Talking Servers: Bare Metal vs Virtualization

Physical Servers Or Cloud-Based Servers?

When you are considering information technology workloads, the server that you choose will determine what type of performance you can expect. Virtual servers are ideal when your priorities are scalability and flexibility. IT companies typically use them for new applications with cloud technology and unknown computational needs. IT professionals tasked with choosing between these two want to know which one is better when it comes to bare metal server vs virtualization, and it’s important to understand the benefits and applications of each option. With visualization the bare metal server (the physical server) is split up into multiple virtual servers. This type of technology is best suited to horizontal scalability such as a website with high traffic volumes or cloud software.

There are essentially 2 available options when it comes to flexibility:

  • You can have your virtual server functioning on a private node, and the physical server will be dedicated to you. This will give you use of all resources of the server. It is possible for a customer to have 1+ virtual machines operating in the same virtual server. In terms of billing, there is the option of hourly billing or even monthly billing.
  • The second option available to you is having your virtual server functioning on a public node. This would mean that multiple customers will share the resources of the actual server – a multi tenant environment.

What About Bare Metal Servers?

Dedicated servers are otherwise known as bare metal servers. And if you’re wondering what these are all about – they are 100% hardware – nothing else. Bare metal servers function as a single-tenant server which is 100% dedicated to one customer. It is best when your IT operations are data intensive and your priorities are reliability and performance. It is possible to utilize the GPUs (graphics processing units) operating in addition to your server’s CPU (central processing unit) for optimal computing performance. Another option available to you is the creation of a virtual environment by way of unmanaged hypervisor supervision. For this type of environment, you will likely be billed monthly.

Remember that with bare metal servers you’re dealing with high monthly costs, but you also get to enjoy total control of a server’s physical resources. Poor budgeting with virtual hosting options can generate substantial visualization costs. This is true because infinite scalability options come at a high cost. The pricing of visualization is based on the amount demanded, and while peak traffic usage does not necessarily impact upon the server’s functionality, it may raise the costs. With bare metal servers, there are plenty of options when it comes to performance, security and support. Of course this all depends on the bare metal provider you are using.

When you’re using SoftLayer, you can easily create a virtual server or even a bare metal server from zero. You would do this by generating a template of the image that you want and storing it in the library. By capturing and loading these images into your work environment, you will save precious time. The 2 types of images that are available to you include Flex Images and Standard Images.

Utilizing Flex Images And Standard Images

Flex images are fully supportive of virtual servers and bare metal servers. By using these, you can save an image from a physical computer terminal and then create an additional virtual server from that image. Unlike standard images, Flex images only support certain components of operating systems. The other option available to you is the standard image format. This can only be created for virtual servers. Users who prefer standard images can use them to capture an image of a virtual server that already exists. It doesn’t matter what operating system is being run. The standard image will be able to create a brand-new server with the existing image.