Today, available compute options for cloud services go beyond just bare metal servers and cloud servers. Containers are becoming a default infrastructure choice for many cloud-native applications. Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings have an important niche of the applications market for developers who don’t want to manage an OS or runtime environment. And serverless computing is emerging as the model of choice for cloud purists.
But, when evaluating bare metal servers, users still gravitate toward the comparison to virtual servers. For most companies, the criteria for choice are application specific or workload specific. It’s extremely common for a company to use a mix of bare metal servers along with virtualized resources across their cloud environment.
Virtual servers are the more common model of cloud computing because they offer greater resource density, faster provisioning times, and the ability to scale up and down quickly as needs dictate. But bare metal servers are the right fit for a few primary use cases that take advantage of the combination of attributes. These attributes are dedicated resources, greater processing power, and more consistent disk and network I/O performance.
- Performance-centric app and data workloads: The complete access and control over hardware resources make bare metal a good match for workloads such as HPC, big data and high-performance databases as well as gaming and finance workloads.
- Apps with complex security or regulatory requirements: The combination of a global data center footprint with physical resource separation has helped many organizations adopt cloud while simultaneously meeting complex security and regulatory demands.
- Large, steady-state workloads: For applications such as ERP, CRM or SCM that have a relatively stable set of ongoing resource demands, bare metal servers can also be a good fit.