monitoring tools we deploy, there is no dispute about the results achieved by Charley and the rest of our team. Our data center in Shelton has not experienced an unscheduled power outage in over 20 years.

 

There are more than 100 Managed Service Providers (MSPs) in Connecticut. The state also has 17 colocation data centers. Let us consider the changing ways MSPs and colocation providers collaborate to deliver critical IT infrastructure services to Connecticut businesses.

MSPs provide a variety of information technology consulting services to clients. Some MSPs specialize in specific technologies such as virtualization, cloud migration, or cyber security. Others are experts in applications such as Salesforce CRM software or Workday ERP solutions.

Most MSPs in Connecticut serve small and mid-sized businesses. This is not surprising since there are more than 360,000 small businesses in Connecticut. This represents over 99% of all companies in the state.

Frequently MSPs fulfill the role of the Chief Technology Officer at organizations that do not have a senior IT leader on staff. In these cases, the MSP handles everything from setting up user accounts, to configuring servers, to managing firewalls, to overseeing software updates.

MSP Services Track Technology

Over the years the services provided by MSPs have evolved as technologies have changed. For example, years ago small businesses needed help setting up their email systems. This often meant the MSP had to be knowledgeable about Microsoft Exchange and how to use this on-premises application to set up and manage mailboxes for corporate accounts.

Today, as companies have moved to a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model for office applications, MSPs have pivoted to provide the support their clients now need. Though Microsoft 365 simplifies initial email configuration and relieves end-users of the on-going need to update software, MSPs are now kept busy with cloud connectivity, security, and data backup projects.

The relationship between MSPs and colocation data centers has also changed with new generations of technology. Before the cloud, MSPs counseled clients to move onsite IT systems to a colocation data center to improve performance, strengthen security, and increase flexibility. They may have procured the colocation services for resale to their clients, or they may have directed clients to a colocation provider they endorsed.

Recently, as cloud adoption has grown dramatically, MSPs have devoted increasing amounts of their attention to helping clients move to the cloud. Initially, most MSPs promoted one of the big three cloud providers (AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google). As experience with the cloud grew, leading MSPs developed expertise configuring hybrid cloud solutions that incorporated services from more than one public cloud provider as well as private cloud and onsite infrastructure.

MSPs Have Renewed Interest in Colocation

As cloud use has become more widespread, MSPs and their clients have learned that there are workloads that are not well-suited for the cloud. They may not perform efficiently, or they may be much more expensive in the cloud than at a colocation data center or on premises. With this change, MSPs have once again adapted to serve their clients’ needs.

Recently, CAPS has seen a marked increase in the number of MSPs who are looking for colocation services, for themselves or their clients, for those workloads that are not well suited to the cloud.

 

 

 

 

Cabinets and cages are essential structural components in a colocation facility. They are where a client’s information technology systems are installed. Though decidedly “low tech,” these infrastructure elements provide a secure environment where air flow, temperature, and humidity levels may be controlled. Let us unlock some of the nuances of these enclosures as we consider their role in colocation.

Cabinets are normally included by the colocation service provider as part of the monthly service contract. The most common cabinets used in data centers are black ones that are 24 inches wide by 42 inches deep by 73.6 inches tall (42U). A variety of other sizes and colors are available.

Keys Provide Security

Cabinets include front and rear doors with keys or combination locks. CAPS keeps spare keys for all our colocation clients in case they forget to bring their key when they visit our data center.

Cabinets may be partitioned into multiple bays to provide cost-effective secure access for more than one colocation tenant. Half cabinets are available with two doors for two separate clients with each bay having 20U capacity. Four door 44U cabinets are also available, providing 11U for each of four clients.

Racks are a lower cost alternative to cabinets. Racks do not have doors with locks, so they are much less secure. As such, racks are usually only used to mount equipment within a cage. Cages include a locked door to restrict access to the racks within the cage.

Cages are custom-built using steel mesh. As such, they are more costly than cabinets for most requirements. If a client needs to collocate one or two cabinets, usually a cage will be too expensive. For those who want to place 3 or more cabinets in a colocation data center, a cage may be the best choice. The lead time before cutting over at a colocation facility will be longer for cages than for cabinets because it takes time to build a cage. The one-time installation cost will also be higher.

Though data centers usually supply the cabinets, racks, cages, and Power Distribution Units (PDUs) for a colocation engagement, the client provides the rest of the equipment. It is usually the client’s responsibility to install their servers, switches, firewalls, and other systems in the cabinets and racks provided by the colocation data center.

