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Dedicated servers are relatively easy: Find one of a tons of data center hosts out there, sign up, get your credentials, and your done. But the next level up, data center, doesn't seem to be so easy. From what I've read on the Stackexchange migration, it seems you buy everything and the datacenter just provides the bandwidth and electricity.

Am I right? Is this how data center's usually work? Or do I have it completely wrong

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LQ - you should select Mark's answer as the answer to your question. Your "Accept rate" is pretty low. –  mfinni Jan 3 '11 at 6:06
    
@mfinni Sorry, I'm not too active on this site. Will do –  TheLQ Jan 3 '11 at 23:28

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

That's correct. They provide:

  1. Power
  2. Rack Space
  3. Most provide bandwidth and uplinks. If they're "Carrier Neutral" then you need to get your own.

It's called Co-Location. It's a lot more expensive, but a lot more flexible if you need a custom hardware solution to suit your needs. There is usually a break-even point where its cheaper to do Co-Location than leasing dozens of servers.

Getting access to your servers is impossible in a dedicated hosting solution, but depending on how much money you're spending and the amount of rack space you're leasing any decent datacentre has good enough security procedures to permit you to sign yourself in and access your own servers 24/7 to do maintenance, install new hardware, upgrades, etc.

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Sorry for not accepting your answer later, I'm not too active on this site –  TheLQ Jan 3 '11 at 23:29

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