Posts Tagged ‘bare metal cloud’

Why Virtual Reality Gaming Needs Bare Metal Cloud

Posted by Adrien Tibi

For many game designers, creating the most lifelike, realistic and immersive gaming experience
possible is the ultimate goal, and now, with the emergence of virtual reality (VR), they are on the very cusp of making that dream reality.

In its simplest form, VR is the construction of a computer-generated three-dimensional environment with which you can interact in a seemingly real or physical way. In years to come, the only real limit to what will be achievable within VR parameters will be the developer’s imagination, but currently the technology remains very much in it’s infancy, and adoption will largely depend on the hardware and infrastructure solutions, and quality of the overall experience.

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Virtual Reality

Although it’s (almost) impossible to predict which platform will revolutionise the gaming landscape, the virtual reality argument has some pretty compelling advocates. Capcom, EA, Warner Bros, Square Enix, Bethesda Softworks and a whole host of other game designers have already pledged their allegiance to the VR movement. This introduction of virtual reality into mainstream development has helped to cement its place as the future of gaming, but has also posed some very real questions about the capabilities of current gaming infrastructure.

The visual quality of gaming is increasing all the time, and, as each generation of technology is launched, the graphical-software requirements continue to rise. Virtual reality is no exception, and, as VR is the new gaming technology on the block, it should come as no surprise that even the most conservative estimates indicate that it may require seven times the power of a normal game. This approximation directly corresponds to the extra processing power CPUs require to process VR content effectively, hence why a more powerful, bespoke solution is required.

Why Bare Metal Cloud?

The greatest challenge that VR developers face is providing a seamless experience for users, with low load times, high frame rates, a stable connection and as little lag as possible. Delivering this experience depends largely on the scalability, availability and performance of your infrastructure and network, and failing to cater to any one of these requirements can significantly impact user-experience.

Since the introduction of virtual reality into mainstream development, the raw horsepower and availability required to deliver these conditions has grown significantly. Meanwhile, highly-scalable solutions which adapt to notable variations in day-to-day traffic are becoming accepted as part and parcel of gaming set-ups. As these requirements scale upwards, so must the server solution.

Bare metal cloud provides true infrastructure as a service, upon which be developers can create bespoke solutions that meet their performance, availability and scalability needs. Bare metal solutions can be tailor-made to cater for the creation and development of games which require superior power and greater flexibility, such as VR.

Ideal for Gaming

Virtual reality has brought us to the brink of technological revolution, and with it, previously unthinkable game development possibilities. Today, many game designers are embracing the VR movement, and trying to tackle the challenges presented by an increase in server hosting requirements and the subsequent problems that this presents. Bare metal cloud enables CPU-intensive gaming workloads to function seamlessly, with greater stability, efficiency and reliability.

Bare metal solutions encompass the whole server hosting environment, from your dedicated gaming servers and storage appliances, to the applications needed to monitor and optimise performance, monetise moments and deliver advertising. Bare metal cloud is the ideal server hosting solution for game designers and developers looking to create the most authentic virtual reality gaming experience possible, while ensuring that user-experience is maintained. To learn more about bare metal cloud and its application within VR gaming, contact us today.

Are Dedicated Servers Still Relevant?

Posted by Adrien Tibi

The hype around cloud technology has cast doubt over the value of dedicated servers, with many debating whether they are still relevant. However, not only are dedicated servers relevant, but they remain a viable option when businesses require real power and control.

Dedicated servers are physical servers, which are owned or rented out to businesses as an entire unit. We call them ‘dedicated’ as they are employed by a single user to serve a specific networking purpose.

Are Dedicated Servers Really Out of Date?

The big players in public cloud hosting have tried to highlight dedicated servers’ drawbacks, such as a lack of scalability, in order to validate the need for cloud hosting. However, modern-day dedicated servers can form a part of a hybrid cloud or bare metal cloud environment, which can be scaled up or down with cloud-like efficiency. Automated provisioning means you can buy bare metal servers online and have them up and running in minutes, as you would with a public cloud provider like AWS.

