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Why businesses need clouds with bare-metal systems


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According to MarketsandMarkets, by the end of 2021, cloud data centers will process over 94% of the total workload. It’s easy to explain why businesses migrate to clouds: companies like how simple it is to rent capacities and solutions from providers. However, all that is more relevant to virtual machines.

The situation around dedicated servers is not as simple. They are, however, still indispensable for certain tasks, and allow client’s business to get the most out of its infrastructure. Our review of bare metal servers will show their advantages, when they are indispensable and how to seamlessly integrate them into corporate IT infrastructure.

The difference between bare metal cloud servers and virtual servers

Clouds with bare metal servers and virtual machines have a lot in common:

  • Both provide flexibility and scalability of infrastructure.
  • Both modes support the IaC approach (infrastructure as code), so users don’t have to do manual labor and edit server configurations by hand.
  • Both allow management capabilities by demand and allocate the budget by resource use.

However, bare metal servers have a host of advantages over virtual machines.

Offer direct access to the server

When renting a bare metal server, the user gets full control over the isolated equipment. In the single-user environment, the client has root access to the server. They use the CPU, memory, and bandwidth resources on their own, which ensures maximum productivity under peak load. Virtual machines are different: many machines may be launched within one server, and the user cannot directly control the overall load of the server.

More capacity

Virtual machines are not as predictable. Their productivity can change when they are transferred between servers, which may also lead to extra expenses. Bare metal servers are more stable because they cannot be transferred or tampered with unless the user requests or authorizes it. Their productivity is higher and more predictable: bare metal servers don’t use virtualization and computational resources are distributed between the client’s apps.

Allow equipment to be checked

Virtual machine users don’t know the state of the equipment the provider gives them. It might be cheap and outdated, and the load on the host’s infrastructure might be too big because of overselling. With bare metal servers, such problems cannot occur. The client has direct access to hardware, fully controlling the environment, and they’re able to check the equipment and details at any point.

Guarantee more safety

It might seem that launching a virtual machine within an operating system ensures extra safety. However, it’s the other way around: the operating system on which the virtual machine works might also be vulnerable to hacking, exploits, or viruses. If something happens to the OS, it will also affect the safety of the virtual environment. Bare metal server users have direct access to the infrastructure, which means they have everything it takes to prevent any safety issues proactively, especially since bare metal servers also support extra protection measures provided by vendors.

Allow expenses to be predicted more precisely

Cloud provider clients don’t always realize that bare metal servers are more economical than virtual machines. At first glance, bare metal servers seem more expensive than virtual hosting, but their benefits are usually more obvious in the longer term. This is due to the fixed service costs. Unlike virtual machines, a private server has a maximum bandwidth limit, so clients don’t have to worry about possible overspending and extra expenses. As a result, cloud resources on bare metal servers oftentimes turn out to be cheaper than renting the same computing capacities, with the same cores, memory, and storage, within virtual hosting.

When bare metal servers are indispensable

There are a lot of tasks for which bare metal servers are a better fit than virtual ones. Here are some of them:

  1. High-productivity computing: when it’s important to specifically select and set up hardware for maximum efficiency while avoiding overhead costs. In the G-Core Labs public cloud, tasks like configuration management, orchestration, and adding new bare metal servers can be automated via API.
  2. Apps with high output traffic capacity, especially those targeted at collaborative work and real-time communication. To solve such tasks, G-Core Labs has set up a high-speed network.
  3. Apps where safety matters. Bare metal servers are particularly suitable for the apps that use the features of Intel processors: end-to-end encryption and a trusted operating environment. According to Ron Perez, a researcher from Intel Data Platform Group, the Intel SGX technology, which is used in bare metal servers, has serious advantages over alternative solutions that operate on virtual machines. He says such an approach allows to get maximum productivity and control. You can obtain such results by renting bare metal servers with the support of Intel SGX in G-Core Labs’ public cloud. Among other things, the provider ensures the protection of your projects against DDoS attacks on the network and transport level.
  4. Work with big data and machine learning. First, such tasks are cheaper to solve on bare metal servers. Second, no matter how smart machine learning algorithms are, they’re useless without high-productivity computing power and fast input/output, neither of which is known to be a forte of virtual cloud servers. In the G-Core Labs public cloud, you can use a cloud with bare metal services for such purposes, integrating it with the AI platform to make the machine learning process faster and cheaper.
  5. Workloads for which quick database access is required. In such cases, G-Core Labs users can use a DSS with the support of NVMe. Additionally, external storage capacities can be connected to the internal buses of bare metal servers.
  6. Clusters of recommendation systems and analytical systems, which require specific equipment and storage to work with real-time capacity.
  7. AdTech and Fintech apps, especially those with real-time betting (RTB) and those that require quick access to the users’ profiles and info about their assets.
  8. Gaming apps, which need adjustable equipment and high capacity for raw computing or 3D rendering.

However, no matter how much better bare metal servers are suited for many tasks, it’s not always right to put them up against virtual machines. It’s often more efficient and profitable to use both solutions within a joint IT infrastructure, especially since it’s easy to do with cloud services.

How to combine the advantages of bare metal and virtual servers

G-Core Labs’ new offering, Bare-Metal-as-a-Service, allows businesses to deploy bare metal nodes in the cloud within minutes. It combines the high capacity of traditional dedicated servers with the simplicity of working with virtual machines under the IaaS model.

In combination with the provider’s other solutions, the new server gives the public cloud users a ready-to-use, flexible infrastructure, which allows the simultaneous management of dedicated servers and virtual machines, public and private networks, as well as other cloud products. It allows clients to both efficiently and economically use resources and gives them additional scenarios of infrastructure utilization. For example, in a public cloud, a customer may run production environments on bare metal servers, deploying extra virtual machines within minutes when the load peaks. This extra capacity will be easy to then delete.

The combined solution ensures global scalability, high safety, and reliability of cloud infrastructure, allowing businesses to exploit the advantages of both virtual machines and bare metal services. It’s convenient because the first ones are suitable for one kind of task, like apps with short-time load peaks, and the second ones are perfect for other situations, including the operation of productivity-sensitive apps.

Sponsored by G-Core Labs


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