Jul 23, 2013

Amazon price cuts still no match for bare-metal cloud economics and performance


Bare Metal CloudAt first glance, the recent 80% price cut announced by Amazon Web Services seems like a huge savings. But in reality, Amazon has simply reduced a cost that customers shouldn’t be paying in the first place.

The 80% reduction refers to a privilege fee that has been changed from $10 per hour to $2 per hour. As a result, the monthly cost to gain access to any dedicated instances has dropped from $7200 to $1440. In addition, this fee is per region, which means companies that require cloud instances in more than one region will pay the fee in each.

In order for Amazon’s privilege fee to be effectively amortized, customers would need to purchase 100 or more instances. This cost is beyond the budget of most small- and medium-sized businesses, and doesn’t make sense even for enterprises that can afford it. A true bare-metal cloud offers better performance, more customization and dedicated servers (including storage) for less money than Amazon’s dedicated instances.

Price performance

With fully dedicated hardware and no pre-enforced virtualization layer, bare-metal servers can focus all their computing power on the needs of your workload. This is especially important for smaller-sized use cases that need to get the most out of their investment – bare-metal cloud offers better performance at a lower price. Amazon’s privilege fee alone can buy at least four bare-metal servers with comparable compute specs to Amazon’s second-generation extra-large instances. Regardless of the fee, bare-metal servers offer better performance and still cost 40% less than comparable specs of Amazon on-demand dedicated instances. With bare-metal cloud, customers save upfront and on an ongoing basis.

More: See bare-metal pricing information.


Bare-metal servers don’t run a hypervisor and are not virtualized out of the gate. This gives the customer more freedom for customization – a “blank slate” – as opposed to the take-what-you-get approach when provisioning an Amazon EC2 instance. When you spin up a bare-metal server, you can provision dedicated hardware in minutes, customize as required (even additional virtualization) and then decommission once your workload is complete.

Dedicated instances

For customers that require dedicated resources with hardware separation for compliance or performance reasons, bare-metal cloud is hands-down the best choice. Bare-metal servers are fully dedicated to the customer, and any additional storage is directly attached and dedicated as well. Amazon’s dedicated instances offer a physical hardware-level separation, but only at the compute layer – everything beyond this is shared.

It’s also important to note that dedicated servers in a managed hosting model are not the same as bare-metal servers offered in a cloud model. A true bare-metal cloud server is a non-virtualized, physical resource with the service delivery and automation capabilities of the cloud. Rackspace, for example, touted their managed hosting offering as an alternative to Amazon’s dedicated instances, but this isn’t a valid comparison. Choosing managed hosting to get dedicated servers is a false choice. There is a better answer between expensive Amazon dedicated instances and managed hosting. Bare-metal cloud fills this gap well by providing better price/performance with all the agility of cloud.

At Internap, we don’t force customers into false choices. We allow them to self-select into virtual public cloud, bare-metal cloud and managed hosting based on their workload needs. As for the issue at hand, if you’re paying for or considering Amazon’s dedicated instances, contact Internap today to find out how far your $1440 privilege fee can really go with our bare-metal cloud.

Not convinced? See the performance benefits of Internap’s bare metal compared with Amazon Web Services EC2.

Learn more about Internap’s bare-metal cloud and bare-metal AgileSERVERs.

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