IT infrastructures are now increasingly relying on cloud technology. More and more companies have been delocalizing their hardware infrastructure to providers offering more flexible hosting solutions. The cloud has disrupted the hosting ecosystem, with virtual machines taking the largest market share. In this light, the idea of bare metal servers may sound like a countertrend. Still, they remain extremely popular.
Research shows that the market share for bare metal servers is expected to surge at a CAGR of 25% from 2022 to 2032 and reach USD 16.4 billion by 2026.
As the name suggests, this hosting solution is all about the actual physical components i.e. the hardware. Bare metal servers are the oldest hosting option to survive the shift to cloud. They offer the best performance available for those running ambitious web projects and industries that need a very high level of performance, power and security.
Choosing the correct server can have a considerable impact on your business activities and can prove to be a cumbersome task. This article aims to introduce you to the bare metal environment so you can make an informed decision and figure out if they are the best fit for your IT infrastructure.
What is a bare metal server?
Bare metal servers are physical computers without a basic operating system or installed applications. They consist of a hardware assembly and some computer components with firmware or a Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) software utility. A bare metal server is specifically designed to run dedicated services without interruption. This web hosting solution counts as one of the most highly stable, durable and trustworthy in the web hosting industry.
These are the advantages of bare metal servers
The bare metal server offers you the best digital experience without compromises. All potential problems associated with a shared virtual environment do not apply here and you can handle high-intensity critical workloads without network latency. Let's look at some of the main features that characterize the bare metal environment in detail.
The benefits of single tenancy
Bare metal servers are so-called single-tenant hosting solutions, meaning that the physical resources of a single server are allocated to one tenant only.
This physical separation from other tenants frees bare metal servers from the so-called "noisy neighbor effect," which usually affects virtual environments. Bare metal servers offer performance predictability, making them the most stable cloud solution and perfect for processing large volumes of data.
A highly customizable environment
In a shared cloud environment, you only have access to the guest operating system and management interface used to create the virtual machine. Therefore, server administration is limited to project folders. You do not have direct access to the physical hardware and are not allowed to make changes to the root of the shared hosting platform. With a bare metal server, you get direct access to the server and the ability to leverage all of the underlying hardware architectures. This makes it a highly customizable solution that you can fine-tune according to your needs.
Best performance, efficiency and security
Bare metal servers do not require different software layers. There is no software or operating system in between and the bare metal hypervisor (called hypervisor type 1) is installed directly on top of a physical server and its underlying hardware. There is also one layer of software less between you and your physical hardware in everyday use. Using a bare metal server means you can tune the server to specific workloads for better performance, get the most out of cloud technology while enjoying greater security and privacy.
Bare metal server vs. dedicated server
Bare metal servers are not modern inventions. Dedicated servers have been around for quite some time. Both solutions offer physical hardware and not a virtualized piece of cloud. Furthermore, they both provide single-tenant solutions, DDoS protection and the chance to choose between managed or unmanaged service hosting. You are free to install software or applications with complete server control in both cases.
So, what's the difference? Although the similarities outweigh the differences, it is still possible to outline some details that make bare metal servers unique in terms of technological advancement. The bare metal server is a dedicated server but represents a next-generation solution with cutting-edge technology. That is why it is not rare to find a distinction between traditional dedicated servers and bare metal servers. All in all, bare metal servers offer a higher level of performance.
Virtualization and cloud computing: are they the same? After shedding some light on the matter and explaining what their respective benefits are, we will clarify how they come into play together.
Are bare metal servers the right solution for your project?
Hosting has become an essential component of every company's IT infrastructure. There is no better solution in terms of performance, security, reliability and customization capabilities.
Bare metal servers are ideal for companies that need to meet stringent requirements for regulatory compliance, privacy and security and must handle data-sensitive workloads. Professional web projects like high-traffic websites, online shops as well as data and application servers will find the perfect ally in this solution. Small and medium-sized businesses can also benefit from this solution if they are looking for a long-term, cost-effective and scalable hosting solution or want to back up more advanced and professional web projects with customized settings.
However, even considering all these advantages, some projects will be perfectly fine with a fully managed virtualized environment. Since you are not sharing the hardware with other tenants, you have to cover all the costs for the hardware, which usually makes this solution more expensive than other options. Furthermore, bare metal servers might not be the right choice for your business because they are advanced tools and to make optimal use of them, you need solid technical know-how in server administration. Nonetheless, this problem can be overcome thanks to our Managed Service.
We offer full SSD for even better performance
If the bare metal server solution is exactly what your business needs to thrive, InterNetX has what you need to power it up even more. All our bare metal servers use full Solid State Drives (SSD) as a standard. Although comparisons with hard disk drives (HDD) are common, the technology behind SSD is entirely different. They represent an evolution of HDD only from a conceptual point of view since they are both meant for data storage. The underlying technology behind the flash-memory based data storage was introduced in 1989 by West Digital. Its central feature is the absence of mechanical parts, which are replaced by a silicon rod and integrated chips. Your server can benefit from:
- higher speed in writing and reading data
- greater reliability with damage reduced to zero
- overall improvement of PC performance
SSD offers the right technology to deliver information in real time and offload read from transaction-heavy databases for high-performance servers.