What is a Bare-Metal Server and Why Should You Use It? - Wowrack Blog

July 21, 2021 - doddy

What is a Bare-Metal Server and Why Should You Use It?

A bare metal server is a subset of ‘traditional’ Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). Despite being old-fashioned, bare metal servers are still popular among many companies.

Typical hypervisor-backed cloud technologies are not able to completely replace what bare metal can offer. Bare metal servers still have an advantage in various aspects critical for compliance.

To better explain, this article will discuss what a bare metal server is, how it compares to other similar services, and how you can know that it will suit your needs.

What Does a Bare Metal Server Mean?

In short, bare metal servers are single-tenant, managed dedicated servers.

Most of the time, bare metal hardware is stored in a data center and provided by a managed IaaS provider. Users can rent bare metal servers from a colocation service provider, using either hourly, monthly, or annual subscription.

On bare metal servers, the operating system (OS) such as Linux or Windows is installed directly on to the server. This lets users access their infrastructure and resources directly, eliminating layers that sometimes slow down performance.

Additionally, users can experience high-performing environment, similar to on-premise environment.

Bare Metal vs Cloud Hypervisor VM (Virtual Machines)

Bare metal servers are often compared to hypervisor-supported cloud virtual machines (VM), the most recent technology in the IaaS world.

While bare metal allows a direct access to dedicated hardware, cloud uses hypervisor technology to run multiple VMs in a shared server. In other words, bare metal servers are dedicated to a single user, while hypervisor servers share server resources for multiple users.

Here are the top four ways bare metal servers are superior to VMs:

  • Performance
    Bare metal servers perform faster and better than any software-defined serverless environments, thanks to the absence of virtualization layers.

    With this in mind, a bare metal server can run workloads that need direct access to hardware or require high-performing computing.
  • Security
    Being single-tenant or dedicated hardware, bare metal servers are highly secure as users don’t have to share server resources with other tenants.

    This security edge is ideal for companies who must comply to certain compliance and security standards.
  • Control
    Bare metal allows users to directly access their hardware, enabling them to customize and control their infrastructure according to their needs. Users can scale, upgrade, and add resources easily as they please.
  • Cost Efficiency
    Despite being a little bit more costly than software-defined services, bare metal services are cost-efficient on their own terms. This service offers a predictable cost, eliminating the surprising cost increases so often associate with public cloud bills.

That said, a bare metal service typically costs more than a virtual machine. For that reason, bare metal servers are not for every type of business needs. But who should and shouldn’t use it?

Who Should Use Bare Metal Servers? And Why?

If you only need to host a company website or app that doesn’t consume many resources, bare metal servers are not necessary. A simple cloud hosting is often a better solution for you.

However, for companies who need to meet certain compliance and security standards, or those who need to run heavy workloads and access their hardware directly, bare metal servers are a perfect fit for them.

In general, finance, healthcare, retail, and e-commerce opt for bare metal solutions. But this doesn’t mean that other companies should not use bare metal technology. Everything depends on your company’s IT needs.

Therefore, it is advisable to analyze your IT needs prior to making a purchase. If you are not sure what is the best compute environment for your application, you can always consult us. We will help you find the best-fit solutions for your needs.

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