Performance Analysis: Bare-Metal and Virtual Clouds

More organizations are off-loading their applications and workloads into the cloud environment every day. Find out if a bare-metal or virtual cloud environment is right for you.

Bill Kleyman

November 25, 2014

2 Min Read
Performance Analysis: Bare-Metal and Virtual Clouds

More organizations are off-loading their applications and workloads into the cloud environment because it offers efficiency, agility, recovery capabilities and more. But how can you determine which cloud model is right for you?

Virtualized Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) has drawn increasing attention and usage due to its granular billing, ease-of-use and broad network access. In comparison, bare-metal cloud services, which are essentially physical servers that can be deployed on demand and billed hourly, offer significant improvements over virtualized IaaS in performance, consistency and cost efficiency for many applications. Benchmark tests comparing similarly sized virtual and bare-metal cloud configurations reveal that bare-metal cloud yields superior CPU, RAM, storage, and internal network performance.

In this whitepaper from InterNAP, Cloud Spectator monitors the CPU, RAM, storage, and internal network performance of over 20 of the world’s most well-known IaaS services to understand important aspects of virtual server performance. Tests are run at least three times per day, 365 days per year to capture variability in addition to performance level. Tests are chosen based on reliability and practicality. The goal is to provide an indication of where certain providers perform well relative to others. This can give consumers an indication of which services would be best for their application(s) by understanding the performance of provider resources most critical to that application.

Remember, singular benchmarks alone should not be the only deciding factor in the provider selection process. A feature set, configuration matches, pricing and ancillary services such as security, compliance, and disaster recovery should always factor into any vendor selection process. However, performance is a very important piece to the puzzle.

Cloud Spectator measured the performance of Internap’s bare-metal cloud offering against virtual offerings from Amazon and Rackspace. The goal was to quantify how much of a performance penalty users are taking by choosing virtual cloud servers.

Over a period of 10 days, Cloud Spectator ran benchmark tests across Internap bare-metal cloud, AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) with Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS), and Rackspace OpenCloud with Rackspace Block Storage. Each test was run to understand the unique performance capabilities of each offering’s CPU, internal network, RAM and disk. Cloud Spectator accounted for performance capability and stability for each provider to understand the value each one delivers to its users. Tests were run on 8GB servers for Internap and Rackspace, and 7.5GB servers for Amazon.

Download this whitepaper today to read the comparison results and how a bare-metal cloud could provide users the opportunity to derive more value for certain IaaS workloads. With the option to use a dedicated server as they would a cloud server, users can potentially better manage workloads that typically require direct access to physical hardware, such as databases and calculation-intensive applications. In addition, organizations that have limited their IT deployments to long-term hosted or owned environments due to performance concerns can look at bare-metal cloud as a way to maintain quality while improving agility and asset efficiency.

About the Author(s)

Bill Kleyman

Bill Kleyman has more than 15 years of experience in enterprise technology. He also enjoys writing, blogging, and educating colleagues about tech. His published and referenced work can be found on Data Center Knowledge, AFCOM, ITPro Today, InformationWeek, NetworkComputing, TechTarget, DarkReading, Forbes, CBS Interactive, Slashdot, and more.

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