RANSOMWARE TRACKING MAPS

Recent problems experienced with Ransomware are evident from infections, which have occurred in 99 countries including China and Russia. The organization that was worst hit by the attack was the National Health Service in England. It was reported that there was a WannaCry programme that demanded...

Bare-Metal Cloud: Meeting The Demand For High-Performance Cloud Solutions

Meeting The Demand For High-Performance Cloud Solutions

Organizations have been flocking to cloud infrastructure services in an effort to cut IT costs while capitalizing quickly on technology innovations. The driving force is almost always the desire for flexibility, scalability and efficiency. And the cloud generally delivers on this promise with its foundation of virtualization, automation and orchestration. But, just a few short years into the cloud revolution, new options have popped up in response to high-performance workloads that can put stress on traditional, virtual clouds.

Performance degradation can occur, stemming from the introduction of a hypervisor layer and the multi-tenant nature of virtualized public cloud platforms. While the hypervisor enables the visibility, flexibility and management capabilities required to run multiple virtual machines on a single box, it also creates additional processing overhead that can significantly affect performance. The performance limitations caused by the hypervisor don’t negatively impact every application; however, for application architectures demanding higher levels of data throughput, this layer, along with the multi-tenant design of virtualized cloud environments can be constraining, particularly if there is “oversubscription.” When too many virtual machines compete for server resources, they become “noisy neighbors,” restricting I/O for data-intensive workloads, and resulting in an inefficient use of physical resources.

The bare-metal cloud has emerged as a way to complement virtualized services with a dedicated server environment that eliminates the overhead of virtualization without sacrificing the flexibility, scalability and efficiency benefits of the cloud. Bare-metal servers do not run a hypervisor, are not virtualized, and can be delivered via a cloud-like service model. This balances the scalability and automation of the virtualized cloud with the performance capabilities found in monthly dedicated server hosting plans. The hardware is fully dedicated to the customer, including any additional storage that may be required. Bare-metal instances can be provisioned and decommissioned via a web-based portal or API as needed, providing access to high-performance dedicated servers on demand. And, depending on the application and use case, a single bare-metal server can often support larger workloads than multiple, similarly sized VMs.

It’s important not to confuse true bare-metal cloud capabilities with other, related terminology, such as “dedicated instances,” which can still be part of a multi-tenant environment; and “bare-metal servers,” or “dedicated servers,” which could refer to a managed hosting service that involves fixed architectures and longer-term contracts. A bare-metal cloud model enables on-demand usage and metered hourly billing with physical hardware that was previously only sold on a fully dedicated basis.

Bare-Metal Cloud Use Cases

High-performance, bare-metal cloud functionality is ideal for operations where there is a need to perform short-term, data-intensive functions without any kind of latency or overhead delays. In the past, organizations couldn’t put these workloads into the cloud, or they simply had to accept lower performance levels. Two examples of use cases that are ideal for bare-metal cloud are media encoding and render farms, both of which need to perform periodic, data-intensive operations.

Media encoding is used for one of today’s most popular types of websites – those with user-generated content, such as social networking and video sharing sites. When a user uploads a video, it must be transcoded into a common format that is viewable by site visitors. The transcoding software for audio and video is processor-intensive and if it’s located on the same machine as the web server or used in a multi-tenant environment, this can impact performance. Bare-metal cloud removes the performance lag and also delivers the flexibility to ramp up on-demand during the transcoding periods and then immediately scale back down during downtime, so there are no wasted resources.

In the case of render farms, many commercial 3D animation and CAD software applications support a “render farm” mode, where a regular desktop workstation can be turned into a node in a rendering cluster. This is often used by animation companies to develop media assets during the day and to process their files after hours. With bare-metal cloud, a designer could maintain a single, always-on “master” node to submit rendering jobs. The master node would then interact with other hardware nodes for processing the individual frames that need to be rendered. These hardware nodes could be provisioned by design staff as needed to process large or small jobs; or, the master node software could be adapted to provision additional instances as needed through a provisioning API.

