Bare metal servers for retail: Why this is profitable?

Dedicated servers are perfect for reducing expenses, launching new services: They are productive, flexible, affordable

Sponsored Retailers around the world are paying particular attention to building IT infrastructure, which is important for reducing expenses and launching new services under harsh competition. Dedicated servers are perfect for this: they are productive, flexible, and affordable

Retailers realize the importance of IT

The pandemic has shown that traditional physical stores cannot survive without the technological development that makes shopping more convenient. Large retailers have started working with IT: they launched mobile apps and are focusing on loyalty programs. This allows them to follow their customers’ activities more precisely and to predict their behavior with AI. However, these tasks require high-productivity calculations.

According to The Spiceworks Ziff Davis, in 2021, brands’ investments in infrastructure increased by a third as compared to the previous year. At the same time, 56% of the survey respondents are planning to increase their cloud expenses, while reducing their investments in hardware.

What’s a bare metal server?

A bare metal server is a physical server rented by a company. Unlike a virtual machine, a bare metal server provides exclusive access to the server to a single customer who can use all the hardware resources and all the bandwidth. Therefore, the client directly regulates the server’s load and does not depend on other users and their virtual machine needs.

A bare metal server is basically a remote desktop. It can be set up any way you want: you can install your own virtual machines on it, use the entire node for a single project, or split it between many projects. This is the server of choice for financial service app developers, for whom speed and data protection are critical. Such servers are also attractive for retailers — and there’s a several reasons why.

1. High speed of data processing and minimum latency

Problem: Huge amount of data. Retail has been working with big data for a long time. Sellers gather information about the customers and their preferences, while storing millions of stock list items. For example, on Amazon, in 2021, almost 6.5 million sellers were registered — so you can imagine the volume of information Amazon has to process every day. It’s impossible to carry out such tasks without high data processing speed.

How bare metal servers can help: Bare metal servers’ productivity is not only higher but also more predictable. They don’t use virtualization, which means that computational resources are distributed between the tasks of one single client. This allows evaluation of the load on the server and to know in advance, for example, whether a server will cope with a new service launch.

In the G-Core Labs cloud, when renting bare metal servers, high-capacity NVM disks can be used, which can help you process large volumes of data faster. Furthermore, in April 2021, G-Core became one of the first providers in the world to start integrating Intel Xeon Scalable 3rd gen processors (Ice Lake) into the infrastructure of its cloud services.

2. Fault tolerance and full access to hardware

Problem: Critical importance of downtime and faults. Even a 10-minute downtime of a supermarket or an online store means huge losses and backlash from the customers. Moreover, outdated prices or a mix-up of stock positions in CRM might lead to audits and fines. Such faults must be eliminated: each of them damages the customers’ trust to the retailer.

How bare metal servers can help: Bare metal servers are more stable, since they cannot be transported or readjusted without the user’s request or permission. In the G-Core Labs Bare-Metal-as-a-Service cloud, configuration management, orchestration and addition of new dedicated servers can be automated via API. This allows to quickly scale the platform depending on the user’s needs.

Additionally, G-Core Labs clouds are fully controlled by the customer, as if they were physically available in their office. Such hardware control allows equipment to be checked at any point and to make sure it’s viable.

3. High productivity and integration with the AI platform

Problem: Retailers demand more of their servers. An increasing number of retailers are using self-checkout desks to avoid queues. The next step is eliminating scanning and fully automatic recognition of all products as soon as the client puts them in the basket. The industry website claims that Amazon, Walmart, and other retail giants have started to invest a lot of money into technologies for “staff-free stores”. But for all this to really work, huge computational capacities are required, and algorithms must be extra precise.

“Retail is on the edge of a great transformation. Retailers need to hire AI developers for education, who can use any hardware to build a scalable and affordable solution. Only the best AI can turn smart retail from ambition to reality”, says Yonatan Geifman, CEO and cofounder of Deci, a company that develops AI algorithms.

How bare metal servers can help: Particularly important here are AI platforms that simplify the development, training, deployment, and operation of machine learning models. G-Core Labs offers its clients a cloud with bare metal servers that can be used together with the cloud AI platform. It has ready-to-use data processing frameworks, support of joint work on models, and management of uninterrupted model delivery in real time. It’s also possible to manually analyze the business requirements, develop the optimal AI strategy, and select the right software for the tasks.

4. Extra safety

Problem: Protection of personal data and financial transactions. Thanks to loyalty programs and online stores, retailers can get to know their customers better. Now, their databases not only store the clients’ names and phone numbers but also a lot of other information. Its disclosure might lead to serious trouble for both the data operators and the clients. The volume of such data is growing as well — for instance, the number of eBay customers reached 187 million by 2021.

Besides customer personal data, another source that needs to be protected is the massive amounts of video recordings from cameras in physical stores. Such cameras used to provide blurry pictures with barely-recognizable faces, but now retailers use equipment with modern arrays and high definition. The data recorded on such cameras requires extra protection.

How bare metal servers can help: G-Core Labs guarantees a high level of protection of personal data, including the data businesses obtain during acquiring. The provider’s cloud is certified under PCI DSS 3.2.1 for payment card data storage, processing, and transfer. The company Compliance Control Ltd. annually performs QSA audits to ensure G-Core meets the requirements and stores the information safely.

Besides, G-Core Labs dedicated servers are located in secure Tier III and IV data centers in many cities worldwide: Luxembourg, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, Moscow, Singapore, Tokyo, Istanbul, Santa Clara (USA) and Ashburn (USA). By the end of the year, bare metal servers will also appear in Hong Kong, Sao Paolo, Mumbai, and Johannesburg.

G-Core Labs’ new offering Bare-Metal-as-a-Service combines the high productivity of traditional dedicated servers with the simplicity of operation of virtual machines under the IaaS model. It takes just a few minutes to deploy a bare metal node in the cloud, after which the client gets access to flexible infrastructure, allowing them to use resources in an economical manner. Bare metal servers can also be used along with virtual machines: with the G-Core Labs cloud infrastructure, it’s easy to achieve.

Sponsored by G-Core

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