What is Bare Metal Cloud

Bare Metal Illustration

Bare Metal Cloud is a term that we’ll be hearing more and more in the coming years. As an alternative to conventional clouds, Bare Metal Cloud platforms have been growing and presenting themselves as a great alternative to virtualized environments by solving many of the problems that virtual machines deal with.

What is Bare Metal Cloud?

Bare Metal Cloud is a public cloud for physical servers, where machines can be provisioned and managed with simplicity and speed similar to virtual machines. It’s like a mix between the performance benefits found in physical servers, with the flexibility and scalability of VMs.

Those who opt for Bare Metal Cloud get access to all of the power of physical servers and the flexibility of virtualized servers, such as elastic storage capacity, on-demand network configurations, and other services they need. It is an option that offers high flexibility without giving up performance.

Dedicated Servers on a Bare Metal Cloud platforms have similar features to virtual machines and can be created and deleted in only a few minutes either through a dashboard or API, something that’s standard for any existing cloud.

In addition, they enable access to a number of common cloud tools such as O.S (Operating System) reinstallation, access to graphics and statistics, elastic storage, cloud-init scripts, security tools, and more.

Bare Metal Cloud vs Cloud

Because it is a physical machine, Bare Metal Cloud servers have the advantage of not having a hypervisor, which is a layer of software between the hardware and the operating system, responsible for virtualizing the infrastructure by segmenting physical machines in multiple VMs (Virtual Machines).

On a conventional cloud, some of the resources are consumed by the Hypervisor so it can run the virtualization layer. Because of that, you need more hardware resources to run an application in virtualized environments (called multi-tenant) than in dedicated environments (called single-tenant). For that reason, the cost of running VMs is often higher than running dedicated servers.

Also, because of the fact that you’ll be sharing resources with a bunch of other VMs, the performance of your own VM can be affected by the so called “noisy neighbor”, which consists of a user that makes excessive use of the server’s resources, impacting the security and stability of the entire virtual infrastructure. In that sense, Bare Metal Cloud platforms have a competitive advantage over the conventional cloud.

In sum, when choosing between physical or virtual servers, you first need to assess the demands of your applications and needs of your company. From this assessment you will have a better understanding on which of the options will meet your needs best.

Reinstall the Operating System through Control

Today we’re excited to release a new feature: OS reinstallation. Now you’ll be able to reinstall your Bare Metal Cloud servers with only a few clicks.

About reinstallation

Users no longer have to access the Console or open a ticket and wait for the support team to perform the OS reinstall, making the process much more quicker and streamlined.

To reinstall the OS, follow these steps below:

1. Select your server in Control

By clicking on the Servers tab and on the server you want to perform the OS reinstall.

Reinstall 1

2. Click Reinstall

In the Server Settings screen, select the Reinstall option on the left side navigation. A new screen will open with the available OS options.

Reinstall 2

3. Choose the OS and perform the reinstallation

Click on the drop-down menu and select the desired OS from the list. Confirm your choice by clicking the Reinstall button.

Reinstall 3

4. Wait for the process to complete

After completing all three steps, the system will automatically format the hard drives and install the new OS. Once the new installation is completed, you will receive an e-mail with the new login info.

Your new OS is now installed and ready to use. Check it out now and tell us what you think.

New server deploy page, feedback widget, and other features

We are excited to announce the release of new features in Control. We’ve added a feature to make it easier to quickly deploy new servers, a new feedback widget, and layout adjustments to make the dashboard more streamlined and easier to use.

We’ve developed a completely new server creation screen, allowing you to deploy a new Bare Metal instance with the settings you choose in 15 minutes. This makes it easier and faster for you to scale your IT infrastructure.

New deploy page

Feedback Widget

Your opinion is very important to us so we’ve created a tool where you can provide feedback directly from the dashboard. With it you can evaluate your experience with Control and share your thoughts on how we can make it better.

Maxihost feedback widget

New menu layout

The Invoices menu item has been moved to Billing under the Settings menu. This helps you access all your settings in one place.

