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• I just signed up for a Colo! What should I do?
• What is an APC Reboot port?
• What is a Serial Console?
• What is the difference between buying a 'Colo' and buying 'IP'?
• When you say your network is not over-subscribed, what does that mean?
• How do you measure bandwidth?
• Do you offer a backup solution?
• Do you allow adult content?
• Do you allow IRC?
• I have extra HD / RAM / widget I would like to install in my Dedicated server. Can I do that?
• What is DirectAdmin? What is a Control Panel?


I just signed up for a Colo! What should I do?

Great! We appreciate your business! There are a number of things you should do to ensure your system works properly when it arrives. If things are not set up properly it will not only cause a delay, it may mean we will have to work on your system and not be able to give you a free install if your plan comes with one. These steps assume a PC with Linux, steps will be similar on other platforms:

1: Check your BIOS. Find the setting that looks something like 'Power after fail' and set it to 'Always on'. This is required to use the free APC rebooter port we supply with every colo. Also find 'Report errors' or 'Halt on' and set it to not report keyboard errors (generally this is the 'none' or 'disk only' setting). Also - while you can setup a BIOS password we do not recommend it as it will delay any repairs< you may need us to do in the future. You can check your settings by powering on your system with no keyboard / mouse attached. If the system gets to the boot loader screen without a keyboard error that setting is correct. You should also simulate a power outage by unplugging your server (at a safe time - such as the boot loader screen). Plug the server back in - if it boots without requiring the power switch to be pressed then the power settings are also correct. If you cannot get this function to work you will not be able to use the APC to reboot your server.

2: We also supply a free serial console port with every Colo! To be able to use the Serial Console you must configure your OS and bootloader. We have provided directions to configure Linux here.

3: Configure your OS network settings. After you signed your contract you should have received a welcome letter that included your IP address, netmask, default route, nameservers etc.

4: Label your system. Your label needs to have your 'primary' IP address (specified in your welcome letter). Any additional information such as business name, contact name, phone number, email etc would be useful if there is space. DO NOT put your root password on the label.

5: Password: If you wish to send us your root password so that we have it for emergency support issues, please put it in a letter with any information you think we may need. We will enter and encrypt this information in a local non-networked system.

6: Deliver your server. Pack your system securely and mail/deliver it to our address on our contact page. You MUST get a tracking number, and we recommend you get insurance.

7: Tracking notification.
Email support with the tracking #. This is critical to plan our workload for the week. We normally install systems within 24-48 hours of arrival. There may be a significant delay if a tracking number is not sent however.

What is an APC Reboot port?

An APC Reboot port is a power socket on a device made by APC™. If your server locks up it enables you to remotely reboot your server through a web page. The device does a 'hard boot' by turning off the power to your server for 30 seconds. See the first FAQ question for tips on how to make sure your system is setup to work with this device.

What is a Serial Console?

A serial console is a device which allows command-line (like telnet/ssh) access to your server over a serial port. This allows you to access and fix your server if a network/firewall setting is remotely misconfigured. More importantly you can remotely boot into single user, change kernel image or options, and see all the messages sent to the console at boot. Obviously this is crucial for remote support of servers - and while serial console devices have been used in large data centers with commercial Unix servers (such as Sun, HP etc) very few modern IP-centric data centers know much about them. Of the few Colo providers that offer the service, we are the only one that offers it as a free service with every Colo. Please see our serial console setup page.

What is the difference between buying a 'Colo' and buying 'IP'?

For our definition a 'Colo' is a single system housed in one of our Data Centers. It includes things such as an APC port, Serial Console port, etc. 'IP' means only bandwidth - generally to be shared among multiple systems. IP customers can be in one of our Data Centers (in which case they also rent rack space and power from us), or they are in a vendor neutral facility where we have a POP, or they are remote and have a leased line to one of our POP's (i.e. - they have a T1, DS3, OC3 etc). IP customers also get connectivity directly into one of our core routers.

When you say your network is not over-subscribed, what does that mean?

Most colo's have their networks deployed so that they have certain 'choke points' on the bandwidth. They do this not only to save money in equipment costs, but because these choke points will 'even out' the client bandwidth peaks by dropping a few packets causing the end device to slow down (because of the intelligence of modern TCP window implementations). This saves them money because even though the data is still transmitted (i.e. - the # GB xfer - which is often how they bill clients) or even slightly more because of re-transmission - the speed is lower (i.e. - the Mbs - which is how they are charged by their upstream providers). A good example of how they do this is by putting a large number of clients (often with 100M ports) on a switch that has a single 100M uplink to their core router. Obviously the clients must 'fight' for this bandwidth. This situation is especially bad for if there are also 10M unmetered servers on the same switch. We never do any of this. We make sure our unmetered servers always have their full bandwidth available and that our burst clients have their full burst rate available.

How do you measure bandwidth?

Beware! Many Colo companies measure and charge for bandwidth as In+Out (or advertise a total transfer amount that is 2x what you really get - i.e. a 500G transfer package that is 250G In and 250G Out). We do not penalize our customers for their inbound traffic. We, like most colocation services have plenty of excess In (or 'Pull') capacity and would be happy to let our customers use it. In fact we allow customers to use 2X their normal transfer inbound free (so that our 500G plan is actually 500G Out and 1000G In - but we will not advertise it as a 1.5T plan). We also offer significant discounts to IP customers that need a large amount in inbound bandwidth.

Do you offer a backup solution?

Very soon! We are working the kinks out of our backup solution. When we are finished all Colo and Dedicated customers will get about 3G of free backup storage!

Do you allow adult content?

As long as it is legal in the state of the Data Center you choose - yes. Please see our AUP.

Do you allow IRC?

No - some of our upstream's AUP's do not allow it.

I have an extra HD / ram / widget I would like to install in my Dedicated server, can I do that?

We pride ourselves on having reasonable prices for upgrades on our Dedicated servers - no $30/month memory here! If you still want to do it, we will install it if possible - but the overhead to track and return these parts is too high so we won't be able to send them back to you. To make up for this, we will do the installation for free. If this trade off is acceptable, contact support to see if your device will function in your Dedicated server.

What is DirectAdmin? What is a Control Panel?

A Control Panel (sometimes called a Web Control Panel or Hosting Control Panel) is a set of applications that makes it simple to offer and manage and sell Internet services such as Web sites, E-Mail, DNS domains, FTP, Databases, etc - generally through a Web interface. DirectAdmin (DA) is a powerful and easy to use Control Panel. We include a DA license with our Dedicated servers. The only serious flaw in DA is the default graphics. We highly suggest changing the default graphics, using the included 'power_user' template, or one of the free templates on the net. For more information about DA please see the DirectAdmin site and the online help site:

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