Benefits of Dedicated Servers Over the Cloud?

Ideal for Horizontal Scaling

The myth that dedicated servers lack scalability has already been busted. But in some cases, dedicated servers can be more scalable than the cloud. Despite public clouds providing rapid vertical scaling, at some point there is a limit. However, dedicated servers are ideal for horizontal scaling, which can be expanded almost infinitely as a part of your bare metal cloud environment.

Ready to deploy on bare metal? Create your free account and start configuring your bare metal servers here.

No “Noisy Neighbours”

If you are hosting on a cloud platform, you will likely be sharing virtual machines. This could have a considerable impact on performance if you’re dealing with heavy workloads. What’s more, you may have to share your IP address. If one of your neighbours is running spam or adult material, it could affect your site’s ranking. With dedicated servers being single-tenant, these drawbacks are eliminated, providing optimal performance with unlimited bandwidth and disk space – all within a private workspace.

Optimal Data Security

Despite public cloud providers constantly improving their security, your data is far safer with dedicated servers, as only you (and data centre staff) can access it. On top of having a unique IP address, dedicated servers deliver the highest level of protection from malware, as well as access to expert technical support. So, if you’re working on highly sensitive work, don’t run the risk of hacking in public clouds – instead secure data within dedicated servers.

Full Control and Customisation

With dedicated servers you have full control of software, upgrades, scripts, applications and the server’s OS. With this administrative power, you are free to customise every element from the infrastructure up. What’s left is a server perfectly suited to your needs.


What really matters is that you get the right hosting solution that fits your needs. Don’t be misled by public cloud providers – if it works for you, consider opting for dedicated servers as a part of a bare metal cloud environment.

Whether you’re using a bare metal cloud, PaaS or IaaS to develop your SaaS product, be sure to read our guide to SaaS profitability for hints and tips on how to optimise your profits.

What is IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service

Posted by Adrien Tibi

Infrastructure as a Service is one of three levels in the cloud computing stack model commonly used to describe the different types of service that hosting companies can provide.

IaaS is the bottom, or most basic, layer of the cloud computing stack model and describes a situation where a provider supplies a customer with just the infrastructure required to run their application(s). This differs from Platform as a Service (PaaS), which includes things like development tools, runtime environments and ready-made databases, and Software as a Service (SaaS), in which users are given access to a fully functional application.The IaaS model lets users purchase the building blocks of IT infrastructure, such as servers, storage and networking, without investing in the hardware, and the environment in which to operate it, themselves. As with all ‘as a Service’ cloud models, customers benefit from an on-demand payment, with monthly, utility-style pricing and the flexibility to increase or decrease the size of their systems.

The definition of ‘infrastructure’ in IaaS is, however, open to interpretation.

‘I’ is for infrastructure, or is it?

Frequently, IaaS is defined as the provision of virtual servers exclusively, in either public or private cloud configurations. Some sources include both virtual and dedicated, physical servers in their definition.

Our view is that the true interpretation of ‘infrastructure’ is the underlying hardware, the ‘tin’ if you like, that powers the cloud and your applications.

While the common denominator in all definitions is access to core resources, such as servers, in a virtual IaaS you don’t have access to or knowledge of the underlying infrastructure. An example of PaaS, not IaaS, in our book. While industry observers and media have been saying that the distinction between IaaS and PaaS has become blurred in recent years, with the introduction of new service and models, this fundamental misappropriation of the term IaaS has been around since the very beginning.

True IaaS is bare metal cloud

True Infrastructure as a Service has become available to a far wider range of businesses in recent years thanks to advances in the area of bare metal cloud, where the provisioning and management of dedicated infrastructure has become highly automated. Ease of use, scalability and management of dedicated (bare metal) resources has now reached cloud levels of convenience. Hence the name.

