The Complete Guide to Bare Metal Servers: What they are and why You Need Them
If you’re in the IT world, you probably know that virtual machines (VMs) are a great way to run multiple operating systems on one physical machine. In other words, virtual servers allow you to partition one physical server into several smaller servers, each of which runs its own OS and has limited access to the hardware — but at a much lower cost than purchasing separate physical servers. In the past few years, bare metal servers have become extremely popular among businesses that use virtualization as part of their IT infrastructure. Bare Metal Servers are also known as “non-virtualized” servers because they aren’t VMs. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about non-virtualized servers — including why you might want to buy them instead of virtualized ones.
What is a Bare Metal Server?
A bare metal server is a physical server that isn’t used as a virtual server. In other words, it’s a physical server that isn’t being partitioned into multiple virtual servers. A bare metal server has complete access to the hardware and can execute operating systems directly on the server hardware, just like a physical computer. It has no access to other systems running on the server, and other systems running on the server don’t have access to it. There are two main advantages of running on a bare metal server instead of in a virtual environment. First, there’s no difference in performance between the VM and the bare metal server just because the VM runs on a different server. This can’t be said for VMs, which are slower than physical servers. Second, the server can be repurposed more quickly. You can simply shut the VM down, move it, and start it on a different machine.
Advantages of Bare Metal Servers
There are many benefits to running servers on bare metal instead of using VMs. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
● No Hypervisor: One of the biggest benefits of bare metal servers is that they don’t require a hypervisor. A hypervisor is a software that is used to host VMs. When you’re running VMs, you need to install the hypervisor on the physical machine and then install the VMs on top of it.
● No Shared Resources: When using them, all of the hardware is dedicated to the physical machine. This means all of the hardware resources are available to that one machine. In a VM, however, all of the hardware is shared between the VM and the host machine. This means that if you put too many VMs on one host machine, the host machine will slow down.
● Increased Security: Another benefit is that they are much more secure than VMs. When you’re using VMs, you have to apply security measures in two places: the VM itself and the host machine. But when using bare metal servers, you only have to apply security measures on the physical server itself.
Disadvantages of Bare Metal Servers
As we’ve explained above, bare metal servers have a few advantages. However, they don’t come without their disadvantages. Let’s take a look at some of them.
● No Network Isolation: One disadvantage is that there is no network isolation. Network isolation is the term used to describe how you can use VMs to partition the server into multiple smaller servers that can’t communicate with each other. In other words, each VM has its own network. However, there is no network isolation when you’re running on bare metal. This means that the physical server is one big network.
● No Centralized Management: Another disadvantage is that there is no centralized management. When you’re using VMs, you can use one management console to control all of the VMs. But when you use them, you have to manage each server separately. This can be time-consuming if you have a large number of servers.
● No Live Migration: If a physical server breaks down, the servers running on that server will need to be moved to another server. However, when you’re running on VMs, you can use a live migration feature to move the VMs to another physical server without shutting them down. - No Resilience: When you’re running on VMs, the host machine is redundant. This means that if one host machine breaks down, the VMs can be migrated to other host machines. But when you’re using bare metal servers, there is no redundancy. If the physical server breaks down, you will have to replace it.
Why Choose a Bare Metal Server
As we’ve discussed above, bare metal servers have many benefits. However, they are most useful when you need a lot of computing power that isn’t needed regularly. In other words, bare metal servers are best used when you need full control over your hardware. Here are a few examples where bare metal servers would work best:
● High-density Computing: If you’re running a data center and need to host many databases or websites, then you may want to use bare metal servers.
● High-performance Computing (HPC): If you’re running an HPC cluster, you may want to use bare metal servers since you need control over the hardware. - Automated Trading: If you’re in the financial sector and need to execute thousands of transactions daily, you will probably want to use bare metal servers.
● Continuous Integration: If you’re in the software development and testing sector, you may want to use bare metal servers when running continuous integration.
Managing a Bare Metal Server
If you’ve decided to use a bare metal server instead of VMs, you’ll need to ensure you create the server correctly. Here are a few things you’ll need to do:
● Select a Data Center: The first thing you’ll need to do is decide which data center you want to host your bare metal servers. You’ll want to select a data center close to your customers, but also a data center with a good track record in terms of uptime.
● Choose Your Server: Next, you’ll need to decide which server you want to use for your bare metal server. You can choose between a standard server and a high-density server. A standard server is cheaper and has fewer options, but a high-density server can accommodate more hardware. You’ll also need to decide whether or not you want to get a dedicated or a nondedicated server.
● Reserve Your Hardware: Once you’ve decided on the hardware you want to use, you’ll need to reserve it. Most data centers require a deposit before they give you access to their hardware, so you’ll need to ensure you have enough cash on hand.
● Configure Your Hardware: Once your hardware arrives, you’ll need to configure your servers. This means installing the operating system, applying security patches, and creating users.
Now that you know what a bare metal server is and why you might want to use it, you’re ready to decide. Bare metal servers are the best choice when you need a lot of computing power that is needed regularly. They are more expensive than VMs but offer more flexibility and control over the hardware.
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