Retail vs. Wholesale Colocation

By Paul Andrews | July 22, 2014

There’s been some chatter in the industry lately about the differences between retail and wholesale colocation – and why one solution vs. another is better for your company. We thought we’d help clear up any confusion by taking a look at how each is defined and what the benefits and drawbacks are of each, so you can make a better decision for your company.

Let’s start by looking at the common definitions for retail and wholesale colocation:

In retail colocation situations, a customer leases space within a data center, usually a rack, space within a rack, or a caged-off area.

When wholesale colocation is discussed, it typically means a tenant leases a fully-built data center space.

Oftentimes the tenant is then responsible for handling all IT operations in that space (but not always).

So what’s correct for your company? Here at the Markley Group, we pride ourselves on helping our clients be successful – which means helping them to choose the solution that’s right for their particular situation, period.

Simply put, however, different companies have different needs. Do you only need a small amount of space? Then retail colocation might be the right fit. Do you need to keep costs down? Then wholesale colocation may be the way to go. Have a large power requirement? Specific security standards that must be met? Then that means wholesale would make the most sense.

To help you break it down, let’s compare the two further:

Retail colocation may be the right fit if:

You only need a small amount of space, or need it for a limited time

You are not planning to expand

You need to keep costs down and/or can’t afford a data center

You need to store small amounts of data in different geographies

You’ve reached capacity at another on or off-site facility and need a bit more space

You do not have the time or staff to manage or maintain (any aspect of) a data cent

Wholesale colocation may be the right fit if:

You need to keep costs low – and you need a lot of space

You need at least 1 megawatt of power capacity

You need to maintain tight control due to company leadership’s wishes

You need to meet stringent regulatory standards

You need room for expansion at the same facility

You need a great deal of customization

We hope this has helped clear up any questions or confusion you might have had. The bottom line is, there’s a solution out there for every company and every situation that will help you save resources while taking advantage of the eliminated equipment costs, improved security, decreased management and lower power expenses that colocation offers.

To learn more about our colocation facilities and what they can offer you, drop us a line at or visit: