What Is Bare Metal Server? | Why Is It the Best Option for Online Businesses?

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As far as choosing the right server hosting for your online business is a concern, there are a lot of options out there, and you can use any of them to fulfil your website needs. The server that you are using for your website has a huge impact on your online performance and credibility. Some major servers’ options available for you are dedicated servers, cloud servers, VPS and bare metal servers. In this article, I would discuss the bare metal server and why it is a good option for your online business?

A bare metal server is a single-tenant physical server, which can create the base of a powerful, secure, and steady digital set-up. Numerous potential deficiencies linked with a shared virtual setting are not present in the bare metal environment. Bare metal virtualization also provides an inflexible knowledge. In the bare metal infrastructure, the resources are readily available, network latency is minimalized for good performance, and the root access is enjoyed by tenant. You can customize the Bare metal servers, and the tenant may improve the server depending on their needs. In this blog, I am going to provide you with a comprehensive about the bare metal environment. Read this article to make an informed decision about the bare metal servers’ utility and how it is suitable for your IT infrastructure.

What Is A Bare Metal Server?

A bare-metal server is single-tenant physical server like computer hardware. The term is currently used to differentiate it from advanced types of cloud hosting and virtualization. As Bare-metal servers are single-tenant servers, they cannot be shared between clients. Every server can run a number of tasks for the client or can have numerous real-time users, but they are entirely dedicated to the client who is leasing them. Different from a lot of servers in a data centre, you cannot be shared among several customers. Bare metal servers are ‘physical’ servers and every logical server accessible for rental has unique physical hardware that is also a functional server. They are not like virtual servers, running in shared hardware. On a bare-metal server, you can directly install the operating system to the server, it removes layers and delivers better performance. An online business can run dedicated servers in its colocation centre or own data center, or rent them on a monthly or hourly subscription from any managed service company.

Bare Metal Server Structure

The bare metal server’s structure is geared towards the specific requirements of the user. Bare metal infrastructure is completely separated from all servers in the public cloud and hosting company. They do offer a private cloud infrastructure that provides the same availability as the public cloud for workers. Other than the ability to completely customize, bare-metal servers do not have any resources taken up by a cloud operating system. They are not considered down by other users, guaranteeing effective performance, for example, better control of traffic spikes and faster load times. The data isolation also automatically improves its safety. Fundamentally, there are two variabilities: bare metal servers with hypervisor and traditional bare-metal servers.

  • Traditional Bare Metal Server: Traditional bare metal servers are known to be the dedicated servers where the user-administered operating system, for example, Ubuntu, Windows Server, Red Hat, SUSE, CentOS, or Debian depends on the hardware. All applications of the user then directly run on the OS. These kinds of servers include both self-hosted servers and dedicated rental servers for companies in their locations.
  • Hypervisor Bare Metal Servers: In a cloud environment, you can use the bare metal servers with hypervisors. This model is based on the hardware (hypervisor) and offers a management interface for controlling virtual machines to the users. In virtualized guest operating systems, the user applications run distinctly, instead of running on the hypervisor. Some of the common hypervisors are Citrix XenServer, the native virtualization Linux kernel feature, vSphere from VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, or KVM.

A bare metal hypervisor server allows several guest systems operations

When the several dedicated servers’ hardware resources are accessible to the user as a component of a bare metal hosting, this is called a bare-metal cloud. The hosting bare metal grants users wide-ranging access to the server’s rights; when a shared hosting client can only control a single virtual machine, the user-managed bare metal server components of software (hypervisor or OS) depends on the hardware. There is no level of abstract managed by the host among the server’s hardware resources and the user.

In the market, the most important product of bare metal devices is the hypervisor-based usage set-up. Through the virtualization software-driven by the user, this concept of hosting allows the simple and fast supply of VMs. A hypervisor bare metal server, therefore, provides a flexible substitute to the traditional dedicated server that is linked with time-consuming manual setup.

Why Should We Use Bare Metal Server?

Bare metal servers are a good choice for small to medium businesses, as it provides a low-cost hosting solution that can scale and automate the allocation of resource quickly. Some experts say that the bare metal servers’ use is declining as compared to other options for hosting. Nevertheless, in many industries, this kind of server is still an extremely popular choice. This is the platform’s unique features allow for an elite performance level, security, and power. In 2016, the total value of bare metal servers’ market was almost $1.3 billion. By 2025, it is anticipated that it would reach $ 26.21 billion, stated by Grandview Research.

Some industries depend on dedicated hosting and colocation are the financial services and banking industry-government, and health care. Moreover, bare metal is good for high-intensity jobs, for example, database apps or business intelligence. Media encoding operations and render farms are instances of projects that use this option instead of virtualized servers because of high levels of performance.

For the software development businesses, the bare metal servers as a reasonable way to launch and test their products.

Some industries required high data security, and precise data operations world-class performance are more likely to use the bare metal machine. With the high demand for big data, this market is expected to grow continuously. In these sectors, there are many large enterprises that are expected to drive more usage. Up until 2016, the SMBs was a potential customer for the bare metal infrastructure. The major growth driver over the market is anticipated to be technological advancements and advertising.

Major Benefits of Using Bare Metal Server

High Website Performance

Bare metal servers offer high-performance computing, where any overhead must be evaded, and components of hardware are tuned and selected for optimized performance: such as computing clusters for designing silicon chip. The Single-tenant physical server’s resources can be optimized for your unique workloads so that it performs based on your needs. So, it can be said that the bare metal servers can improve your website’s overall performance by making your resources more secure and scalable. The bare metal cloud allows high-performance computing.

The bare metal application can be modified for features and performance, be it incapacitating hyperthreading in the CPU or IPMI configurations and changing BIOS. A Price-Performance Analysis report in 2018 stated: Bare Metal vs. Cloud Hosting, INAP Bare Metal was tested compared to Amazon AWS cloud and IBM offerings. In Hadoop cluster performance testing, cluster of INAP finished the tasks 6 per cent faster as compared with the Bare Metal cluster of IBM Cloud and 6 per cent faster comparing with EC2 offering of AWS, and 3 per cent faster as compared to EMR offering of AWS.

Server Access

You can access the bare metal servers via a private network, and the tenant uses remote desktop access to connects with the device. A private network connection is formed through the VPN by linking to a selected end-point. In case you want a connection with Linux-based server, you can do it through a Secure Shell tunnel. Doing this, you can have access to the server as it is physically existing on the workstation. For improving the security, remote desktop access software encodes on the server’s side and your side.

Primarily, you will have access to the server as a root user. This is the ‘superuser’ who can do anything on the server. If you want to restrict the hazard of unintentional changes, you have to create a non-root user.

Flexibility

The businesses can run bare-metal servers from a colocation centre, in-house data centres, or collaborate with a managed hosting provider for leasing a server. You can use any of these options that have their own advantages and disadvantages but, for small to medium-size businesses, the best solution is to lease a bare metal server. The bare metal deployment is also very easy, you can quickly deploy a leased server, and there are a lot of IT service providers offer pre-configured dedicated servers that you can use to do any kind of work. For example, the secure bare metal servers depending on the scalable processors of Intel Xeon with low-cost enterprise-grade solutions for any intensive work you can perform on them. The bare metal server allows complete control of the hardware environment.

Customizability
One of the best things about the bare metal server is that you can customize it based on your online business needs. You can choose the features and specifications of your choice. Whether you require a specific GPU model, NVMe storage for high IOPS, or a unique RAID level or RAM-to-CPU ratio, bare metal is completely customizable. Your bare metal server can be customized and you can add the features that you required.

Save More Time

The major difference between traditional dedicated and bare metal servers becomes quite visible when you see the contract terms and pricing. With bare metal, you can get the high-level performance of a typical dedicated server, but it has a more flexible, billing model. On the other side, traditional servers are naturally borrowed through yearly or monthly contracts, you can get a bare metal server for an as short or long period as need– and you just pay for what you want. This is a perfect option for applications and websites with higher rates of traffic at peak times, for example during seasonal events or sales. Now you can get more cost-effective compute resources with bare metal servers.

There are two types of server to serve two different scenarios of usage. Definitive dedicated servers offer to host resources to be used constantly for months or years. On the other hand, bare metal servers can be shut down or launched at short notice, though the performance of dedicated is required for a few hours or days. With bare metal, you can depend on cloud integration with nominal adjustments, so it is simple to get dedicated hardware running together with VMs or virtual private servers to generate hybrid, load-balanced systems. Frequently this can be managed through the single control panel in the cloud.

Security and Reliability

Bare metal is a single-tenant physical server that physically isolates your applications, data and resources for achieving higher security and privacy as compared with a virtual server. With these servers, you can get rid of the “noisy neighbour effect” as you are not sharing your resources with tenants like hypervisor server.

Cost Predictability
The bare metal server offers high bandwidth that removes the requirement to concern about bandwidth cost excesses that can cause substantial differences in consumption costs of cloud and are the main concern for numerous businesses. For instance, it is concluded in the Price Performance Analysis report that Bare Metal machine configuration of INAP was 32% less cost as compared with the same IBM Cloud’s configuration.

How to Manage Bare Metal Server?

It is believed that you need a large IT professionals’ team to operate bare metal servers. It can be true for a solution on-premise; it can not certainly be the situation when it comes to leasing and colocation. Managed service providers provide a complete variety of services to support you in running your business. It means you can reduce your processes by IT work outsourcing to a service provider and pay more attention to your business goals. For instance, in case you lease a completely managed server to resell hosting, you can focus on vending services while everything else is managed by your IT service provider.

The degree to which you contribute to the servers can vary, usually, you have to cover the following aspects to manage the bare metal server:

Updates and Patches

Daily update the operating system and do software patches. It will help you to keep your bare metal server secure from hateful attacks. Similarly, you should also run the rkhunter, chkrootkit, and clamav server tools frequently.

Password Management

change the passwords of your server on a regular basis, including root and administrative users’ password.

Monitoring

It is essential for you to monitor significant operational metrics of the server, firewalls, switches, etc. You have to set up early alarms and thresholds that will inform when any threshold has been overlapped.

Remote Hands

Appropriate server management of the bare metal environment comprises the aptitude to customize it internationally with no significant notification.

Monitoring and Setting Up Firewalls

These are pieces of software or hardware that forbid unwanted traffic. The firewall rules are set up by the user to limit traffic by destination IP address, IP protocol, or by any service port. The main purpose is to know which ports you want to open and what is the purpose behind it.

Unfortunately, there is no one-fits-all solution. Each example may need a unique way to manage traffic.

Operational Management

This comprises tasks’ myriad, such as domain name services, hardware replacement, data migration, bare metal backup and recovery, etc.

Role-Based Access

In case a large number of members in your organization access with a bare metal server, you have to form role-based segregation of permissions and duties for all individuals.  

Make Effective Use of APIs and Client Portals

A lot of enterprise-grade bare metal providers provide a portal of client that grants insight of clients into their resources and also provides an opportunity to easily scale through an API or a portal interface.  

All in all, it can be said that bare metal provides the best that advanced technology is offering. While hosting bare metal with an Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider, you can rapidly scale worldwide by leveraging the expertise of the service provider across all professional scopes of controlling such infrastructure. It means you get a reasonable method to cluster your resources, internationally.

Initial Setup of Bare Metal Servers

Identifying Needs

Primary, all organizations want to be aware of the way they plan about bare metal use. Consider your use case; will it be a network device, application server, or database server; do you propose to use it for production or dev/QA? Every exceptional need for use case has different setups, and with good research, you definitely won’t find the accurate solution for you.

While defining your needs, you should also think about configuration.

Non-Configured Setups and Off the Shelf Configurations

There are off the shelf configurations that are made for explicit jobs. Many managed service providers provide preconfigured servers for heavy graphical processing, data crunching, and for other specialized workloads types. Even if an organization needs a specific setup, many sales teams will support you acquire the appropriate bare metal server.

Control Panels, Database Software, and OS Options

This is one important advantage of bare metal servers. The whole idea of ‘bare’ suggests a clean slate, means you can use the full potential of a server. You choose the basic relational database software (e.g., MySQL), the operating system (e.g. Ubuntu, Microsoft Server 2016, CentOS) the control panel add-ons and control panel, you get root access, and you got complete control. You have the choice of doing a custom installation or set up your hypervisor to generate a virtualized environment. All these choices can be altered after your preliminary deployment but be aware that such adjustments will need some deletion of data.

Buy or Lease

Buy

The decision to buy or lease depends on your requirements and needs. Buying a server offers supreme hardware access, but you have to pay a price for it. Even if you set away from the essential and frequently considerable upfront investments, there are continuing server administration and maintenance costs you should keep in mind.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is the best choice for you. TCO comprises your preliminary investments and also the operational expenses, such as technical support, redundancy and system uptime.

In case you choose to buy, plan whether you are going to run things on-premise or lease racks at a colocation centre that set up rooms made primarily for servers. On-premise buying can have an effect on your budget as you will require to maintain and achieve data center-like situations.

Instead, private colocation grants you the redundancy, interconnectivity, electrical power, cooling, and stringent security rules of a data centre, although all at once, the hardware placement is also in your control. There are a lot of hosting companies providing enormous hosting options with direct access to the cloud service of Amazon. Usually, colocation is a functional plan only if you are looking for high-end expensive servers or numerous bare metal servers in the marketplace.

Lease

Already, you may have observed that a bare metal server leasing is the most convenient and most straightforward option for deployments. Making sure the right situations and bare metal servers scaling in-house is very annoying. This is the reason; many large organizations lease as a cost-effective and simple alternative.

Several service providers offer high network uptime and fast deployment. For instance, using Temok services, your server can be deployed within a few hours, if the command does not have any instructions, and provides 100% uptime. In case a component fails, onsite staff will control troubleshooting and resolve the problem. Though, you need to monitor for hardware failures proactively and submit a support ticket.

Location of Server

Once you have decided the method of payment the next step is to select the location of the server. In this fast-paced environment, bringing the speediest outcome is vital. in 2016, a study conducted by Google’s DoubleClick stated that the businesses are impacted by slow loading times. They stated that “53 per cent of mobile website visits are uncontrolled if pages take more than 3 seconds to load.” The location of your servers also has an impact on the response time, especially, you want to evade data passing via multiple processing points beforehand service delivery.

Irrespective of whether you choose to place servers in a colocation centre or lease, you should sensibly pick the most suitable server company. Start by identifying the geographical location of your users. In the case of international business, it is recommended to find a global service provider with several points of presence.

On-Premise

There is a substitute to buy and manage the server on the property of the company. It is also known as an on-premise setup. Though, servers need specific conditions to uphold appropriate function. humidity, Temperature, proximity to automated cooling and the physical safety server are the most significant concerns.

Moreover, security is of supreme status. Some businesses, for example, payment processing and healthcare, recommend very stringent rules for security (i.e., PCI and HIPAA).

Organizations dispensation delicate info should follow these rules and failing to do so can take you in trouble, if a customer data breach has any effect on their infrastructure or systems. This can make an on-premise setup time-consuming and complicated. Efficient IT service providers sustain HIPAA Compliance and PCI-DSS, therefore offers a protected platform for business.

The organizations should not install bare metal servers on-premise if they are not very sure that they can maintain the appropriate environmental conditions, adhere to security protocols and maintain efficient redundancy.

Public Bandwidth

You should be very clear about your website traffic you are expecting to get in future. Many of the managed service companies provide anywhere ranging from 15 TB of free public bandwidth monthly. If you foresee higher volumes of traffic, make sure to upgrade your plan for service. Efficient service providers may provide up to 250 TB bandwidth at 550Gbps+ capacity to lessen latency of the network.

RAID Setup

Hard disc drive failure (HDD) is a common problem you would come across while setting up your server setup. Furthermore, in case you choose a managed service, then it is not your task to substitute the hard drive, you definitely would not need to lose your valuable data. Redundant array of independent disks (RAID) is a redundant system that uses multiple hard drives for storing your data. The data is now written to drives in the array, therefore allow the hard drive to fail without any data loss. For the critical workload, RAID can be used, where loss and failure of data would be detrimental and catastrophic to a company. You should keep in mind that the main purpose of RAID is to decrease the downtime, but it does not remove the backups’ need.

There are numerous levels of RAID, defined as follow:

RAID 0 – Data is split and chunked among drives through striping, therefore increases the read and write speeds. This setup is not very secure because in case one hard drive fails, your entire data will be lost. The working capacity of RAID 0 is similar to the entire physical capacity.

RAID 1 –This arrangement uses a procedure known as ‘mirroring.’ It writes data to hard disks so in case of the hard disk fails, none of your data will be lost. Remember that this halves the storage volume. It means that if your storage space is 20 TB, you have only 10 TB as usable capacity.

RAID 5 – in case of RAID 5, data is written on all drives (at least three drives) with added data known as ‘parity.’ If the hard disk fails, your data will be retrieved using additional information. The usable capacity is the entire storage less one hard drive. It takes hits for performance throughout a write stage, so for database servers, it is not suggested to use.

RAID 10 –This is a mixture of RAID 0and RAID 1. Data is ordered as stripes diagonally numerous hard drives, and then striped disks are mirrored. It has 50%usable capacity of the whole physical capacity.

Bare Metal Servers Vs Virtualization

The virtualized setting is the main substitute for the bare metal server. Several modifications dictate the worth of the environment for business. Primarily, let’s describe the virtual machines and then state the major distinctions among the two infrastructures.

As far as the cloud instances is a concern, every virtual machine is a component of a shared hosting infrastructure that can have numerous tenants. For instance, each tenant can have a virtual machine on a shared server. In the case of advanced deployments, though, virtualized infrastructures can be dedicated, that means there is hardware’s segregation.

 Private Cloud hosting is an example of a customizable cloud service of single-tenant.

Mostly, virtual machines are easily budget-friendly and scalable but lack the bare metal servers’ computing power.

Security

As compared with the public cloud, bare metal servers and server colocation have a focus on the security because of their remoteness from clients. In the multi-tenant virtualized servers’ world, data streams infected by malware can have an impact on the resources’ distribution across the server. Though other data streams are inaccessible from the contamination, the neighbours can suffer from redirected resource load.

Performance

As far as the performance is a concern, bare metal server overtakes virtual machines. As there is a single tenant on a dedicated server, that has access to all the physical resources without sharing them. A virtual server can detach customers, but optimized resources are shared by those customers on the same physical server. The hypervisor’s presence forbids the software’s use which can take benefit physical hardware’s architectural perks. That places bare metal users at a unique position to effectively use the hardware resources.

Resource Usage

On bare metal servers, resource usage is predictable as compared to virtualized cloud infrastructure. If you plan on data crunching or running apps with high usage spikes, the bare metal server is probably the best choice for you. In the cloud, crunching data will definitely get very costly as you have to provision huge capacities to sustain expectable performance.

Scaling

Virtual machines are easier to scale as extra resources can be provisioned in a few minutes. It means that you need to plan ahead with bare metal servers. It is a little bit challenging to scale and adjustment to current requires.

One more thing to consider is that for some use cases a single bare metal virtual machine does not provide sufficient resources. For instance, a single virtual machine can be 64 GB RAM, 8 vCPU and2 TB of storage. In distinction, a bare metal may provide the maximum resource of advanced technology.

