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I am looking for a place to colocate my server and I am not sure what this host sent back to me means. I know what mbps is, but what is a "1 gig switch port"?

Here is the whole message:

1U in our data center with a power outlet, a firewalled public IP address and connected to a 1 gig switch port would be $50 per month which includes 500 GB total monthly transfer.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Generically, it means you'll be connected to a 1-Gigabit switch port.

In the context of data centers and co-location, this means that the co-location facility will be providing a 1Gbps uplink port to your server/networking equipment.

This also means that you'll probably have burstable bandwidth to the internet of 1Gbps, but still subject to 95th-percentile billing policy. Check your contract and agreed-upon bandwidth rate.

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The "500 GB total monthly transfer" suggests that there is no 95th percentile billing policy but that instead the limit is on the total data sent/received per month. – David Schwartz Jun 18 '14 at 17:12
Then it's unmetered bandwidth with a monthly cap. – ewwhite Jun 18 '14 at 17:34

That means you get a connection to a 1 Gigabit port on a switch.

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So 1 gb per second? – eric2872 Jun 18 '14 at 16:22
@eric2872 One gigabit per second, yes. – HopelessN00b Jun 18 '14 at 16:23
Yes, 1 Gigabit/sec – Iain Jun 18 '14 at 16:23
@eric2872 Don't use terms like "gb" because they're extremely ambiguous. That could mean 1 billion bits per second, it could mean 2^30 bytes per second, or anything in between. – David Schwartz Jun 18 '14 at 17:11
There is no such unit as a "gb". There's "Gb" and "GB", also "Gib" and "GiB". As Davis points out, do not assume these terms mean anything specific unless it's explicitly defined. Ethernet uses base-10 prefixes, a 1GbE connection does 1,000,000,000 bits per second for example. And of course don't assume that you'll get full use of a medium's potential speed, either by administrative or congestion based restrictions. – Chris S Jun 18 '14 at 17:31

This is important for both the bandwidth and choice of media. The mbps is the rate you are contracted for. The 1G switch port tells you what kind of media to use for your server and what to configure it for. Speed and duplex settings are important and mismatched settings are a problem.

Most cool providers give everyone at least a 1G switch port and then rate-limit the connection in software and bill based on 95th-percentile/bustable_billing with 1G being the highest possible bandwidth limit.

Many will let you burst all the way to 1G. Most high-end providers will not in order to preserve oversubscription rates.

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It means the uplink to the switch is a Gigabit Ethernet port, most likely 1000BASE-T.

This doesn't cover how congested the switch's uplinks or the routes to internet are.

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