Sometimes, for either performance or security reasons, customers don't want to use a public or a private cloud with virtualized infrastructure. Service providers are increasingly responding to this, and one analyst says there is increasing demand for bare-metal clouds.
Internap, the cloud, managed hosting, and co-location service provider, is the latest to jump into the arena with its Agile Hosting offering announced last week. In a bare-metal cloud offering, customers get automated provisioning of dedicated managed hosting environments, meaning they are not taxed by a hypervisor virtualization platform that can cause performance lag.
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Until recently, provisioning managed hosting environments usually took anywhere from hours to days to weeks for the service provider to manually configure an offering for a customer, says Carl Brooks, a cloud analyst at Tier 1, which is a division of 451 Research. Using automation technology acquired from the $30 million acquisition of Voxel last year, Internap rolled out preconfigured, automatic provisioning of managed host compute power. "It's the power to access a bare metal server, with the flexibility and agility of a cloud service," Brooks says.
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Internap is not the first to offer the service, Brooks says. SoftLayer has an automated co-location, managed hosting, and cloud offering similar to Internap's. Rackspace has made some moves in automating managed hosting environments and allowing for portability of workloads between those and cloud environments, Brooks says. Liquid Web and New Servers, also known as BareMetalCloud.com, are other players. Brooks says he expects it to be a trend that will pick up.