Making Use of Bare Metal Servers


This article provides a basic idea about what Bare Metal servers are, what they can best be used for, their differences from virtual Cloud Servers, and their limitations.

What is a Bare Metal server?

A Bare Metal server is a server which operates in a single-tenant environment as one of SpinUp’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service offerings. Bare Metal servers eliminate the overhead of the virtual layer(s) between your server and the underlying hardware. Bare Metal servers are designed for those with a quickly growing infrastructure footprint, but who still desire the agility and scaleability of a regular cloud offering.

What should I use a Bare Metal server for?

Bare Metal servers are perfect for critical and/or highly intensive workloads, such as business intelligence or database applications. Media encoding and render farming operations are some other examples of projects that suit the use of Bare Metal rather than virtualized servers due to the heightened performance levels and predictable performance.

What’s the advantage of Bare Metal?

Bare Metal Servers can be spun up or down as quickly as your standard cloud virtual machine. This speed enables Bare Metal to offer the agility of a Cloud Server within a multi-tenant environment, but with the performance of single-tenant hardware. This also means that there is no hypervisor, and no virtualization tax, so you are not sharing and competing for resources with another customer. All Bare Metal servers also include dual 10-gigabit Ethernet (10 GigE) 10G NICs in a high-availability bonded configuration. They make additional use of VLAN tagging to access the Data Center Network (for traffic within a SpinUp data center region) and PublicNet (the internet).

Security

Regarding security, when compared to Cloud Server instances, server colocation and bare metal servers have an increased level of security because of their isolation away from other customers. In a multi-tenant environment, customers who might be infected by malware, or are the target of a DOS attack, could cause an adverse affect on the distribution of resources across the shared environment. This means that while other customer data streams are quarantined from the malware infection or DOS attack, they might suffer the effects of that redirected resource load. On a Bare Metal server, you are isolated away from any other customer devices, preventing such issues from occuring.

Limitations

Bare Metal servers, because they do not have a hypervisor software layer, are subject to some limitations of features usually available to Cloud Servers.

  1. You can use Bare Metal snapshots with only Bare Metal server types, and snapshots created from a Bare Metal server are not be compatible with Cloud Servers.

  2. Bare Metal servers are only available in the us-east-1 and in us-central-1 regions.

  3. The Console is not available for Bare Metal servers.

  4. Bare Metal snapshots of a Linux server require an SSH key on boot.

  5. Bare Metal snapshots of a Windows server require Remote Desktop for the first login. You can use the administrator password that was returned when you created the server as the administrator password for the first login.


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