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A Straightforward Guide To Colocation In Boston

A Straightforward Guide To Colocation In Boston

Colocation offers companies a way to implement robust and scalable infrastructure without the up-front cost and ongoing commitment of implementing an in-house data center. It is used all over the world. That said, different areas will have different characteristics. With that in mind, here is a straightforward guide to colocation in Boston.

Boston’s business landscape

Boston is home to both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard. These institutions are major contributors to the area’s economy. Both attract some of the top talent in the world, not just the USA or the state. This in turn attracts businesses who want to leverage that talent.

Although Boston is best known for its technology sector, its economy is actually very diverse. For example, it’s a major financial hub with many prominent banks and investment firms located there. It also has world-class hospitals and research institutions that make it a global leader in life sciences.

The city is, however, very definitely not just a corporate jungle. In fact, it has a thriving innovation ecosystem that has led many start-ups to make it their home. This means that Boston is often at the forefront of technological developments, particularly in the fields of cybersecurity, clean energy, and AI/robotics.

An overview of colocation in Boston

Regardless of where a business is thinking of implementing a colocation solution, they generally have three main considerations. These are cost-effectiveness, service and support options, and reliability. Here is how these three factors apply to colocation in Boston.


There are two alternatives to colocation. These are implementing an in-house data center and using the public cloud.

Implementing an in-house data center involves significant up-front expense, particularly in Boston which has extremely high real-estate costs. This means that most companies would need to be prepared to wait a long time just to break even on their investment.

Using the public cloud, by contrast, has limited to no up-front costs but can lead to high usage costs. It can also create difficulties for companies that need to comply with data-protection programs. Even if neither of these is an issue, using the public cloud often limits a company’s options for implementing customizations.

Using colocation gives companies the best of both options. It has the low barrier to entry of the public cloud but the flexibility and scalability of the public cloud.

Service and support options

It’s probably fair to say that whatever your needs, wants and budget are, you’ll find something to suit you in Boston. The city has a massive range of IT services and IT service providers that can service clients of all sizes and across all sectors.

Furthermore, these service providers are likely to be at the forefront of data center design and management. For example, they’re likely to prioritize sustainability in their operations, particularly their energy usage. This means that they will use clean, renewable energy sources as much as possible and aim for the very highest levels of energy efficiency.


In terms of human threats, Boston is about as safe as any city can be. The challenge is its climate, particularly its winds. Boston is routinely subject to tornado warnings although, so far, it has escaped any serious hits.

Coastal winds, by contrast, are another matter. Boston also routinely deals with thunderstorms, particularly from May to September. This can bring heavy rain and large hail, both of which can do serious damage. The areas to the North, Northwest, and West of the city are especially vulnerable to climate events.

Factors affecting colocation costs in Boston

As in most places, the cost of real estate is a huge factor affecting colocation costs in Boston. As with other markets, different areas of Boston have different levels of desirability as locations for colocation facilities.

In Boston specifically, colocation facilities often compete on their level of proximity to key innovation clusters. These would typically be research institutions and technology hubs. Proximity to these centers can enhance network performance and reduce latency. It therefore fosters collaboration and facilitates seamless data exchange.

Colocation facilities also compete on their tier or level of resilience, particularly to climate events. This is not unique to Boston but is definitely highly relevant given the city’s climate.

Otherwise, the factors affecting colocation costs in Boston are largely the same as those affecting colocation costs in other areas. Essentially, the more you require, the more you should expect to pay.

Choosing a colocation service in Boston

The process of choosing a colocation service in Boston is essentially the same as the standard process of choosing any service provider in an area. Once the business’ requirements have been scoped vendors can be evaluated against them.

In Boston, companies can afford to be very precise about their needs, wants, and budget. In fact, it’s highly advisable for them to be as precise as possible. This can do a lot to narrow down potential options in a crowded and competitive market.

Colocation Boston

If you are looking for colocation services in Boston, DataBank is an excellent choice. DataBank has a state-of-the-art data center in Boston, which offers 7,760 square feet of raised floor space, and 0.5MW critical IT load. Learn more about DataBank’s Boston data centers.

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