Bare metal or dedicated server? Yet another decision to make regarding the best hosting option for your business.
Technology is constantly evolving to match the ever-changing needs of users. While this is great since it means there is something out there for just about everyone, for those who do not speak ‘tech,’ the prospect of having to make yet another choice might be a daunting one. What even is bare metal? Is it not the same as a dedicated server? Let’s clear up this common misconception and help you make the best hosting decision to suit your needs.
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Bare Metal Server: What is it?
Bare metal servers, in direct contrast to virtual servers, are physical servers for single-tenant use. This means that the physical machine has a configuration of hardware dedicated to a single user. With bare metal configuration, users can therefore benefit from a machine that offers better performance.
Bare metal servers are equipped with high-performance central processing units such as the latest in Intel technology. In addition, it offers storage technology such as NVMe solid-state disks with a significantly faster loading capacity than traditional hard disks. Whether its memory, storage, high-speed connection or their processing capabilities, bare metal servers sport all the right hardware to ensure high performance. Its efficacy is compounded by the fact that this technology is utilised by a single user.
Dedicated Server Definition
A dedicated server is also a machine which, as its name suggests, is dedicated to single-tenant use. It is a physical machine and is in many ways similar to bare metal servers in terms of its capacities and the hardware technology it uses. It is therefore an excellent option for small to medium-sized businesses that are concerned by performance since its resources are not shared.
Key similarities and differences
As previously mentioned, bare metal and the traditional dedicated servers share many similarities, especially as it relates to its hardware and use. Both employ the latest Intel technology. That is, Intel Xeon processors, as well as with Random Access Memory with error correcting code (ECC). Since neither has a virtualisation or hypervisor layer, users can count on having a dedicated server offering higher performance levels.
The fact that both bare metal and dedicated servers are single-tenant machines also has several implications including the capacity to better deal with increases in user traffic to e-commerce websites for example, and IP addresses which are dedicated to a single user or organisation. This is important as shared hosting with a website whose use may be deemed corrupt may ultimately result in a search engine blacklisting your shared IP address and significantly affect not only your listing and reputation but consequently your business.
With bare metal as well as dedicated server hosting, you maintain control over your server configuration which can be optimised according to your needs.
So, with all these similarities mentioned, aren’t they more or less the same thing? What is the difference between the two? While the differences are few, there still are some key differences which can help you determine the best hosting option for your business.
It comes down to time and money
One major difference is in the price. While the traditional dedicated server rental is based on a monthly or yearly subscription, bare metal servers can be run on-demand. This means that you pay for what you need as the billing is generally based on a per-hour model and can therefore be deployed or shut down at your whim.
Adaptability is another major difference. While both bare metal and dedicated servers can be optimised for your specific use, bare metal is a bit more adapted for integration with other hosting services. Finally, bare metal offers users a shorter span of time to set up their cloud environment, but it lacks some features that provide full customisation like a dedicated server.
Bare metal vs. Dedicated server: 5 Factors to consider
1. Data Center
Tier IV is the highest level for data centers and consequently offers you independent power distribution paths, concurrently maintainable fault-tolerant site infrastructure, and dual-powered cooling equipment among other things. This provides for not only lightning-fast server speed, but also a guaranteed uptime of 99.9 %. Reliability is an important factor to consider when choosing a hosting option. Consequently, you should bear in mind the data center when searching for a host for either a bare-metal or dedicated server and ensure you choose a tier IV data center capable of responding adequately to your business needs.
2. Control and Security
If you choose to go with bare metal hosting, or advanced dedicated server hosting, you will have more control over your resources and security. With shared hosting options, it is more difficult to configure the server to meet specific needs. On the other hand, bare metal servers and dedicated servers are both single-tenant hosting options. This means that their configuration is up to you. This singular control over your resources also has implications on security. With complete control of your server, you will have a more secure environment. Plus, you can easily conform to regulations which apply to the processing of electronic data such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
When choosing a hosting environment, you should take into consideration the use and scale of use of the server. Both bare metal and dedicated servers have a variety of uses cases and are adaptable to small to medium-sized business. These servers are great for e-commerce hosting, hosting applications, web hosting, backing up data, game hosting, storing documents, among other things. Given that bare metal and dedicated servers refer to physical machines, a few limitations in terms of flexibility and scalability comes to mind. So, it’s best to talk to your hosting provider to determine what the best option is for your needs. You may find integration with other hosting options a simple solution.
4. Integration with other hosting services
Bare metal integrates seamlessly with other hosting options. If your will require integration of the server within a hybrid cloud, bare metal definitely beats out the traditional servers.
Every business needs to consider their bottom line when making decisions concerning their expenses. While you should consider the cost of a product/service, it should not be at the expense of performance. Do not choose the cheaper option, but the most cost-effective one. Consider how you will use the solution and then consider price. Rental for dedicated servers are generally based on a monthly or yearly contract. So, it is a more expensive option than bare-metal servers which can be deployed or shut down on-demand. This means that with bare metal servers, you pay for what you use.
Which is better? Bare Metal or Dedicated server
Bare metal and dedicated servers are similar in many ways. They both refer to a physical machine. Both are dedicated to a single client or organisation. And they both use the latest hardware to offer high performance to its users. Determining which is better is therefore a matter of knowing which is more suited to the specific needs. A good hosting provider will help you figure out the best hosting option for you.
Check out our dedicated server hosting plans. Hosting.co.uk has a variety of lightning fast dedicated server hosting options with servers located in a tier IV data center. It doesn’t get any faster than that.