The advantage of using bare metal cloud over virtual versions of IaaS is that you have complete control over the system architecture. This means you are free to choose how servers are used, as dedicated or running hypervisors, the application or VM density and every aspect of how they are clustered and networked. You are also free to change this at any time, adapting your bare metal cloud resources to perfectly meet the shifting needs of your business.

Ready to deploy on bare metal? Create your free account and start configuring your bare metal servers here.

IaaS, PaaS, does it really matter?

No, not really. What matters is that you get the right solution for your needs – the right combination of power, performance, cost and reliability. Virtual IaaS (PaaS) infrastructure solutions typically come with access to a portfolio of optional extras that can be used to build a complete solution on virtual machines. Bare metal cloud meanwhile gives you the option to control every aspect of your stack and squeeze every drop of value from your IaaS investment.

Bare Metal Cloud vs Dedicated Servers

Posted by Adrien Tibi

Simply put, a bare metal cloud is made up of dedicated servers but is automated for near-instant provisioning.

  1. What is a bare metal cloud and what is a dedicated server?

There’s a lot of confusion around the bare metal cloud concept, largely because it’s still a relatively new term, only really coming into use since 2014. Even though the popularity of dedicated servers is in decline, it’s a well-recognised term, so it’s easy to see how people start to get confused when they hear “bare metal cloud” and “dedicated server” used interchangeably.

Ready to deploy on bare metal? Create your free account and start configuring your bare metal servers here.


The reality is that bare metal cloud and dedicated servers are related, because one is part of the other. A bare metal cloud environment is made up of 1 or more single-tenant/dedicated servers. A dedicated server is a standalone server, with a given specification, that the customer has complete administrative access to.

  1. So why not just call it dedicated or single-tenant cloud?

Probably because of the negative connotations. Dedicated servers have historically had the drawback of being manual or time-consuming to provision. This meant that if you needed an instance spun up quickly, you would want to avoid a dedicated environment as a matter of principle.

A bare metal cloud environment avoids this issue, as it automates provisioning. You can buy your kit online and get it up and running in a matter of minutes, as easily as you would with a public cloud provider like AWS. Unlike virtual machines, a bare metal cloud lets you control everything from the infrastructure upwards, but without owning or operating the wider public internet or datacentres.

What can a bare metal cloud include?

So who is bare metal cloud right for?

You’ll always need to analyse your hosting requirements to determine which environment will best support your workload. But for a great number of workloads, a bare metal cloud represents the most flexible method of running a hosted application as it is customisable, cost-effective, and scalable.

  1. Ok, but is bare metal cloud right for me?

Maybe, try asking yourself these questions:


If your answers are generally positive, then you may want to look into controlling a bare metal environment. If there are negatives you’ll need to weigh up your technical considerations against each other or against your budget objectives.

When is Bare Metal the Right Choice for ECommerce?

Posted by Adrien Tibi

For the majority of eCommerce businesses, workloads are quite predictable, making bare metal cloud a much more cost effective infrastructure choice than public cloud in many cases.

Swathes of eCommerce founders are understandably drawn to public cloud vendors, such as AWS – enticed by low entry point pricing and offers, as well as the success stories of prominent names. But there are two sides to the public cloud pricing equation, and low entry point prices are invariably offset by premiums elsewhere in the portfolio. Typically, this impacts businesses who do not make use of the scalability aspects of the platform.

Ready to deploy on bare metal? Create your free account and start configuring your bare metal servers here.


Don’t Mistake Yourself for Amazon

If an eCommerce store experiences massive peaks and troughs in its visitor numbers, the ability to access burstable capacity, and to avoid the need to over-provision to cope with those peaks, represents a very real financial benefit. The reality is, however, that most eCommerce businesses, even the most successful, are quite unlike Amazon, which built AWS to meet its own need for scalability first.