Client Responsibilities

Clients are responsible for connecting cables to their systems. Since cabling can impact airflow, and thus temperature control in cabinets, data centers may provide guidance about cabling practices.

Clear labeling of cables and equipment in a colocation cabinet can help when technicians are called upon to service equipment or to make a configuration change. This is important for a client’s service personnel, but it can be particularly helpful when Remote Hands services are invoked because the colocation support team may not be familiar with a client’s equipment and cabling layout.

Colocation tenants have some discretion about what they store in their cabinets and cages. Spare parts and cables are often stored within colocation space. It is important to maintain proper airflow, to avoid creating a fire hazard, and to keep colocation cabinets clean and organized.

Cabinets and cages are the building blocks of colocation. Please contact CAPS if you are interested in relocating your IT systems to our secure data center in Shelton. We will be happy to give you a tour of the data center and point out examples of how cabinets and cages have been used by our clients.

Firewalls are critical security devices that filter Internet communications to block packets from blacklisted IP addresses and applications. Firewalls can be hardware-based or software-based. There are even virtual firewalls whose software is hosted on instances in the public cloud.

Firewalls are ubiquitous. These security devices are found in corporate data centers, colocation facilities, and as part of public cloud infrastructure. Firewall implementations vary across these different venues. In this article we will review the factors to consider when deploying firewalls at a colocation data center.

Firewalls Can Be a Single Point of Failure

Firewalls at colocation facilities typically are hardware-based network units. Their components usually include processors, SSD storage, communication ports, fans, and power supplies. They are manufactured with highly reliable electronic components and typically do not include mechanical components, though some older firewalls may include HDD storage. Even without moving parts, they still are subject to failure over time; especially when exposed to extreme temperatures or power spikes. Colocation facilities maintain optimal temperature and humidity levels and power condition to extend the life of firewalls and other electronic systems.

Most firewalls in colocation data centers are configured as stand-alone units. As such, they constitute a single point of failure. If a firewall goes down, operations will be interrupted. For high availability (HA) requirements, redundant firewalls may be configured so that operations are not disrupted if one of the firewalls stops functioning.

New firewall software is released as needed to provide operating system upgrades and bug fixes. Some colocation data centers offer enhanced services that may include performing firewall updates. If the data center does not provide firewall maintenance services, clients can remotely manage the update, or they can go to the colocation facility to manually perform the upgrade.

Many of the leading firewall manufacturers have products in use by CAPS’ colocation clients. Firewalls from Cisco (ASA and Meraki MX), Fortinet Fortigate, Palo Alto Next Gen PA Series, and SonicWall are some of the leading firewall vendors with products at the Shelton, CT data center. These firewalls vary in terms of functionality, performance, and price. Higher priced units typically offer more advanced packet filtering and faster processing to enable better security and higher data throughput.

Next Generation Firewalls (NGFW) monitor Application Layer (Layer 7) data to provide greater protection than basic firewalls. Basic firewalls monitor only Network (Layer 3) and Transport (Layer 4) data. NGFW products perform deep packet inspection (DPI) and check for malware signatures in real-time to identify activity that resembles known malicious attacks.

Colocation Providers Offer Different Firewall Services

Colocation service providers offer various service options regarding firewalls. Many colocation data centers do not get involved in managing client firewalls. The responsibility for configuring and maintaining firewalls remains with the client. Though colocation staff may recycle a firewall’s power as part of their Remote Hands services, they will not manage the firewall.

Those offering managed firewall services assume responsibility for configuring and maintaining a client’s firewalls. The decision to outsource critical security functions should only be made after thoroughly vetting the colocation service provider to make sure they have the knowledge and commitment to provide the service required.

Firewalls are an important security component whether your IT systems are hosted on-premises, at a colocation facility, or in the public cloud. If colocation is an option you are considering, we hope you will contact the team at CAPS.

 

 

Internet connectivity is an essential component of colocation services. Over the past two decades much has changed regarding colocation bandwidth. Prices have dropped dramatically, and available bandwidth has risen. Some colocation providers began offering alternate variable pricing plans based on the amount of data transfer consumed each month in addition to the original model which charged a fixed price for a guaranteed data rate.

