IBM Cloud Bare Metal Servers Review
August 31, 2020
IBM Cloud Bare Metal Servers Review
Score 3 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with IBM Cloud Bare Metal Servers
We use several bare metal servers to support business operations, including sales (multiple web sites), management (back end intranet system), and marketing (newsletters). Our operation is using a proprietary system to manage our inventory, production and sales all together. This system is hosted online as we have staff in multiple locations, including programmers and office staff. We are able to keep all of our data online with real-time updates from the programmers and live updates to our customers on the production status.
- Multiple locations for distributed computing allowing faster download speeds for our customers and staff alike
- Full service of domain registrations, SSL purchases, server rental, DNS servers, etc. This allows us to keep all of our necessary related services within a single console and single billing system.
- Good backup system with off-site backup servers and easy disaster recovery
- New console is confusing and hard to navigate. Integration of the "classic interface" is sometimes redundant and doesn't function well. This is especially apparent in the trouble ticket section where legacy trouble tickets are not found.
- Hardware support is almost non-existent unless paying a very high monthly fee. The "free" support that comes with renting a server (or servers) for up to $2,000/mo is laughable at best. Our server was down and no response from tech support for over 24 hours and no way to escalate the ticket as we were not "premium" subscribers.
- Connecting to KVM for remote access is only possible over an SSL VPN connection, which requires the use of Internet Explorer which is soon to be removed and is currently only accessible by search. A newer, updated system needs to be put in place to gain remote access.
- Caused a loss of revenue on two occasions as hardware problems were not addressed in a timely manner. On the last occasion, our sites were down for 2 days and staff were being paid to sit around as our entire operation is online.
- Server rental fees are on the high end considering that no tech support is supplied. As we have our own tech people, it's not an issue unless there is a hardware problem that needs to be addressed.
- Connection speeds within the country of co-location are relatively good, but there are definitely better options, such as Google Cloud.
As our operation is a single company with multiple websites, we do not really have Big Data applications. Our databases rarely exceed 6-10 million records for any particular table. We do not use media and/or streaming applications.
Provisioning has always been much quicker than the stated 2-4 hours in my experience. I have set up over 10 servers with IBM and generally, the provisioning is done in less than an hour. I find this extremely acceptable as the real set-up time is with me and all of the packages to install and configure for the client's use. I have also used Google Cloud and provisioning is instantaneous, but in the long-run, server set-up takes the same amount of time since I still need to go in and install/configure what we need.
I have used IBM Cloud Bare Metal Servers prior to Google Compute Engine as I started with RackShack, which changed to SoftLayer, which now changed to IBM Cloud. Over the 15 years with this service, recently I've had the worst tech support of all, and that is the reason we moved to Google Compute Engine. The fact that IBM is much more expensive was not really a factor. But, being down for 2 days on a hardware-related issue was the real reason we decided to make the move to Google.
IBM Cloud Bare Metal Servers are especially well suited for large companies that can afford the premium support plan, as downtime is generally not acceptable for any company but unavoidable if you can't afford premium support. Smaller companies may be better suited to a smaller server farm that has more personalized service and tech support options. But, if you require server clusters and/or multiple server locations, and can afford the tech support plans, then this is a solid, stable option.