Bare metal clouds and virtualized clouds are often construed as competing technologies, when in fact each has a role to play in building infrastructure platforms.
Bare Metal And The Virtualized Cloud Are Complementary Technologies
If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail — it may be a cliche, but it’s no less true for that, and it’s especially true of technologists who are deeply invested in their chosen technologies and platforms. The cloud in all its variants is incredibly impressive from a technological perspective, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right solution to every problem. The cloud is a set of technologies that offer specific benefits and drawbacks. Forward-thinking companies use a mix of technologies, deploying those that offer the best solution to a given business operational problem. The virtualized cloud is one solution among many, which is why hybrid clouds are becoming the chosen deployment model for many companies.
Hybrid clouds comprise a mix of public and private cloud components. The public cloud is great for pay-as-you-go infrastructure deployments and very fast scaling, but it’s not so great for performance, stability, and consistent availability — at least not without levels of complexity and redundancy that raise prices well above that of equivalent physical hardware.
The private component of hybrid clouds is often built on the same virtualization technology as the public component, the differences being that the physical layer is managed in-house or colocated and has only one user. But in many scenarios that is not the optimal strategy. The public cloud requires virtualization to provide the features that make it so appealing to businesses, and while in some cases virtualization is a benefit for the private component, more often than not it’s performance, stability, and availability that are of primary importance and those are not the forte of the virtualized cloud.
Bare metal clouds — cloud platforms that do not use virtualization and a hypervisor layer — offer significantly better performance per dollar and many of the advantages normally associated with the virtualized cloud, making them the ideal solution for the private component of a hybrid cloud.
Consider the common use case for hybrid clouds: cloud bursting. Cloud busting is a process of moving portions of a workload into the public cloud during periods of high utilization. It’s probably the paradigmatic example of an occasion where virtualized public cloud platforms shine. Servers can be spun up in minutes to absorb workloads that outstrip the capabilities of private infrastructure; businesses avoid having to invest in hardware that would be idle for a large proportion of its operational life. Because the public cloud is pay-as-you-go, servers can be spun down as demand wanes and the business will only be charged for the resources it uses.
A hybrid model with a bare metal cloud platform forming the reliable high-performance core of a business’s infrastructure combined with the facility to “burst” into the cloud during peak loads is a solution that makes the most of the benefits of each deployment modality: bare metal and virtualization being played to their specific strengths.
About Graeme Caldwell — Graeme works as an inbound marketer for InterWorx, a revolutionary web hosting control panel for hosts who need scalability and reliability. Follow InterWorx on Twitter at @interworx, Like them on Facebook and check out their blog, http://www.interworx.com/community.