What is a Bare Metal Server?

Cloud services are taking over, with compelling solutions to handling data, hosting software, and helping with automation. While they constantly improve, a multi-tenant server still needs to catch up to the performance capabilities a bare metal server offers. Let’s back up a minute. You know that a server is a critical component in operating a smooth and successful business, but what’s all this about multi-tenant and bare metals? A bare metal server is the term applied to a single-tenant physical server that operates in an on-premises data center or through an off-site service provider. The number of tenants refers to the entities operating from a single physical server. In a bare metal case, that’s only one — you. You may also hear bare metal servers called managed dedicated servers. And with bare metal servers, your IT team or provider installs operating systems directly onto the physical hardware on which you then run your software, meaning complete access to resources. In contrast, a multi-tenant server uses a hypervisor to split and virtualize storage space, computational power, and computing resources. A hypervisor is a Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) software layer that stands between the server and your personal operating space. While hypervisors use advanced technologies like VMs and machine learning, the extra software prevents access to all the resources available on a server. Additionally, users may experience a phenomenon called “noisy neighbors,” where other tenants leasing server space use a large number of available resources resulting in less performance or potential downtime. A bare metal server isn’t for every organization. In this article, we explore where bare metal servers are most useful, the benefits, and where a cloud solution might be a better solution.

What is a Bare Metal Server Used For?

Bare metal servers are high-performance machines that supply extremely stable processing environments capable of handling the most intensive workloads. These workloads include big data processing, render farms, and media encoding, where workflows demand massive computing resources. Because users have access to hardware, a bare metal server is ideal in industries where compliance, security, performance, and customization are most critical. These use cases cover banking, finance, healthcare, government, and education, where privacy, consumer data, and bandwidth directly impact the lives of individuals. Software developers also rely heavily on bare metal servers for their low latency CPU performance, which provides the perfect platform to develop, test, and launch new products. In larger enterprise-level organizations, you can use a bare metal cloud to deliver mission-critical apps while maintaining the highest data security and performance for the most precise data operations.

The Benefits of Using a Bare Metal Server

While the world steams toward virtualization and cloud computing, there are still many benefits to investing in single-tenant server infrastructure. From total control and customization to security and better performance, here are a few reasons a business would choose a bare metal server.
  • Complete Server Control

    • Multi-tenant server providers install software layers that create virtual servers for your organization to operate from. Because of the extra software and your server neighbors, you can never gain complete control of your server’s capability. A bare metal server provides you direct access to your server’s hardware, which means you can optimize provisioning to allocate resources how you see fit.
  • Enhanced Security

    • Dedicated servers are the infrastructure of choice when it comes to security, as the physically isolated data, applications, and resources make operating more secure. You can also remove the possibility that a noisy neighbor somehow gains access to essential customer data or vital business processes. You also choose your security software and firewalls to support your security needs instead of relying on the service provider’s preferred solution.
  • Total Customization

    • Servers require a complex network of hardware and software with the right combination to unlock high-performance computing. Bare metal servers allow you to choose the number of CPU and GPU cores. Pick between AMD EPYC or Intel Xeon processors. Decide on Linux’s Ubuntu, Windows Server 2022, or macOS Server operating systems. There is almost no limit to the performance you can create.
  • Compliance Standards

    • Keeping customer data secure builds trust, and with bare metal servers, you can ensure compliance is always a priority. Server compliance, such as SSAE 18, provides confidence that HIPAA and PCI DSS data remain in private hands. Summit Hosting maintains SSAE 18 certifications for every server with on-demand audit report requests. Along with dedicated servers, it’s just another method we employ to secure your vital data.
  • Performance Capabilities

    • Because bare metal servers give you 100% access to the computing capabilities of your servers, you get optimal performance with the least amount of downtime. Noisy neighbors, hypervisors, and load-balancing software means virtualized environments through multi-tenant infrastructure can’t match the performance a single-tenant server provides.

Bare Metal Servers vs. Cloud Hosting

With performance, customizability, and control, one would think that a bare metal server is superior compared to cloud computing and hosting solutions. While it’s true that bare metal servers offer sports car-level performance, not every driver needs that much power. For businesses that utilize temporary or highly dynamic workflows, it would be impractical to establish a bare metal server infrastructure, as the constant reprovisioning would become costly and time-consuming. And on the topic of cost, pricing for single-tenant servers is higher than for cloud-based, multi-tenant alternatives. Cloud servers make adding applications and software easier and more affordable thanks to APIs that keep IT costs down. Further, a cloud provider means off-site IT and security to reduce financial burden. Single-tenant systems take time to install and configure, which can reduce uptime in extreme cases. Instead, cloud hosting provides affordable and instant scalability without the risk of downtime during maintenance. Virtual machines like VMWare and containers like Kubernetes enable cloud environments to scale access to server resources on-demand, making private cloud systems solutions popular for businesses looking to expand. Summit Hosting provides the best of both worlds, with dedicated, single-tenant server access, state-of-the-art server hardware, and 99% uptime, all at an affordable price. Try us free for 14 days or give us a call to see how we can meet your IT needs!

Explore Premium Hosting Options with Summit Hosting

Unlike what the name would suggest, bare metal servers have nothing to do with the material they come from. Instead, bare metal indicates that businesses can install operating systems and software directly to the server without a hypervisor and other tenants sapping computing capabilities. Bare metal servers are also potent, acting as high-performance models, but like the fastest supercars, they are only so useful. Sometimes you need a truck, and sometimes a sedan is more than capable. That’s where cloud hosting excels. In scenarios where performance isn’t as vital, bare metal servers could be costly and inflexible to shifting business needs. The choices you make for your business never end, especially as technology continues to evolve. You don’t have to choose between a cloud-based solution and dedicated servers when you partner with Summit Hosting. We provide both. And our expert staff is available 24/7 to answer questions, expand your capabilities, and ensure you enjoy 99% uptime. Try us today, or call us to take advantage of what’s possible with Summit Hosting!

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