Jun 19, 2013

Hasta la vista, CAPEX: Bare metal servers offer high performance, lower costs


Bare metal servers offer high performance, lower costsWhat in the world is a bare-metal server? Sounds like something out of Terminator II, right? Well, good news for all of us, it’s not a movie prop or character, but rather a real-world fit to a new age problem.

What if you want to avoid CAPEX (purchasing, maintaining, servicing, depreciating, etc.) and you need a dedicated computing resource for your project? Let’s say it’s a big data type of project, and your client (or boss) demands it’s in a secure environment to protect their valuable information. Not only that, you need really fast disk access and consistent IOPS. Well, those requirements can rule out public cloud infrastructure for some buyers.

Colocation for a temporary project doesn’t make sense, and clearly we would incur significant CAPEX and turnaround time, which precludes this option anyway. Long term custom hosting is a good fit, but in some situations it can be a little like killing a mosquito with a cannonball. Not exactly the best use of our money and a much longer-term commitment than we would need.

The bare-metal option
Enter bare-metal servers. Bare-metal servers are dedicated, provisioned on demand physical hardware. A technician is going to physically connect a server to the network at their MTDC for you. The “bare metal” portion really speaks to the “bare bones” that comes along with the server. By design, it comes to you as a clean slate. Most vendors will allow you to select different core sizes, memory, processing speeds and OS—but that’s it. It’s yours to do with what you like. They’re also easily horizontally scalable allowing you to ramp up for your bigger projects.

The “gee whiz” to all of this is two-fold: first, some companies are able to provision a new bare metal server for you within a couple of hours. That’s more than enough time for you to stream Terminator II, laugh at the bad acting, grab a cup of coffee and sit back down at your desk. Boom, it’s ready for you. Second, it’s billed like a cloud service—meaning that for certain configs there are often no minimums past the first hour.

So there you have it. A secure, dedicated environment allowing for higher IOPS, customized as you like, up in a couple of hours and gone again at the click of a button. Once you’ve used bare-metal servers, we’re guessing “you’ll be back”.

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