Control

A single tenant has more control over one physical server as compared to the people does in the cloud. The bare metal infrastructure lets the client fully predict and control memory usage, bandwidth and other significant web hosting aspects.

Long-Term Hosting

Virtual machines are normally deployed for short-term usage, though bare metal is known to be one of the preferred long-term deployments hosting solutions. There are numerous important contributing aspects.

First, there are no tenants to contest with for the server’s physical resources, so it would be easier to combine and scale your resources. Although several service providers do not place a rigid limit on virtual resources. 

Furthermore, the requirements of the organizations keep evolving by time. The added options for customization in the bare metal feature means that bare metal servers provide an extensive range of loads. Also, it can be an outstanding starting point for a hybrid infrastructure. A hybrid infrastructure combines modern cloud solutions and bare metal servers to offer the best of both worlds.

Businesses with compliance rules can use the dedicated servers to increase their security. The sectors of finance, healthcare, and government must have the personal and financial information of end-users in submissive infrastructure. For these use cases, the colocation hosting server is a better option.

Dedicated Vs. Bare Metal Servers

Most of the times the term dedicated servers and bare metal servers are used interchangeably, both of them are quite similar but not identical. There is not a lot of difference in their servers, but the way these are delivered by providers.

Factually, dedicated servers have been linked with long provisioning times, increments in billing on a yearly or monthly basis, and frequently have low-end hardware.

The idea of bare metal servers increases as a reply to the negative links with dedicated hosting and servers. Companies focusing in bare metal servers provide dedicated hardware in something closer to the model cloud service, with provisioning times a few minutes, by the hours, and hardware can be inexpensive or high-end components, with graphics processing units. Dedicated servers are known to be the lower-priced substitute for users who do not need these qualities.

Conclusion

This article is a comprehensive discussion on bare metal servers. In this article, I have made some comparisons between a bare metal with other servers offered by hosting companies. Because of the enormous benefits offered by bare metal servers, companies are considering it a potential solution for their website hosting needs. A bare metal server is a single-tenant physical server, which can create the base of a powerful, secure, and steady digital set-up.

You can also do customization for these servers, and the tenant can improve the server based on their needs. The infrastructure of the servers is completely separated from other servers in the public cloud and hosting company. A bare metal server with hypervisor provides a flexible alternative to the traditional servers with time-consuming setup. The bare metal deployment is very easy, you can deploy a leased server quickly, and there are many IT service providers provide pre-configured dedicated servers that can be used to do any kind of job. The bare metal server provides high bandwidth that eliminates the need to concern about bandwidth cost excesses that can cause considerable differences in costs’ consumption of cloud and are also a matter of concern for businesses. The rules firewall is set up by the user to limit traffic by destination IP address, service port or by IP protocol. On-premise purchasing can have an impact on your budget as you will need to maintain data centre-like situations. When you have chosen the method of payment the next step is to choose the server’s location. Organizations allowance delicate info should follow these instructions and failing to do so can take you in problem, if a client data breach has any effect on infrastructure. Sometimes the term dedicated servers and bare metal servers are used as alternatives, although both of them are similar but not identical to each other. I hope the information I have shared in this article is helpful for you. Reading this article, you would have a good idea about the characteristics of bare metal servers and how they are different from other servers such as cloud and dedicated servers.  Do share this information in your circle.

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James William

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3 Comments on “What Is Bare Metal Server? | Why Is It the Best Option for Online Businesses?”

  1. The bare metal server is a physical server dedicated to a single tenant. The servers tenant can optimize the server according to ti its needs for performance, security, and reliability. The alternative to a bare metal server is a hypervisor server, in which multiple users share a virtual server compute, storage and other resources.

  2. Avatar Varun says:

    Thank you for sharing about bare metal server. You have written so well and in detail. Such a helpful post.

  3. Avatar Suraj says:

    Really it was an interesting article about Bare Metal Server.. Thanks for sharing an in depth article..

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