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions about Maxihost Control please let us know.

Press release: Maxihost partners with Jelastic to launch Private PaaS Solution in Brazil

Maxihost announced a strategic partnership with Jelastic to deliver a secure container-based private cloud solution for Brazilian ISVs and SME’s

São Paulo, February 20, 2018 — Maxihost today announced a strategic partnership with Jelastic, a cloud company that supplies full-featured container-based platform for application deployment and management to offer a turnkey Platform-as-a-Service solution product for the Brazilian market.

The new offering includes stable, data safeguarded hardware and a cost-effective PaaS with full automation, advanced scaling and simplicity in usage. This on-premise solution perfectly suits the needs of ISVs and SMEs such as financial institutions, e-commerce websites and gaming companies that need full control over their Cloud deployments, accelerating time to market while maintaining a high level of scalability.

“The Brazilian market keeps showing increasing demand for IT solutions and thus demand scalable and reliable Cloud services. To deliver that, we’re launching a turnkey combination of the advanced Jelastic PaaS technology and the reliable local infrastructure from Maxihost,” said Ruslan Synytsky, CEO of Jelastic.

Jelastic enables DevOps teams to create, test and run their projects in production, with an advanced and user-friendly Cloud platform. This provides flexibility in terms of technology (Java, PHP, Node.js, Ruby, Python, .NET, Go, Docker), project types (Cloud-native and legacy, microservices and monoliths), scaling (vertical and horizontal on container and hardware level), automation (built-in tools and open API for extra integrations), and pricing (pay as you use model based on consumption).

“The partnership between Jelastic and Maxihost enables our customers to go to market faster with a proven PaaS platform and our resilient, compatible infrastructure setup,” said Guilherme Alberto, CEO of Maxihost.

Customers can request a demo from Jelastic’s website.

About Maxihost Since 2001, Maxihost is one of the fastest growing Dedicated Server and Colocation providers in Latin America. Maxihost is an Agile data center, providing companies with the power to control their infrastructure. Maxihost brings ultra-high reliability to customers requiring levels of agility and continuity not found at different sites.

Security Advisory: Protect your servers against Meltdown and Spectre

We’re advising all Maxihost customers to update their Intel, AMD and ARM processor-based servers.

Maxihost security advisories are usually sent by email to our customers, but due to the importance of this new vulnerability, we’ve also decided to publish it here.

Incident

Earlier this month a major hardware flaw appears to have been discovered in processors that could potentially have devastating consequences.

The hardware bug causes an Intel, AMD or ARM CPU to prefetch system memory areas and gain control of any application.

Impact

It is understood the bug is present in modern processors produced in the past decade. It allows normal user programs — from database applications to JavaScript in web browsers — to discern to some extent the layout or contents of protected kernel memory areas.

At worst, the hole could be abused by programs and logged-in users to read the contents of the kernel’s memory.

Fix

The fix is to separate the kernel’s memory completely from user processes using what’s called Kernel Page Table Isolation, or KPTI. These KPTI patches move the kernel into a completely separate address space, so it’s not just invisible to a running process, it’s not even there at all.

We urge all customers to apply the latest security patches for their Operating systems. Linux programmers, Microsoft and Apple have all already released emergency security updates for some versions of their OSs.

Cloud and Managed Solutions customers can expect Maxihost’s Security team to apply all current and upcoming security patches.


If you’re interested in how you can protect your infrastructure from this and other vulnerabilities, learn about our newest product: Hardware Firewall.

Introducing Two-factor Authentication

two-factor auth

Keeping your account safe is an extremely important part of what we do at Maxihost. Today, we’re giving you a way to add extra security to your account by enabling two-factor authentication (TFA).

Why you should care

Two factor authentication provides stronger defense against credential theft attacks. It’s an easy way to verify that you’re who you say you are when signing in to Maxihost.

After typing in your password, just insert your six-digit code from an authenticator app such as Google Authenticator.

How to use it

To set up TFA on your account, log in to Control, click on Settings and then click on Security. From there you can click the enable button to start the setup process:

two factor gif

Once TFA is enabled, the next time you want to gain access to your account you’ll be prompted for your 6-digit code.

Important

We highly encourage you to save your backup code—located right under the QR code when enabling TFA—in a safe place. If you lose your device and don’t have your backup code, you’re going to have to go through a really inconvenient process to verify your identity and get back into your account.

Maxihost achieves ISO 27001 Certification

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Safeguarding your data is a top priority. Today, as part of that effort, we’re happy to announce that Maxihost has achieved certification with ISO 27001.

ISO 27001 is recognized as the premier information security standard around the world. We’re excited to share this certification with Maxihost customers around the world.

In meeting the strict requirements of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), we’re showing our commitment to using the best practices for information security management.

The 27000 series refers to the ISO family of standards dealing with information security. ISO/IEC 27001:2013 specifies the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and continually improving an information security management system within the organization. It also includes requirements for the assessment and treatment of information security risks.

Achieving ISO 27001 certification signifies that we’ve demonstrated our promise to continually improve the security of your data under the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 standard, shows Maxihost’s expertise in information security management and the company’s dedication in having the top levels of security in place.

Privacy and data protection regulations and norms vary around the world, and we’re confident this certification will help our customers meet their compliance needs.

Maxihost is committed to progressive improvement in information security standards. Our goal is to protect the data of our partners, customers and employees in this ever-evolving threat landscape.

You can view our ISO 27001 certificate here.

Simplified pricing for DDoS Protection

When deploying a server, security is always a major concern. The Internet is full of malicious code that examines vulnerabilities and open ports.

At Maxihost, we are constantly working to make the partnership with our customers easier and more transparent. Because of that, we decided to simplify how we sell our DDoS Protection service. We’ve moved from a model that was not very clear to most customers, ranging from $160 to thousands of dollars to a much simpler, straightforward pricing model: $169 per server.

The new pricing is already available for new customers here. If you already use our DDoS Protection service and want to change to the new pricing model, simply reach out to [email protected] and we’ll put you on the new plan.

Interested in protecting your servers against DDoS attacks? Contact us and see how we can help.

Introducing Bare Metal Power Management

We’re excited to announce that we’ve added Power Management to Bare Metal servers.

Power Management allows you to reboot and turn the server on and off right from the Control Panel. You don’t have to open tickets with our team or access the iLO or iDRAC anymore.

Bare Metal Power Management

This feature is enabled by default for all new customers starting today. Existing customers can request that the feature is enabled on a per server basis from the server page.

The cloud vendor lock in dilemma

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The more use an organization makes of a particular vendor’s products or services, the more dependent it becomes upon them, and, in turn, the more difficult it becomes to change providers.

So it’s extremely important for customers to understand what the exit looks like, even if it’s unlikely they will exit in the near future.

Picture this not so uncommon situation. You’re building a cloud-aware application, using proprietary cloud APIs to control the infrastructure, provision and deprovision resources dynamically and send data back and forth between your application and your cloud provider.

Your application gets large and complex, and for whatever reason—costs, lack of features, reliability, scalability, etc—you decide to look for an alternative vendor.

You call a meeting to get opinions as to where you should be moving your workloads to, only to find out that switching requires you not only to change the API calls but to re-think and re-architect your application.

The problem is that an API is an abstraction of the underlying technology and the technology choices of the vendor. So using an API often dictates using an architecture style and designing an application around a specific implementation. That’s the lock-in.

Your engineering team is extremely busy, with no shortage of important projects to get to, and you know refactoring would be incredibly expensive and impractical, so you’re faced with the dilemma of either staying with a provider that’s pushing you back or spending valuable resources on refactoring.

The solution

Customers need to understand the trade offs of vendor lock in and should always enter lock in scenarios with their eyes open to the potential threats that it can cause. Above all, customers should always have an exit strategy from lock in.

Think about using open APIs as an insurance policy for the future.