Bare Metal and Storage as a Service Modernize Physical Infrastructure

Positioning STaaS adjacent to BMaaS delivers high performance, flexibility and cost containment—securely

Philip DeFranco
Bare Metal and Storage as a Service Modernize Physical Infrastructure

Digital-first strategies are driving companies to adopt hybrid multicloud architectures as their foundation for competitive advantage as they scale their digital core, leverage cloud, SaaS or partner digital ecosystems and expand to the digital edge. Incorporating Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS) and Bare-Metal-as-a-Service (BMaaS) physical infrastructure can help accelerate seamless migrations to a hybrid multicloud architecture.

According to the Global Interconnection Index (GXI) Volume 5 report, there has been a 3x increase in the multicloud, multiregion adoption rate over the last two years as business scale the digital core. This annual market study also reports that digital leaders have doubled their rate of digital edge expansion over the last few years. Further, SaaS is now the largest IT spend line item as companies move to public and private aaS alternatives for flexible consumption models.

SaaS alternatives include deploying digital infrastructure beyond the public and private cloud using options such as STaaS and BMaaS. Companies can leverage STaaS in their hybrid cloud strategy by positioning physical storage capabilities close to bare metal servers to achieve a cloud-like experience.

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Digital-first strategies demand anywhere, anytime access

As companies launch or continue their digital transformation journeys to be everywhere customers need their products and services—24/7—they’re discovering the need for more flexible and scalable digital infrastructure. Gone are the days of running businesses on-premises. While transitioning to private and public clouds has shifted the burden of CAPEX to an OPEX model, new challenges have surfaced that require companies to rethink their cloud strategies and consider new options.

Just as one size does not fit all, companies are realizing that relying solely on the cloud for all their business processes does not address evolving business requirements. Take security as an example. Running applications that access highly sensitive data on shared virtual machines in the cloud can be risky—even if the cloud provider takes the most stringent security precautions.

Economics, performance and disaster recovery are other examples of why companies are rethinking their infrastructure strategies:

  • Storage hardware and administration are expensive.
  • Specific applications require high-speed performance and low-latency access to data.
  • Setting up a second data center for disaster recovery is costly.

These scenarios highlight the need for alternate infrastructure solutions beyond on-premises and the cloud.

Solving for mission-critical high performance and storage demands

Bare Metal as a Service and Storage as a Service are emerging as reliable and compelling alternatives to on-premises and cloud solutions. Together, STaaS provide a dynamic physical infrastructure that meets specific requirements not available from on-premises and cloud solutions. With bare metal servers and software-defined physical storage devices, companies gain the flexibility to run their applications on a dedicated metal server while quickly accessing the necessary data from adjacent physical storage devices.

Companies can also expect to reduce their storage hardware and administrative costs. Gartner® “predicts that by 2025, more than 40% of all on-premises IT storage administration and support costs will be replaced by managed STaaS, up from less than 5% in 2020.[i]

Equinix Metal BMaaS complements STaaS solutions

Companies that choose to deploy physical infrastructure using Equinix Metal™ bare metal servers can do so in 18 Equinix locations across the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific. With Equinix Metal, they gain access to a global footprint of the more than 230 Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers in 65 global markets via Equinix Fabric™ software-defined interconnection. Equinix Metal servers provide 100% dedicated single-tenancy for enhanced security.

Once an Equinix Metal server is up and running, companies can simply point and click on their dashboard to deploy additional bare metal servers in other Equinix IBX locations and replicate the configurations. Simultaneously, companies can utilize STaaS solutions available on Platform Equinix to set up software-defined physical storage devices in the same location as their Equinix Metal server or in other Equinix data centers for seamless, low-latency access off the public internet. Connections between the Equinix IBX sites can be configured at a Layer 2 level, meaning the data that is stored in one location can be accessed from an Equinix Metal server in another location as if it were local to each.

STaaS solutions are also designed for use on-premises, which opens up the opportunity for companies to use Equinix Metal servers to transfer data to storage devices on Platform Equinix or hyperscalers via 100GB connections—without traversing the public internet. Data transfers can be accomplished with Equinix Fabric or by using Equinix Cross Connects that connect a customer’s on-premises data center with an Equinix location.

Automating disaster recovery and mitigating data loss

Disaster recovery (DR) options can be set up using Equinix Metal and STaaS devices on Platform Equinix. Companies no longer need a second data center for DR. Instead, they can use an Equinix Metal server and add an STaaS device to perform the replication, and instantly get their DR protection. Data recovery extends globally using Equinix Fabric to connect the Equinix Metal server with storage in other IBX locations or Equinix Cross Connects to access on-premises storage. No colocation expansion is required, which means less physical infrastructure and racking and stacking in other locations. Continuous monitoring detects failures and activates a data transfer for immediate data backup. Off-site replication can be accessed automatically through active monitoring of the storage servers.

Using STaaS mitigates data loss by creating and maintaining a physical backup of data that’s readily accessible. Data encryption at rest on an STaaS device and data encryption in motion protects the data, whether it’s in storage or being transferred between locations within the Equinix network or to/from on-premises.

Equinix Metal BMaaS combined with other STaaS solutions helps companies build out a hybrid multicloud architecture on Platform Equinix. Companies with digital-first strategies use Equinix Metal BMaaS and STaaS to expand their core and edge capabilities and connect with 10,000+ customers, 1,800+ network service providers and 3,000+ cloud & IT services providers across 230+ data centers. Learn how you can modernize physical infrastructure with BMaaS and STaaS by visiting our Equinix Metal Developer Platform.



[i] Gartner Research, “Enterprise Storage as a Service Is Transforming IT Operating Models” 2 March 2021, Jeff Vogel, Robert Preston

Gartner and Magic Quadrant are registered trademarks of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

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