Amazon’s eCommerce business faces unique challenges that arise from its size and success – massive fluctuations in visitor numbers are only the beginning. Amazon also contends with a truly global audience, calling for infrastructure in every region in order to cater for demand while delivering a satisfactory user experience.

On top of this, Amazon’s Big Data collection and storage, analytical power and back office systems all need to scale in line with customer demand too. Their need for burstable capacity is unprecedented.

Add to this, its marketplace offering, which accommodates millions of independent sellers, and the magnitude of these infrastructure challenges becomes even more impressive.

But Amazon is a one-off. The vast majority of eCommerce businesses have very different infrastructure requirements.


The Right Infrastructure for Your ECommerce Business

Fluctuations in visitor numbers to eCommerce websites rarely reach the point where the difference between the average and peak demand for computation power makes paying a premium for public cloud scalability worthwhile.

And while visitor numbers fluctuate, the volume of data being stored for transactions and other processes grows linearly – predictably and slowly in relative terms. The demand for analytical power and business intelligencemeanwhile, though driven by visitor numbers, is in many cases outsourced to third parties and so does not impact the core infrastructure requirements at all.

This predictability in demand, and therefore infrastructure requirements, is further supported by the tendency for successful eCommerce businesses to serve specific markets and geographies well, rather than taking the multi-national broad-line approach.

It rarely makes sense for an eCommerce business to host all of its infrastructure, if any, on the public cloud.


The Business Case for Bare Metal

Unless your workloads are like Amazon’s and you can benefit from access to premium, burstable, pay-as-you-go capacity, bare metal cloud will give you better ROI. It’s well known that, for most examples of always-on instances, a dedicated server within a bare metal cloud environment will cost a fraction of what the public cloud alternative will – once attractive new customer deals have expired, of course.

In addition to the cost advantages, bare metal instances always deliver better performance over time, thanks to their being single tenant and not sharing resources with any other users in any way. Given how vitally important page load and server response times are to the customer experience in eCommerce, this is a distinct advantage in bare metal’s favour.


In conclusion, the low-cost ticket price of public cloud is not what you will end up paying if your workloads are steady or your instances always on. In every case, the best way to ensure you get maximum ROI from your infrastructure, both in terms of cost and performance, is to match it closely to your workloads. Capacity planning is an essential step in cloud deployment of ecommerce businesses and should not be overlooked.

Amazon AWS is a Bare Metal Cloud – for Amazon

Posted by Adrien Tibi

For its users, AWS is a public cloud; for Amazon it’s their own cost-effective bare metal cloud.

Understanding how Amazon’s AWS supports the needs of its business is useful when considering the economics of building a cloud environment for your eCommerce business.

Undeniably the most popular and successful eCommerce business of our time, Amazon is unique. And with this success and scale have come challenges that no other eCommerce company has faced previously. Overcoming these challenges is what led to the birth of AWS and is why is now built fully upon it.

Ready to deploy on bare metal? Create your free account and start configuring your bare metal servers here.

Amazon’s Unique eCommerce Challenges

Perhaps the easiest component of the eCommerce business is providing an online store on which customers can browse and purchase products. Pages are highly templated, while images and content are driven by a database of products. The real challenges for an e-tailer with’s success all revolve around scaling this online store while meeting the demands of customers.

Delivering the best possible user experience, no matter where or when customers are using the site, requires infrastructure with enormous scalability. In order to maximise sales and minimise abandonment, product images and content need to load lightning fast, categories must be searchable and filterable and the site responsive when customers add products to baskets and move through the checkout process. Slow sites leak orders.’s visitor numbers also vary massively over time. For instance, the number of site users on an average Wednesday will be dwarfed by the Black Friday rush. Provisioning an infrastructure to cater for the peaks in demand, while simultaneously meeting customer expectations, would simply be economically unfeasible. The only option for Amazon was to build on a shared platform that can afford the kind of scalability required.

