It is a popularly debated topic, but at the end of the day, the answer to this depends on who you ask, and your business objectives. A business considering a migration to the cloud will often feel stuck in a dilemma when it comes to choosing between bare metal and cloud as the server hosting for their business. What all businesses agree on is that the server hosting they choose should be cost-effective, reliable, efficient, and have high-speed. How do you decide which is best for your business?
Choosing between bare metal and cloud is a matter of perspective. Whichever you select has its both the pros and cons. It, therefore, requires you to understand what each scenario offers, and then consider the factors your business needs most. Below is a comparison of the two, highlighting the strengths and drawbacks of each solution to help you make the right decision.
What is bare metal?
It means a single-tenant physical server. A tenant doesn’t share infrastructure, database, or the application server. A business has its own independent database, thus doesn’t share any of the software with other clients. Think of it as owning a home and how you utilize all the amenities by yourself. It is like a physical computer running a private cloud where your business not only has dedicated access to infrastructure or platforms but also has control over the cloud environment.
What is cloud?
On the other hand, the cloud means multi-tenant virtualized servers. It entails sharing a single instance of infrastructure, database or application among many clients who exist on the same software. It is similar to an apartment building where tenants share the building amenities such as electricity and water, but each resident has a key to their own apartment. The same case applies to the cloud. Customers share a centralized administration, but the data of each is secure from other customers’ data.
If you are still wondering whether bare metal or cloud, the better way to make your choice easier is for you to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
Advantages of bare metal
Single-tenancy gives a business more control
Your business can customize and configure the servers the way you want without having a negative impact on anyone else since you are the sole clients.
Better security and privacy
The bare metal option is associated with advanced security because your business doesn’t share the infrastructure, database, or applications with other clients. You are less likely to expose the system to security threats such as human errors or intentional sabotage. Your data is isolated from other clients’ data hence personal information remains private, confidential, and secure. Cybercrime has to work hard to break the security and harm your data.
With bare metal, your business enjoys increased response time as well as high performance. This improvement is because the infrastructure doesn’t have a hypervisor that restricts direct communication between physical hardware and server. You will also enjoy high processing power because you will be at liberty to configure the servers to fit your needs. Also, other tenants workloads don’t affect your infrastructure.
Economical in outbound data transfer
Bare metal provides a cost-effective IT infrastructure for handling and transferring of the data-intensive workload with its excellent performance.
Disadvantages of Bare Metal
It is one of the most significant drawbacks of bare metal. It is usually more expensive since the business is the sole client, thus bears the full costs of the servers. There’s no cost sharing. It is also considered a waste of resources and uneconomical because an entire server assists only one client.
Complex management, updating, and scalability
Your business will be responsible for its data backup, disaster recovery system, patch, and updates. Doing this will require intensive IT costs. Adding another client to your server will mean setting up their infrastructure from scratch which isn’t an easy task.
Advantages of Cloud/multi-tenancy hosting
Costs for things such as server’s application, routers, firewall, and other related tools are shared among tenants. Monitoring, upgrading, and servicing deployment are also shared. This becomes very economical for every client.
Seamless upgrades, updates, and maintenance
Protecting and upgrading a multi-tenancy server is easier since multiple customers servers are all upgraded at once from one centralized point. It could be more difficult if each customer had their own server like in the case of bare metal.
With the scalability, flexibility, and hypervisor in a multi-tenancy server, your business can efficiently spread workloads across multiple servers.
Quick to set up
Adding two or more servers for your business is possible in an instance. Also, the initial set up of the cloud environment takes only a few hours as long as you have a trusted provider and adequate management tools.
Disadvantages of Cloud
Multi-tenancy server might seem like a great deal but it has its own share of limitations. Some of them include;
Caused due to the existence of multiple tenants and a hypervisor layer between your business app and physical resources. Multi-tenancy servers are prone to performance bottlenecks and packet delays.
On the cloud there are numerous tenants sharing a single server, your data is at risk of breaches and sabotage from malicious users or human errors. A business will, therefore, need to develop strict authentication and put access control in place to protect your personal information or data from other tenants.
In a multi-tenancy server, your business doesn’t enjoy independence. A user can’t tailor their configuration to fit their needs. Any updates made to the cloud server or in case of a system lockdown all tenants are affected all at the same time.
Bare metal or Cloud: Conclusion
If you still don’t know what solution is best for your business, it is understandable. There is no right answer. Both choices have their pros and cons which are not enough to influence your choice of one over the other. What matters is your business needs and of much importance, providing your customers with seamless user experience. You, therefore, need to consider what factors you are more concerned with. Is it performance? Security? Costs? or control? Get your priorities in order. You will not only choose the best solution but will also adopt a solution that is right for your business.