When you are planning to set up a server in your organization, you always have to decide which kind of server you are going to choose. It can be either a bare metal server which is a physical server, or it can be a virtual server hosted on the cloud. Bare metal servers are well suited for small businesses where security is one of the primary requirements. And virtual servers are more suited for organizations that require more flexibility. Although bare metal servers are old-fashioned, they are still widely used come on many companies. According to Grandview Research, the market size of bare metal servers was around 1.3 billion USD in 2016, and it is expected to reach 26.21 billion USD by 2025. Further in this article. I will discuss about the fundamentals of bare metal servers.
What are Bare Metal Servers?
A bare metal server essentially means a physically dedicated or single-tenant server that can be used to form the base of a secure, powerful, and stable digital infrastructure. In other words, they are high-performing and secure dedicated servers that are not shared or virtualized with multiple simultaneous users, and it is a separate piece of hardware with its underlaying resources totally under control by a single user. Bare metal servers also do not come with a hypervisor pre-installed. This environment gives the user complete control over their server infrastructure because users get complete control over the physical machine. With a bare metal server, you have the flexibility to choose your own operating system. A bare metal server allows users to finely tune hardware and software for specific data-intensive workloads.
They provide users with many options while they are great for traditional web and custom applications. Bare-metal is the best solution for demanding mission-critical items like business intelligence or database applications. Bare-metal servers can be optimized for CPU memory storage or any combination.
Bare-metal servers can also be customized for specific workloads. They can be utilized with load balancing solutions to accommodate great scalability during seasonal or unexpected traffic peaks. They also offer complete isolation where privacy and security compliance requirements dictate. There are two main use cases for bare metal, enterprise infrastructure and high-performance infrastructure, where redundancy is achieved via horizontal scalability. All servers come standard with enterprise components and features like redundant power supplies to maximize uptime and minimize impact due to hardware failure.
What are the benefits of a bare metal server?
The primary benefits of a bare metal server are based on the access that end users have to hardware resources. The advantages of this approach include the following:
- Highly customizable as per the requirement
- Dedicated resources help in providing high-performance computing
- Enhanced physical isolation which offers security and regulatory benefits
- Greater processing power
- Performance Predictability
- Root access and complete control of your software stack
- Handles latency-sensitive workloads with ease
- Greater quality of service by eliminating shared resources
- Low latency
- High Stability, durability, and reliability
Bare metal servers have an important role in the infrastructure mix for many companies due to their unique combination of performance, security, and control. Enterprise companies seeking a dedicated server meeting specific regulatory requirements may also select a bare metal solution over virtualized resources in a cloud environment.
Bare Metal Servers vs Virtual Servers
This is a very common topic when we talk about bare metal servers. Below are the differences between bare metal servers and virtual servers.
Bare metal servers are completely dedicated to a particular customer, which means they are not shared between multiple tenants. On the other hand, virtual servers can be shared between multiple tenants using a hypervisor.
When it comes to cost, bare metal servers are costlier than virtual servers. You will have to pay a consistent amount every month for the bare metal servers. Whereas in the case of virtual servers, you only need to pay for the amount of resources used.
The performance of a bare metal server is better than a virtual server. But scaling bare metal server is not easy, whereas scaling up and down the virtual server is very easy and can be done instantly.
Bare metal servers are more secure than virtual servers because of sole reason that bare metal servers are used by single tenant, and virtual servers are used by multiple tenants.
Provisioning a bare metal server takes multiple hours and sometimes a few days. Provisioning of a virtual server can be done instantly within few minutes. But because of the higher performance of bare metal servers in comparison to the virtual servers, this delay is justified.
You have more control over the hardware when you are using bare metal servers instead of virtual servers. The hardware of a bare metal server can be accessed directly, so you can anytime customize the hardware as per your needs.
When to choose Bare metal servers?
When you are hosting a website or application that requires a lot of resources to run, using a bare metal server is not a good option. They can be hosted using a simple cloud hosting solution. But bare metal servers are well suited when you are working in an organization where the security and compliance standards are very high. Any requirement involving heavy workloads and interacting with hardware directly should use bare metal servers for such needs.
Finance, banking, government, retail, healthcare are few common domains where mostly bare metal solutions are opted. But that doesn’t mean that virtual servers are not used in these domains. So, it completely depends on the kind of requirement you have.
So that was all about bare metal servers. I hope now you have a clear understanding of bare metal servers, what benefits they offer, how they are different from virtual servers, and when you should use bare metal servers instead of virtual servers. Unlike virtual servers, bare metal servers are not shared between multiple customers. Their performance and security are the main reasons why they are opted. Finally, before choosing which type of server to use in your organization, I would advise analyzing the requirement well.