Big data applications are also ideal candidates for bare-metal cloud. While running big data in traditional public cloud environments has generated quite a bit of buzz, the reality is that the disk I/O of virtualized cloud servers may not be able to keep up with the high volume, high velocity data. Based on internal benchmark assessments, Internap has found that bare-metal cloud can provide up to five times the performance of a similarly-sized virtualized public cloud (and up to 48% more cost-efficiency.)

Additionally, organizations that have rigorous compliance guidelines can benefit from the bare-metal cloud. Companies in industries like finance, government and healthcare must adhere to strict policies regarding how data is stored, managed and shared. In these cases, shared infrastructure creates a level of uncertainty, and a bare-metal cloud can provide the necessary control over data location and keep it segregated within a well-defined, secure physical environment.

Mixing and Matching IaaS Options with Virtualized and Bare-Metal Cloud

Bare-metal and traditional, virtualized clouds are not competitors. They are simply different branches of IaaS technology that allow customers to meet a wide range of workload and application requirements.

In fact, establishing a mixed cloud environment is often an ideal approach. With this setup, companies can choose, on an individual basis, how to best support each of their core applications and services, thereby reducing capital costs, maximizing operational efficiency and establishing a foundation for innovation through adaptable hosting models.

The definition of IaaS extends beyond the virtualized cloud and is still evolving to meet different business needs. High-performance computing applications have created a demand for dedicated hosting options with cloud-like features; and the bare-metal cloud has emerged as a new way to meet these demands.

gopala-tumuluriBy Gopala Tumuluri, VP, Hosted Services, Internap

Gopala Tumuluri has spent most of the past 17 years in leadership roles at high-tech companies and brings extensive product management and business development experience. Gopala holds an M.B.A. from Carnegie Mellon University, a Master’s in Computer Science from University of Kentucky, and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Nagarjuna University.

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as technology related infographics and comics.

SYNDICATED NEWS SOURCES

(ISC)2 and Cloud Security Alliance Host Cloud Security Summit to Help Cybersecurity Pros Securely Harness Cloud Technologies

By CloudBuzz | September 22, 2017

(ISC)2 and Cloud Security Alliance Host Cloud Security Summit Research cites strengthening of cloud security skills top priority over next three years CLEARWATER, Fla. ,Sept. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — (ISC)² today announced it’s partnering with the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) for the CSA…

Exclusive: T-Mobile, Sprint close to agreeing deal terms – Sources

By CloudBuzz | September 22, 2017

(Reuters) – T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O) is close to agreeing tentative terms on a deal to merge with peer Sprint Corp (S.N), people familiar with the matter said, a major breakthrough in efforts to merge the third and fourth largest…

Hack of U.S. securities regulator rattles investors, stirs doubts

By CloudBuzz | September 21, 2017

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street’s top regulator faced questions on Thursday about its defenses against cyber criminals after admitting hackers breached its electronic database of corporate announcements and may have used it for insider trading. The incursion at the…

Leaking Cloud Databases and Servers Expose Over 1 Billion Records

By CloudBuzz | September 21, 2017

Servers Expose Over 1 Billion Records As The Wall Street Journal recently pointed out, some clients of cloud service providers such as Amazon and Microsoft are accidentally leaving their cloud databases exposed due to misconfigurations of their services. Coupled with recent headline-making…

Thales Joins the Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Alliance

By CloudBuzz | September 21, 2017

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Thales, a leader in critical information systems, cybersecurity and data security, is now a member of the Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Alliance (ECA). Designed to foster innovation and promote awareness of partner solutions, the ECA membership…

Addressing the UK NCSC’s Cloud Security Principles

By CloudBuzz | September 20, 2017

As your organization adopts more cloud services, it’s essential to get a clear picture of how sensitive data will be protected. Many authorities, from government regulators, to industry standards bodies and consortia, have provided guidance on how to evaluate cloud…