PhoenixNAP Bare Metal Cloud vs. Colocation
Since this started with me physically installing a server, some folks will wonder why would you want this type of deployment versus standard colocation. We use several different facilities (not PhoenixNAP yet, but that may change in the future) for colocation. There are a few notable differences.
First, Bare Metal Cloud gives a cloud-like experience. There is no real procurement process. There is no shipping. No waiting for gear to get installed. No negotiating contracts for bandwidth with salespeople who continue to call you every end of the quarter even after you have told them that you do not need any more bandwidth. You can spin up an entire server in a few minutes.
On the spin-up, that is easy as well. Pick a location and an OS, and then click deploy and the server will be provisioned for you.
Networking will be set up. What is more, you can deploy in different regions in the same manner. We had used the web GUI before, but because we started this before the new Sapphire Rapids Xeons were released for public consumption, we had to use the API. That took a few minutes to poke around for examples and we were ready to go.
Once you are done with a server, all you have to do is end the instance and the server is wiped and returned back to the pool.
That is just the experience side of Bare Metal Cloud. There are other things as well. For example, PhoenixNAP has storage available over the network that one can simply deploy and use.
Aside from the hardware, there are also folks monitoring the environment. Available with spares, and so forth. Those are things that you do not have to do.
The biggest difference I have noticed, now having colocated servers for a decade or more, is how easy it is. That is not to say colocation is bad, but this model is much easier to get the benefits of bare metal servers in terms of performance and cost versus cloud VMs than by going to colocation.
What Does Bare Metal Mean?
One really nice feature is that with the bare metal cloud you get the ability to run on not just something like bare metal. You actually get to run on a physical server much like you colocated a machine. From the PhoenixNAP console, you can launch a Supermicro HTML5 iKVM and get in directly to the local console.
This may not seem like a big deal, but if a bare metal server hangs at some point, it can be a lifesaver. For example, and one of my favorites, is when an interface changes names in Ubuntu after an update and Ubuntu hangs. It is easy to go into the recovery console and change anything you need to optional so it will boot.
Next, let us get to the performance.