Ability of provisioning a multitude of independent cloud storage hosts by configuration of a single server or a set of servers is the most important highlight of virtual server applications. The quality of hosting continues to be the same whether a particular client is being served with virtual server or a bare metal server. In most of the cases, clients are hardly able to differentiate between the two or seldom bother to now the variance.

Important benefits of using VMs as cloud servers

Cloud solutions that are based on Virtual Machines can easily cater to a large number of VM clients by execution of code on single physical hardware. If you are planning to implement a scheme that is capable of catering to multiple users simultaneously, then a standalone bare metal server or even a server pool will not serve the purpose. One can use only single software at one time even if a single bare metal server is designed to include several volumes with different applications, which are connected to various cloud storage arrays. This issue can be attributed to lack of isolation at the server level.

Every single VM tenant can run different cloud storage applications by emulating an entirely independent install. This ability of supporting a large number of tenants by provisioning multiple installs on a single server transforms into greater profitability for every single unit of hardware. Higher cost efficiency per physical unit is the most sought after advantage of using Virtual Machines to facilitate cloud storage for multiple tenants.

Since every single Virtual Machine enjoys complete isolation, with reference to other users as well as the underlying system, there is an extra layer of security and assured stability of operations. Use of a compromised code pr a corrupt file system by a single user would not impact other users since the damage would be restricted to the level of virtual disk images related to a particular client only.

System administrators are allowed to remove or add Virtual Machine Servers as and when required. When there are multiple virtual servers running on a single physical server, staff is not required to configure the underlying OS while updating several virtual servers that operate on a single physical hardware.

It is possible for cloud providers to configure several Virtual Machines that would be running on different operating systems. This will facilitate clients to choose an appropriate VM to suit individual requirements.

Virtual Machines can optimize CPU processing power and facilitate users to implement aggressive caching strategies for accelerating speed at which the Virtual Machines are operating.

Key challenges associated with use of VMs as cloud servers

There is a plethora of challenges that are encountered by system administrators while implementing virtual machines for cloud server enablement. However, it is encouraging to note that the technologies to overcome such challenges are also being developed rapidly.

Use of virtualization for a private cloud is avoided by few system administrators in a small setup. This is done in order to avoid wasting of an additional configuration for implementing a Virtual Machine for cloud storage. The significance of virtualization is lesser dependence on hardware procurement.

Considerable RAM and CPU speed is necessary for emulation of hardware on the other. Cloud tenants are vulnerable to noisy neighbor effect as well as slowing down of performance dust to other resource guzzling accounts. These issues can be magnified during peak times.

In addition to this, isolation can further complicate load balancing management. This brings us to the option of installing additional hardware. Since the costs of hardware are getting more and more feasible, this option is being adopted by a large number of cloud providers.

Dealing with challenges of VMs for cloud storage

It is observed that exceptionally high loads associated with a particular tenant can seriously impact cloud performance of other tenants due to greater consumption of resources related to physical system. These issues are absent in bare metal systems that involve single tenants. There is a growing trend of installing more robust hardware due to falling prices of hardware components.

This can help resolve multiple issues including noisy neighbor effect and excessive consumption of system resources by single tenants. There is a considerable shift in the profile of Virtual Machines that are being utilized for performing number of workloads related with hosting.  

In conclusion

This could mark the beginning of the end of bare metal cloud servers. There is a considerable shift to the adoption of Virtual Machines by organizations that have been traditionally depending on legacy systems. The migration to cloud systems from conventional bare metal servers can facilitate both users as well as the hosts. The migration to Virtual Machines for cloud enablement is also a more secure option. Cloud storage backed by Virtual Machines has the potential to improve performance and safety.