In the early days, when CAPS first opened its data center in Shelton, most clients had limited bandwidth. Twenty years ago, affordable Internet circuits ranged from 1 to 10 Mbps. Today, as connectivity costs have plummeted, it is common for colocation clients to employ 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps, or even higher capacity circuits.

Redundant Bandwidth Available

Most colocation clients at CAPS purchase Internet bandwidth directly from CAPS at a fixed rate per month. They get a committed data rate and an automatic fail-over Internet circuit for back-up. Client Internet activity provisioned over redundant infrastructure is monitored continuously. If packet losses or retransmission rates exceed an alert threshold, the circuit automatically transfers to the backup circuit utilizing Border Gateway Protocol technology.

Circuits provisioned from CAPS provide symmetric bandwidth. This means the data rate is the same on the transmit and receive paths of the circuit and will be at the contracted bandwidth rate; give or take a small percentage. Though consumer Internet service providers also advertise symmetric bandwidth, they are more likely to deliver lower transmit and receive bandwidth at times. This is because Internet service providers typically over-provision bandwidth across their customers. Though they may advertise a 1 Gbps circuit, the actual available bandwidth at any given time may be half this rate or less depending on the data transmitted by all clients at a given time on this circuit.

May Save Money Purchasing Bandwidth Direct

Though CAPS sells Internet connectivity as part of its colocation service, we also allow clients to purchase their Internet bandwidth directly from an Internet service provider. Clients who purchase a circuit from an Internet service provider will not be able to rely on our backup failover circuit for redundancy, but they may save money.

The Internet service provider market is extremely competitive. Carriers often offer great deals for Internet bandwidth. Recently some of our clients have decided to order an Internet circuit directly from a provider offering an attractive monthly rate. They recognize they may not actually be able to transmit and receive data at the full rate at all times. Even if they only get half that rate, it may still fulfill their requirements while saving them money.

Clients who opt to purchase low-priced Internet circuits take advantage of the fact that some colocation providers, like CAPS, allow them to procure their bandwidth directly. The flexibility to choose from a variety of suppliers makes it possible for clients to save money for those Internet services where redundancy is not required. We expect this new trend to continue as clients strive to save money while providing the data connectivity their organizations require.

 

 

Email has dramatically increased worker productivity. Ever since it was introduced in 1974 by Ray Tomlinson as part of the development of ARPANET, email has grown exponentially. Today, with over 3 billion email user accounts worldwide, it is arguably the most popular software application in existence.

Email is Important but Data Backup Rates Are Low

However, organizations that regularly execute complete email data backups are few and far between. The unique characteristics of email and the low perceived cost of lost email explain the minimal backup rate. However, increasing legal and regulatory exposure may change that in the future.

It has been nearly 20 years since Google’s Gmail was launched. Today, adoption has exploded to about 1.5 billion accounts. This represents roughly 49% of the current email market. Though Google is primarily used by individuals, due to its ease of use and free price tag, small businesses and even some large organizations rely on Gmail.

The Blackberry, released in 2002, was the first mobile device to include the ability to send and receive email. Now, Apple’s iCloud Mail, delivered through mobile devices as well as notebooks, laptops, and desktops, has about 850 million users which represents about 28% of the email market.

In third place, in terms of market share, with about 400 million accounts, is Microsoft’s Outlook/M365 service. M365 is one of the world’s most popular Software as a Service (SaaS) applications. Microsoft leveraged its dominance in the corporate market with its Word, Excel, and PowerPoint franchise to pivot from its boxed Outlook email product to the cloud based M365 office productivity solution. This strategy has helped Microsoft’s Azure Public Cloud close the gap in competing with Amazon’s AWS service.

Email Services Provide Limited Backup and Recovery

Many email users depend on their email service provider to retain email copies. For example, it is estimated that 70% of M365 email clients rely on the default email retention provided by Microsoft. The percent of subscribers who use the standard retention provided by Google and Apple is even higher.

Most email services store emails for a set time or until a certain amount of storage has been used. Whether the service retains emails for a defined period or until an amount of memory has been used, when thresholds are exceeded, emails will be deleted. Unless emails are copied to long-term storage, they will not be retrievable after the backup period expires or the storage capacity is exceeded.

If a proper backup has not been done, it will not be possible to recover emails that are accidentally deleted. It will also not be possible to recover earlier versions of an email if it has been edited over time. Proper email backup ensures that earlier versions and accidentally deleted emails can be recovered.

