In addition to the cost of renting space in the facility, bandwidth charges account for the largest portion of costs. The bandwidth charge by a Dallas colocation provider refers to the amount of data that is transferred to and from the facility. Most providers will include a base amount of bandwidth made available for use. This quota is measured in gigabytes (GB). The amount of bandwidth offered ranges from as little as two GBs to hundreds of GBs per month. The GB use will depend on the customer. For users with larger or more varied transfer requirements, a charge per GB will be applied for transfers made over the base limit. Packages and pricing options will be made available to the customer when negotiating the contract. It is important, however, to understand how the facility will calculate fees. Straight Data Rate The straight data rate is the easiest to calculate. The traffic to and from the facility is metered and a set price is applied per GB. This charge is billed to the user monthly. The rate per GB can vary, and there are different pricing plans offered by most colocation facilities in Dallas. These vary depending on the speed and type of connection. Better rates can also be negotiated for higher transfer volumes. Customers should be aware that the charge will cover both the inbound and outbound traffic. 95th Percentile The 95th percentile method is another calculation used to measure bandwidth based on peak utilization. Average bandwidth measurements are recorded at regular intervals, commonly three to five minutes apart. At the end of the billing period, the readings are collated and analyzed. The top 5 percent of readings are discarded, and the resulting measurement becomes the billable rate. This rate is then applied uniformly across the billing cycle by some Dallas colocation facilities to determine the overall monthly fee. The 95th percentile rate is basically used to handle spikes in usage. It allows users to use larger-than-normal amounts of bandwidth but not pay for the peak usage. Users with consistently high levels of data transfers with infrequent but drastic spikes in traffic benefit most. There is, however, the possibility of paying for large volumes of unused bandwidth. With this model, only the top 36 hours of peak traffic are discarded within a month. If the website was bursting for 48 hours, a user would be stuck with this higher rate for the month. Final Considerations It is important for a company to have a good estimate of how much data it might transfer. If unsure, many Dallas colocation facilities will offer a flexible contract. This allows for renegotiating a higher base level of bandwidth or different package.