The issue is further complicated by’s global reach. The same kind of scalability and performance is needed in every region – images can’t be transferred across the globe as customers try to browse products. Instead, images and content need to reside near the user in order to provide a satisfactory customer experience. The only way to achieve this is with infrastructure close to the end-user, meaning huge estates at multiple points across the globe.


AWS = Bare Metal Cloud

Amazon will have very quickly realised that, while third party public clouds offer the scalability it needs, the economics are not in its favour.

In order to be able to offer massive scalability, a public cloud vendor needs to be able to sell unutilised capacity quickly and easily. This means charging low entry points to bring customers on-board for short-term or low-level usage but then charging a premium in other areas to offset the potential cost of under-utilisation. The result is that larger businesses end up paying more for their resources.

For Amazon, building its eCommerce business on someone else’s public cloud would be too expensive. So it built its own.

But when you build your own cloud you build a bare metal cloud, a collection of physical machines, networked and at your disposal, whether it’s for use in dedicated format for databases and containerised apps, or in virtual form for webservers etc. In AWS’s case, this bare metal cloud consists of more than two million Linux servers.

Public cloud is simply an economic model applied to such bare metal infrastructures. By building its own bare metal cloud, Amazon was able to remove the cost premium of building on someone else’s public cloud, and create an additional revenue stream selling the public cloud model to others.

The lesson for eCommerce businesses is to never make assumptions about which type of infrastructure is right for your needs and to always look beyond attractive new-user pricing. The right infrastructure for you always depends upon the type of workloads you will be running, the patterns in demand, locations of users and the utilisation of resources.

The right solution may well be a combination of public cloud and other platforms, like private or bare metal clouds and dedicated servers. The only way to discover this is to thoroughly understand your requirements or consult with experts who can advise you on all the available options.

What is a Bare Metal Cloud?

Posted by Adrien Tibi

A dedicated bare metal cloud allows you to control everything from the infrastructure upwards, without owning or operating the wider public internet or datacentres.

How is a bare metal cloud different from dedicated servers?

dedicated server is just one component of a bare metal cloud.  A dedicated server is a standalone server, with a given specification.  The customer has complete administrative access to the server.

A bare metal cloud represents the whole infrastructure environment – which may include multiple dedicated servers, some of which may in turn be running virtualisation technology. It can also include as proprietary devices such as storage, load balancers, or firewalls.

Ready to deploy on bare metal? Create your free account and start configuring your bare metal servers here.


It is often the case that bare metal cloud environments will have customised networking requirements – private connectivity to storage devices using iSCSI or fiberchannel, high throughput and low latency connectivity between servers, as well as a dedicated connection to the public internet.

A bare metal cloud can span multiple datacentres, and can be part of a ‘hybrid cloud’ environment that has both a bare metal cloud and connection to a public cloud – as such Amazon’s AWS or Microsoft’s Azure.

What are the benefits of a bare metal cloud versus the public cloud?

There is no ‘on-size-fits-all’ answer as to when a bare metal cloud is better than a public cloud, as every organisation has different requirements from their hosting platforms. This makes it vital to draw upon expertise to determine how best to architect your solution.

Some aspects of a bare metal cloud can’t be replicated in a public cloud, such as:

It is cheaper than a public cloud environment
There is complete control over the specification of the physical environment, which can be used to fully customise the environment and yield performance gains for the platform. Particularly useful for companies offering software as a service, who can gain a USP over their competitors by customising their environment
There is more predictability and control over costs of the hosting environment
There is more commercial flexibility from dealing with a bare metal cloud provider that is providing a non-productised platform

When is the public cloud better?

Broadly speaking, public cloud trumps bare metal when:

Can I have both?

Absolutely.  A number of organisations, large and small, are running a hybrid environment. Hybrid solutions can cater for the ad hoc nature of a development platform in the public cloud, but with a production environment with known workloads in a bare metal cloud that has been optimised for the applications.

This approach:

Build your bare metal cloud

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