Emails Can Be Evidence in Legal Disputes

Companies are legally obligated to keep archives of all business critical and sensitive information. It is estimated that 75% of all business critical and sensitive information resides in company emails. As the popularity of email has increased so has its use in settling legal matters. Emails may be used to establish legal contracts. They may also be brought into court as evidence. Electronic Discovery or eDiscovery is a growing part of many law practices. Therefore, companies of all sizes must be sure they have developed an appropriate data retention plan to assure they can retrieve the documents they need, including emails, to protect their company’s interests in court.

Regulatory compliance also requires, in a growing number of instances, the ability to retrieve email. For example, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires all publicly-held companies, and the accountants they employ, to store emails for at least 5 years.

Email differs from other applications with respect to data backup and recovery. Though it may be very important to be able to retrieve an archived email to respond to a corporate, regulatory, or legal request, a quick recovery may not be necessary. Unlike a database application that must be continuously updated for a company’s operations to function properly, the response to a request for an archived email can take days or weeks without causing a lot of problems.

CAPS uses Veeam’s powerful data backup and recovery tools to provide long term offsite data storage and cost-effective recovery of emails and other critical data. Please contact us for a free review of your current email backup practices.

Business continuity is critically important for most organizations. Disruptions to operations can threaten a company’s existence. There are different approaches to providing a backup location if a primary site is down. Since COVID, the use of shared seats at a business continuity alternate site has declined as clients have become comfortable working from home and from other remote sites.

For organizations that require a robust business continuity solution, an alternate recovery site with dedicated seats remains a compelling option. A dedicated recovery site typically requires a bigger investment than other business continuity options such as a shared seat alternative or a work from home solution. For those seeking to minimize the risk of an interruption to key business operations or for organizations with stringent compliance requirements, the additional expense is justifiable.

Regulatory Compliance Drives Dedicated Recovery Sites

Regulatory compliance is often the impetus for a dedicated recovery site. Connecticut is home to banks and registered investment advisors. Frequently these financial institutions must comply with rules such as FINRA 4370 and the National Futures Association Rule 2-38. These rules stipulate that financial organizations must ensure clients can access information about their accounts and execute transactions even when disruptions impact an organization’s primary office.

“Warm sites” are set up at data centers in space that is reserved for the organization’s personnel. Clients furnish these dedicated sites with the IT systems and office furnishings they need so operations can resume as soon as possible after a disruption to the primary office. Once current data is on the systems at the alternate site, all essential functions can resume.

Factors to Consider For Dedicated Seats

Here are the factors to consider when evaluating a business continuity dedicated recovery site.

Location– Location is always one of the key factors when deciding where to set up IT operations whether it be for offsite data backup, colocation, or business continuity. In the case of a dedicated business continuity alternate site, the location should be within an hour or two of the primary facility so key personnel can get to the site quickly. However, the location should be far enough away so the disaster that disrupted operations is not likely to affect operations at the backup site.

Data Center Functions– A warm disaster recovery site needs to be online quickly. IT systems required to support operations need to be accessible as needed. A high availability data center with reliable power and Internet connectivity is a prerequisite at a dedicated seat facility.

Round-the-Clock Accessibility– The backup facility must be available for use at any time.

Security– Adequate security must be in place to protect critical operations.

Compliance– The disaster recovery site must meet industry accepted standards such SOC, PCI-DSS, HIPAA.

Public Transportation– Alternate worksites that are readily accessible via public transportation make it easier for staff to get there.

Hotels– Business continuity sites should be located near hotels. Recovery from disasters can take days or even weeks. It may be necessary for key personnel to stay near the dedicated facility for an extended period.

Conference Rooms– Alternate work facilities should have conference rooms and other office amenities to support clients when they are on site.

CAPS is one of the most experienced providers of business continuity alternate work sites in Connecticut. Our shared and dedicated seat services have been helping clients minimize risk and achieve compliance since 1995.

Colocation data centers offer cost-effective IT hosting services to improve availability, performance, and security. Redundant power, temperature and humidity controls, high reliability Internet connections, and top-level security are required. Data center location and, of course, the cost of the services are key considerations. However, it is often the extra services that differentiate colocation providers.

Though many are familiar with remote hands services, there are varying levels of support offered by different service providers. Remote hands services assist clients with certain tasks without forcing them to travel to the colocation facility. Recycling power on a particular device is a common request. Though this does not require much effort on the part of the colocation staff, it can save clients a lot of time.

