Containers Expo Blog Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

The Next Big Thing in Cloud Hosting: Baremetal Servers | @CloudExpo #Cloud

The cloud is great for businesses because it allows them to manage their resources easily

Cloud hosting has been in existence for 10 years. Going into its second decade, it's time for something new. What's the latest trend? Good old, plain dedicated servers - but rebuilt and reinvented.

Although it's not required by any definition of a cloud, virtualization has become part and parcel of cloud hosting - not because it's necessary for clouds, but merely because it's very convenient.

First and foremost, the cloud is great for businesses - of all sizes and in a variety of industries - because it allows them to manage their resources easily. There's no need to pre-order a server and wait until it's ready. Virtualization has brought effective tools for that. On the other hand, for providers, virtualization brings a theoretical possibility to utilize resources more efficiently and thus lower costs and lower prices for end users.

It's worth noting that in a virtualized environment, companies always have to share resources. As a result, even when resources are generally abundant, at certain times, cloud servers on some nodes might experience resource starvation. There are several ways to mitigate this possibility. Providers can keep larger reserves (which yield to less efficient utilization and a higher price), or introduce some complicated billing mechanism that will regulate such situations by incentivizing companies with some extra costs (e.g., CPU credits on Amazon).

On top of that, many systems still don't scale-out and scale-up, nor do they show any tendency to be ready to scale-out. Anyone who ran SAP HANA can confirm this. That's not the only example. For such software, running on top of a virtualized cloud is not a viable option. It normally requires more and more resources, and the overhead of virtualization can be unbearable.

With the rise of Docker, consolidation can be done by a company, not by a provider. Running Docker containers is a no-brainer compared to running a full virtualization stack. It can be done by companies' developers and doesn't require a dedicated person.

The real next big thing in hosting will be baremetal servers - very similar to good old dedicated servers. From our experience, companies are buying baremetal servers and building their own clouds on top of that. Sometimes they're going for full-featured virtualized clouds, sometimes for simple Docker-based solutions.

However, we are seeing certain workloads running on baremetal servers without any "cloudification." One good example is Aerospike, a data store, heavily used by the AdTech industry.

Baremetal servers can be ordered and deployed within 30 minutes, which is still a lot compared to cloud servers spinning up in less than a minute. One good barometer is to ask yourself: How often is it critical for me to have an instance up in one minute or less? The answer should be "rarely," but not "never." That's why cloud should still be present in a hosting provider's portfolio - and it should be integrated with dedicated servers. It's just a matter of proportion: the pendulum has swung to the cloud side, and is now moving back to baremetal.

Contrasting cloud and baremetal hosting is not technically an accurate dichotomy. Cloud does not require virtualization by definition. That's why I firmly believe that baremetal is the new cloud. Even on the entry level, at the price level of under $10 monthly, baremetal is slowly gaining momentum. This is thanks in large part to the success of ARM technology, which enables running a baremetal - yet very small and cheap - server.

However, in order to win the positions back, baremetal servers should be provisioned fast, integrated with "classical" virtualized cloud and provide an easy and convenient management interface including API.

For companies looking for the "new" cloud hosting, baremetal servers represent a viable, effective base on which to build their clouds.

More Stories By Nikolay Dvas

Nikolay (Nick) Dvas is COO of Servers.com. He has been working in the hosting industry since 2010, and joined XBT Holding, now the parent company for Servers.com, in 2013. At XBT Holding he was in charge of building a cloud platform. Currently, he is managing operations of Servers.com, XBT’s latest venture, aimed at bringing enterprise-grade hosting to SMBs.

Nick received his MSc in Mechanics in the St. Petersburg Polytechnical University (Russia), and is a holder of a PMP (Project Management Professional) degree, and is a member of a Project Management Institute.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...