Authored by Ron Cadwell, founder and CEO of phoenixNAP. Prepared for publishing by the Editorial team.
Few innovations have had a more profound influence on the IT world than the rise of cloud computing, with some remarkable developments happening only recently. Almost every industry has integrated some form of cloud technology into their day-to-day operations.
In our personal lives, we've started using the cloud to manage our email and data. The cloud has changed how organizations manage IT costs and provided fertile ground for innovative services. Cloud computing has also improved our healthcare facilities, saving lives and enabling essential services during the pandemic.
But we are now nearing a bottleneck and a point of diminishing returns. As more complex workloads move to the cloud, the performance shortcomings of multi-tenant virtualized cloud infrastructure begin to rear their ugly head. These weaknesses are, in fact, intrinsic to the design of such systems, and no amount of upscaling can fix them. It was obvious - we needed something altogether different.
Here at phoenixNAP, we believe Bare Metal Cloud is the way forward, and we have made it our flagship product. In this article, I will shed light on what BMC is, who can benefit from it, and describe some of its key features.
IoT, AI, and other data-hungry technologies are the main drivers of the market. According to latest research, the cloud computing market will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 17% to reach 1.6 trillion by 2030.
What is Bare Metal Cloud?
A bare metal cloud server is a physical server, optimized and automated in a way to provide cloud-like ease of use and versatility. It combines the strengths of both cloud and dedicated servers without exhibiting the weaknesses of either. In a nutshell, bare metal cloud provides the power of bare metal hardware with the flexibility of cloud-native environments.
Like dedicated servers, bare metal cloud servers allow you to take full control of the physical resources (CPU, memory, storage), giving you more freedom without compromising performance or having to get involved with complex dedicated server hosting.
A BMC server is single-tenant and non-virtualized, meaning you're not sharing processing power with anyone, and there is no added burden of virtualization. In contrast, public clouds are virtual machines running on top of hypervisors (virtual machine monitors) that carve up resources which are then shared by multiple customers in the cloud.
Who Can Benefit From Bare Metal Cloud?
We invested in Bare Metal Cloud to develop an infrastructure platform for emerging workloads, such as edge computing, 5G, Big Data, and AI, all the while providing organizations cloud-like flexibility and scalability. With workloads becoming increasingly complex, we set out to eliminate the complexity of deploying and managing infrastructure.
BMC is the right choice whether your organization is traditionally cloud-based (ecommerce, education, health) or bare metal (fintech, gaming, streaming services, AI development). BMC combines the best of both worlds and gives your organization a competitive edge.
Accelerating the Growth of Startups
Our approach has always been to grow together with our clients and build relationships based on mutual trust and support. That is why we have tailor-made our Bare Metal Cloud services to be ideal for startups.
If you're just starting your business and are short of funds, our servers provide an affordable way to test and try new things and scale overnight if the need arises. We also place reliability as our top priority because we know startups cannot allow their products to crash just before takeoff.
Our billing model supports hourly billing so that you pay for resources only when you need them. If you reserve servers for longer periods, you get up to a 30% discount. Furthermore, with your first deployment you get 15TB of free bandwidth to share between all servers in a single location.
We support hybrid cloud solutions. There is no vendor lock in and startups are free to build their infrastructure just the way they need it.
Made by a DevOps Team for DevOps Teams
From the very start, we wanted to build a platform that will support the workloads of tomorrow. Among other things, that means supporting DevOps teams and automated deployments. That is why we embarked on a road to DevOps. Now, we can proudly say that Bare Metal Cloud was built by a DevOps team for DevOps teams and Agile developers alike.
Bare Metal Cloud provides the following features that support a modern DevOps team:
- Automated server provisioning. phoenixNAP worked with Canonical and integrated with their Metal-as-a-Service (MAAS) solution to enable automated server deployments in less than 2 minutes.
- Cloud-native infrastructure. Bare Metal Cloud is fully cloud native.
- SUSE Rancher integration. The integration helps developers save hours of work required to deploy container services.
- Integration with popular IaC tools. Bare Metal Cloud supports a number of open-source Infrastructure-as-Code tools that help automate server provisioning and management. DevOps teams can use Terraform, Pulumi, and Ansible modules to automate server deployment.
- API and CLI automation. PNAP offers SDKs for Python, Go, and Ruby for easy integration with the Bare Metal Cloud API.
- Avesha KubeSlice integration. KubeSlice with Bare Metal Cloud helps organizations connect app services across isolated clusters.Additionally, phoenixNAP actively maintains publicly available GitHub repositories with numerous automation scrips, modules and GitHub actions.
Automation via API and CLI
Our cloud-native platform has built-in tools which implement open-source IaC (Infrastructure as Code) modules that eliminate the need for repetitive, manual infrastructure management tasks. Tools such as Terraform, Ansible, and Pulumi streamline provisioning and management and quickly deploy servers, operating systems, containers, and apps. You can scale your operations with confidence, knowing that you won't have to increase your IT department headcount just to keep up with maintenance.
Automation is possible either via CLI or API. Both make it easy to create, delete, or modify anything – from servers, containers, and apps to networks and entire environments.
Rancher is a software stack for deploying and managing Kubernetes clusters. Setting up a high-availability Kubernetes environment from scratch can take days, maybe even weeks of tedious labor. Rancher greatly simplifies and automates the process and allows you to build server instances with multi-node Kubernetes management and workload clusters in a matter of minutes. This saves you hours of development work as there's no need to struggle with dozens of tools to manually build a container services platform.
PhoenixNAP has integrated Rancher into its Bare Metal Cloud platform and enabled the deployment of production-grade clusters from the core to the edge in a few clicks. Through the Bare Metal Cloud portal, API, or CLI, developers can easily deploy pre-configured servers on multiple global locations and adjust their cluster and node settings.
Supporting IoT Development with Edge Servers
Edge computing is the handling of client data at a network's edge, as near the source of the data as possible. Edge servers are quickly becoming essential to delivering advanced services and innovations – especially in the field of IoT (Internet of Things).
In anticipation of growth of IoT, we have recently launched a BMC edge point in Austin, TX and plan to develop many more as a strategic priority. Right now, we can provide low-latency access to Bare Metal Cloud to most of the southwest United States via our edge installation.
Bare Metal Cloud brings real change to DevOps infrastructure because the limitations of hardware are removed by the flexibility of software. BMC allows organizations to embrace cloud computing, providing them agility, quicker results, and better finances, without jeopardizing basic criteria such as security, compliance, and consistency.
I believe we will see bare metal cloud, as a technology model, gain momentum and become the dominant cloud computing model in the coming decade due to its unique and natural synergy with other emerging technologies like AI, Big Data, IoT, 5G, and edge computing.