Dec 3, 2013

The performance gap between bare metal and virtual clouds

Ansley Kilgore

Cloud_spectator_300x150Cloud Spectator, an international cloud analyst group, produces research reports that focus on infrastructure pricing and server performance to help businesses make informed purchase decisions. Their latest report includes test results comparing Internap’s bare-metal cloud with virtual offerings from Amazon and Rackspace. The results? Bare-metal servers outperformed comparable virtualized servers by a significant margin in most tests.

To be honest, we at Internap expected bare-metal cloud to deliver better results than its virtualized counterparts. While a single-tenant environment will generally provide more processing power than a comparable multi-tenant environment, we were astounded at how much better the bare-metal servers performed. The Cloud Spectator report highlights this performance gap, and we hope IT decision makers find these tests helpful when evaluating cloud solutions.

Bare metal vs virtualization

Unlike virtual servers, bare-metal servers don’t have a hypervisor, making the entire physical server dedicated to a single tenant. Like virtual IaaS cloud instances, bare-metal servers can be self-provisioned via an API or portal, giving users the ability to scale up or down as needed. Bare metal applies the flexibility and agility of the cloud to physical servers.

So what does this tell us? Organizations that rely on virtualized cloud environments now have the option to use dedicated servers in the same way that they currently use an IaaS cloud server. For data-intensive applications that require direct access to physical hardware, bare-metal cloud offers the ability to better manage your workload. Based on scenarios from our customers, moving from a virtualized cloud environment to bare metal can increase performance and make costs more predictable.

Price matters

All businesses, large or small, have to justify their purchase decisions. Bare-metal servers allow you to spend less money and get better performance. Even if your workload doesn’t need superior performance, bare metal can reduce your overall server count and give you better control over server usage, which translates to reduced costs. For IT decision makers who need to get the most bang for their buck, bare-metal cloud is a great option.

Download the Cloud Spectator report to see how bare-metal cloud stacks up against virtualized cloud environments.

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Ansley Kilgore

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