The server that hosts your business website is the foundation of your online presence. A fast and reliable web server can boost website conversion rates, customer satisfaction, and branding.
With so many hosting options available to you, it’s a challenge to know which one will work best for your company. This article gives you a clear understanding of two of the most popular options: bare metal servers and cloud servers.
First, evaluate your business needs.
Your infrastructure and data will be at the core of your company. In this scenario, you will choose between various server types based on your requirements such as speed, memory, price, management costs, etc.
Speak with your I.T. department so they can accurately come up with the best server configuration for your business, leaving room for scalability without overspending.
Bare metal servers are physical devices dedicated to running single or multiple applications at a time. Cloud servers are virtual storage made up of hardware on-premises and in remote data centers. Cloud servers are also rented from third-party providers on an as-needed basis, whereas bare metal requires an upfront investment in hardware.
While typically these are two different server options, a hybrid option does exist – so after reading this article, you may be interested in learning about the benefits of bare metal cloud providers, which can meld the best of both worlds.
What are bare metal servers?
Bare metal servers are highly customizable, dedicated servers designed to run pretty much anything the client needs it for. It’s a much more hands-on approach to server management for businesses because it allows you to customize exactly what the server does and how it works for you.
Bare metal servers are popular for enhanced data security, running proprietary software developed in-house, and the ability to optimize for performance. You can launch VMs on bare metal servers to accelerate development times and costs, or create a private cloud for users by being able to launch containers.
Advantages of bare metal servers over cloud providers.
The biggest advantage of bare metal servers over cloud servers is that you can feel the hardware performance difference. Cloud servers are virtualized machines, often shared between several clients. This will limit the performance of the server itself.
Bare metal servers are faster and are able to deliver higher bandwidth, more memory, and faster processing, simply because all of the server’s resources are being exclusively allocated to you. This will increase the flexibility of your infrastructure, and eliminate queued actions.
Drawbacks of bare metal servers for SMBs.
While bare metal servers offer greater performance and scalability, they’re not always the best for small-medium businesses on a slim budget. Pricing can be one of the big downsides, but this can be mitigated by per-hour billing, rather than a traditional monthly or annual payment contract.
Again, speak with your I.T. department so they can come up with the best option for your business and let them help make the decision for you.
What are cloud servers?
Simply put, cloud server providers are companies that offer infrastructure and facilities to enable businesses to host applications that require high levels of performance and reliability, but typically with a more hands-off approach in server management for the client.
The cloud provider is often responsible for server updates, feature integration, and configuration of the environment to an organization’s needs. In return, the organization can rely on the provider for security and a constant source of support.
For example, your company might employ a lot of remote workers who need virtual workstations deployed to their home office equipment. With a cloud server, you can get that working environment up and running quickly, and you won’t have to worry about maintaining the hardware, software, or network — that responsibility typically falls to the cloud server provider.
Advantages of cloud servers over bare metal for SMBs.
Cloud servers are a great option for small-medium businesses that need to scale quickly and easily. While you don’t have as much control and management of cloud servers, this is a boon for SMBs that don’t want to entangle themselves in the complexities of hands-on server management.
Cloud servers make sense for small to medium businesses that just need to deploy a few virtual apps to remote workers. They’re also great for small businesses that need to scale quickly and need less infrastructure, as they’re using a more simple and straightforward management approach that doesn’t require much admin.
Disadvantages of cloud servers for small to medium businesses.
While cloud servers are a good option for SMBs that don’t want to deal with hardware administration, the management might be tricky for many companies. Basic tasks like configuration and updates may be a real pain for the business owner and the IT department.
Cloud servers may not be available for the needs of your business, if you need real-time access and responsiveness. You’ll be filling out support tickets to the cloud provider for minor issues, which may cause you a lot of headaches.
Bare metal servers and cloud providers both offer different pros and cons, and you can also look into bare metal cloud providers to try and get the best of both. As we mentioned a couple of times, this decision is going to boil down to talking it over with your I.T. department and paying attention to what they say.