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Big Data and the Bare Metal Cloud

By this time, most people out there are familiar with the concept of Big Data; that catch-all term for massive amounts of information extracted from multiple sources and made available for the purposes of helping institutions and businesses make better decisions and increase efficiency.

And many people also have a good idea what cloud computing is, where data is stored offsite in a virtual environment, eliminating the need of bulky servers onsite. It’s a concept that’s been making a lot of inroads in the world of IT delivery, and has made the news (although not the good kind of news) recently with stories about security breaches. Cloud computing is also useful in handling Big Data, and that makes sense, since the vast amounts of data can certainly benefit from the storage capabilities that cloud computing offers.

But now, there’s yet another new IT tool available, and that’s bare metal cloud. Let’s take a look at what this form of cloud computing is all about, and whether Big Data can benefit from it.


The Bare Essence of Bare Metal Cloud

Bare metal cloud computing either supplements or outright replaces the regular virtualized cloud services. This is accomplished by using a dedicated server that otherwise conforms to a standard cloud network. A bare metal system is a computer network where the virtual machine is actually installed directly on the hardware, rather than on the host operating system. And because operating systems are normally stored on a hard disk, you get the term “bare metal”.

Bare metal cloud runs off of this bare metal environment, the latter which needs the three key elements of bare metal storage, bare metal networking, and computing power. With all of these factors in place, you have the kind of environment that makes good bare metal cloud.

The biggest advantage to a bare metal environment is that it fights performance degradation. In regular cloud environments, hypervisor layers are introduced in order to provide the visibility, management capabilities, and flexibility required to run multiple virtual machines from one box. The downside of hypervisor layers, however, is that they eat processing, resulting in at least a 20% decline in performance. Take note of that: at least.

So How Does Big Data Benefit From Bare Metal Cloud?

Big Data is called big not only because of the large amount of information it entails, but also due to the availability of this information and the speed at which it’s delivered. Big Data includes but is not limited to demographics, Internet traffic, popular trends, survey results, road traffic patterns, weather, search engine results, and purchase histories. That’s a lot of information coming in from a lot of sources.

The sheer glut of information is why there is one outstanding benefit that Big Data can get from the bare metal cloud, one that eclipses all other potential advantages, and that benefit is speed. Benchmark testing of a database running on virtual cloud services versus bare metal machines showed the latter to completely dominate. When it came to three Big Data workload tests (inserting data, read heavy, and balanced), the bare metal servers consistently beat the cloud servers.

Many Big Data applications run one-off or short term data queries, which bare metal cloud is perfectly suited for. Combine this with the speed and efficiency of bare metal cloud, and is there really a question as to which is ultimately the best?

Photo Credit: t.klick

Written By

Born in the Boston area in 1959, I started writing in 1985. I live in Nashua NH with my wife and three cats. We have four kids in our blended family. I am an utter geek who's into gaming, horror, SF/fantasy, the Red Sox, trains, running, history, and a bunch of other things.

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