Most cloud vendors have bare-metal options. However, they aren’t the same. Some of them showed up late to the party and may not be as enthusiastic as you may wish.
The best provider should demonstrate that they are competent in bare-metal computing. They shouldn’t offer it as an after-thought.
There are many well-known names in the computing industry. Some of them offer solutions to general consumers, while others are focused on businesses.
Despite being competitors, each provider has its advantage over the other. Make a decision based on your needs.
Consider a provider that is great on factors like after-sales service, better hardware quality, or even lower prices. Here are some characteristics that can be used as a benchmark when considering different providers:
1. Renting Resources
If you require servers for running applications occasionally, you may want to avoid costs of ownership. Consider renting resources as they are more practical and make better financial sense.
2. Free Hardware Replacement
If you run a business that can’t afford data loss and requires high availability, this is an important feature to consider. Such operations include medical databases and financial applications.
You should not lose your data if your server fails, and you should be able to keep working uninterrupted even after an accident that damages your system.
3. Customization Options
Maybe you need servers with specific software (e.g., Windows Server edition) and/or with custom hardware specifications (e.g., CPU type and the number of cores). If so, you should look for scalable providers who let their customers fully customize the servers they rent.
The ability to customize your servers may come at an extra charge but it is worth it. In Maxihost regions, for example, you can deploy servers that meet your connectivity and hardware needs.
4. Proactive Monitoring
If you want to find and fix problems before they trigger major failures, but you do not have enough staff or time, it would be best to find providers who offer different monitoring options.
They should understand what each customer’s business means and whether the customers want to receive only information which requires immediate action (such as a high load on a particular server), or just an email notification when something happens.
5. Who Will Manage Your Server
The first step is to know who will manage your server. If you are responsible for the server and the hardware fails, you need to replace it (or take it out of operation).
You also need to ensure that the underlying operating system works properly (including security patches and updates).
You can hire someone else to do this task, but then the provider isn’t always able to guarantee 100% uptime on their software platform, as they would not control all layers of operation.
They would need to re-implement their service in another solution or hire people to do it themselves.
6. Initial Deployment
Another critical factor is the initial deployment of an operating system.
An automated system should ideally do it. So when you upload your vhd/vmdk/raw image, the provider should automatically detect that this is a bare-metal installation and install everything.
If they only deploy images hosted on their websites, then installing anything else becomes much harder.
8. Getting Disk Images
The next thing to look for is how easy it is to get disk images from other sources on their bare-metal servers. If the only way is to upload them via their web interface, this will make debugging harder.
You’ll need to find out why an image doesn’t boot on their hardware. It also makes life harder when you want to use new m5/m7 machines.
These are just some general features that one should look for when buying bare-metal cloud computing.
Some companies offer various levels of services according to the needs of their customers and price range, so it is always better to ask and find out more about what each provider has in store for its clients.