High-End Remote Hands

The way remote hands services are delivered can make a big difference. For example, how long does it take for the colocation support team to respond to a service request? Does the staff member communicate questions about the requested service in a clear and timely manner? Does the client receive notification when the requested service has been completed? Finally, is the client charged for remote hands services each time they are requested or is there some level of free remote hands support each month?

Colocation data centers restrict access to only those people who are authorized and who have a valid security card. At times people come to the facility without their cards. In these cases, they may be escorted to their equipment if they are on an approved list. As an additional protection, everyone entering the data center must log in and out and will be video taped as they move through the building.

Key Practices

Physical security is essential at a colocation facility. Servers and other IT systems are secured in locked cages and/or locked cabinets. Though clients are issued keys to open their cages and cabinets, a duplicate set of keys should be kept in a secure place at the colocation data center. There are occasions when an authorized client representative visits the colocation facility and has forgotten to bring the key they need to access their equipment. In these cases, the data center staff can provide a spare key so the client can complete their work without having to go back to their office to retrieve the missing key. Experienced colocation professionals never relinquish control of spare keys. They must be sure there is always a spare. If a client has forgotten their key, the data center support person should escort them to their cage or cabinet and unlock the door. After the work has been completed, the staff will lock up.

Many colocation data centers also accept deliveries and provide secure storage of client’s equipment. Notifying clients when shipments have been received and even reporting the serial numbers of the delivered equipment are helpful services provided.

Lending a Hand

Staff may also help install equipment. From providing carts to move the systems into the data center to helping install the gear in a client’s cabinet, the staff at the colocation data center does what it can to help make installations as easy as possible.

The extra services provided by the team at a colocation data center can make a big difference in client satisfaction. CAPS is committed to providing customer service at a level that stands out from the rest.

 

 

The cost of colocation services is dependent on many different factors. Labor costs for the skilled technical team that manages the data center can be high. Capital expenses for air conditioners, UPS systems, and generators are significant. Fire suppression systems, security systems, and monitoring tools are also costly. However, for most colocation data centers, the cost of electrical power and real-estate expenses constitute the two largest components of total colocation cost.

Connecticut is burdened with some of the highest electricity costs in the country. It also has very expensive real estate. With costs so high, where can companies go to achieve colocation savings if they require a colocation facility in Fairfield County?  Since electricity rates do not vary much for most data centers in the region, real estate expense is the one variable that can make some Connecticut colocation providers more cost-effective than others.

Office Space in Shelton Costs a Lot Less

Business owners in Connecticut are aware of the big difference in office rent paid from one town to the next. This is especially true in Fairfield County. Data recently reported by commercial real estate leader Cushman Wakefield for the first quarter of 2023 shows that organizations with offices in lower Fairfield County pay twice as much as those in Shelton for comparable space. As the chart below illustrates, the average rent in Shelton for Class A office space is $20.25. This is less than half the rate for comparable space in Greenwich, Stamford, and Westport.

City/TownAverage Asking Rent Per Square Foot

Class A Office Space First Quarter 2023

Cushman Wakefield Marketbeat Report

Greenwich$45.71
Stamford$44.15
Westport$43.25
Fairfield/Southport$35.87
Darien$33.50
Wilton$32.43
Bridgeport$25.40
Greater Danbury$22.10
Trumbull$20.92
Shelton$20.25

 

Location is the primary reason for this disparity. Though it is within a forty-five minute drive from any town in Fairfield County, Shelton is generally not practical for those who regularly commute to New York City. The cities and towns that are within commuting distance of Manhattan have the most expensive residential and commercial real estate. The average rental rates shown above, with only a few exceptions, show a direct correlation between distance from New York City and office lease costs.

Achieving cost savings is a high priority for most organizations. Many companies economize by downsizing their offices. The trend to reduce office space under lease has grown recently. Working from home during the pandemic established that remote work can be done productively. Employees favor continuing at least some level of hybrid work so they can come into the office a few days and work from home the rest of the week.

Colocation in Shelton Saves Money

Colocation provides flexibility as changes are made to office floor plans. Moving information technology infrastructure out of the office to a colocation data center frees up space. If the office is in lower Fairfield County, money can be saved by placing IT systems at a colocation facility with significantly lower real estate costs.

For those companies in the metropolitan New York area, colocation savings can be realized by choosing CAPS. CAPS is the only data center in Shelton. With CAPS you can leverage Shelton’s attractive real estate market to benefit from the lowest office costs in the a