Bare metal deployments have skyrocketed in popularity recently, and with good reason. Bare metal solutions offer significant benefits, including better security, lower costs, ease of upgrading, reliability, and speed. Also referred to as a dedicated server, a bare metal server is a physical computer server that only one consumer or tenant uses. It's free from any virtualization, and the consumer can optimize the server according to their performance needs.
Choosing the right server infrastructure is a critical decision for any business. Making the wrong decision can lead to purchasing IT equipment that's not fit for purpose. Moreover, choosing the right solution today can secure your success in the future.
While we can apply bare metal deployments to a bunch of scenarios, there are some areas where they drive the most significant impact. With this in mind, let's look at the use cases for bare metal in gaming, media, and companies with an international presence.
Bare Metal for Gaming
Today, more and more gaming companies are using bare metal to create robust and compelling gaming platforms, but why? Game developers are under immense pressure to deliver increasingly innovative, immersive, and powerful gaming experiences. This is especially true for graphically intensive multiplayer games that require fast response times. For example, esports, valued at $1.08 Billion in 2021 but expected to grow to $2.8 Billion by 2028, can only function due to high performance and low latency servers.
In simple words, bare metal deployments are ideal for CPU-intensive and latency-sensitive gaming workloads. By using a single-tenant environment (with no one else sharing the same resources), bare metal servers offer higher performance and more stability. Additionally, these servers can be configured to the exact specifications of the game. Lastly, bare metal also provides fast deployment. This means gaming companies can spin up a new machine or de-provision another as business needs evolve.
Bare Metal for Organizations With an International Presence
Organizations with an international presence are increasingly choosing bare metal solutions to help achieve their goals. Bare metal allows you to utilize all of the server's processing, memory, and other capabilities while being highly scalable and free from any OS constraints.
This makes bare metal an excellent fit for high-availability systems like enterprise applications with considerable security or performance requirements. Similarly, since bare metal servers are isolated from the operating system's vulnerabilities, they are also considered much more secure. This is crucial for large international companies that are often lucrative targets for cybercriminals.
Maintaining consistent performance across sites is vital for international organizations with offices across multiple regions. These companies often need to provide functionality to users across the world with ultra-low latency. Moreover, high performance and low latency are often significant elements of their future growth plans. International organizations can gain a competitive advantage by investing in bare metal infrastructure that can securely connect locations, people, clouds, and data, allowing their business to thrive.
Bare Metal for Online Media
Companies that offer online media, like Twitch, YouTube, Netflix, Disney, and Paramount, need server infrastructures that can handle enormous volumes of data on an hourly basis. At the same time, they need to be able to scale as demand grows and effectively safeguard their data from ever-increasing and more severe cyber threats. And in the online media industry, bare metal deployments have become a popular choice for meeting these goals.
For example, senior director architect of Verizon Media, James Penick, said, "We've understood that we need to build a foundation before building the house. Bare metal servers form the basis of our infrastructure. It's like hardening the building using concrete and reinforcing bars."
Essentially, bare metal servers help maximize performance by avoiding the virtualization tax, thereby allowing the server to cope with resource-heavy tasks more efficiently.
Bare metal servers also help online media companies manage the bandwidth needs of their growing audiences and keep up with their competitors. For example, a rough estimate for 2021 is that Twitch's servers handled 46.5 million gigabytes daily throughout the year, serving around 2.76 million average concurrent users. And while popular, Twitch isn't even the largest online media company out there by a good margin.
Naturally, any online media company that wants to compete or even overtake a platform like Twitch needs to at least match but more likely exceed the company's server capabilities. Bare metal deployments are the most reliable and efficient way of doing this. They allow content providers to meet extraordinary user demand without having to worry about bandwidth fluctuations as demand scales.
Moreover, managing demand will only become more vital as the online media market continues to grow. For example, a 2018 Cisco study predicted that online videos will account for 82% of internet traffic by 2022 and that 1.1 million minutes of video will be streamed or downloaded every second by 2022. While we don't have the 2022 data just yet, video traffic already accounted for 73% of all consumer internet traffic in 2017.
As the online content market grows, content providers will be under even more pressure to provide maximum performance to hold users' attention. Moreover, providing consistently high performance at peak load times, like during major sports broadcasts or significant calendar events, is made much easier with bare metal infrastructure that is highly configurable and flexible.
In addition, bare metal deployments can offer significant cost savings due to their ability to optimize the company's resources effectively. This helps smaller media platforms get off the ground more quickly and compete with the industry giants.
Lastly, server performance is more predictable with bare metal servers. This means online media companies can make better decisions over their technology stack today and in the future.
Public cloud, private cloud, and bare metal all have their place. And bare metal servers are the clear winner when it comes to resource-intensive workloads that require ultra-low latency and fine-tuned control. Whether it's gaming, online media, or international enterprises, bare metal offers several key advantages that other infrastructure solutions can't meet.