Small (and even large) service providers often need small points of presence in key colocation ecosystems such as Telehouse
, DRT Sovereign House
, Equinix’s LD8
(former Telectiy HEX) or the Equinix Slough campus (LD4
While the actual physical footprint may be small, it can still represent a crucial piece of network infrastructure for the buyer. And given the cost of operating in ecosystems, a quarter or half rack can represent a substantial cost saving against the cost of a full rack – especially when some operators impose high minimum-power commitments per rack.
Quarter rack cabinet in Equinix LD5, Slough
For a small regional ISP, the use case may be to house a router and a switch or two. A MikroTik Cloud Core router is only 1U and a common workhorse for the regional ISP industry. So a pair of them and a pair of switches makes 4U, plus a server or two (for billing, monitoring etc) and a patch panel, and the quarter rack is working pretty well.
For larger networks, this small point of presence is usually where an end-client needs to house a router or firewall to terminate a service from the carrier. For example, we’ve put one large global carrier into Global Switch’s London East data centre so their client could connect directly to Google Cloud. They simply needed to house a router and then run two cross-connects, one to the carrier and a second to Google Cloud.
For large and small companies, a quarter or half rack provides a secure, cost-effective point of presence, while still offering all the benefits of the underlying ecosystem, including the ability to run cross-connects. A quarter rack can often be responsible for up to 10 separate cross-connects, which demonstrates the value these smaller users can bring to a colocation ecosystem.