Amazon AWS recently announced the availability of Dedicated Hosts for users. This means that you can order a dedicated hosts for yourself and run your VMs in this host. Amazon says, “Dedicated Hosts provide you with visibility into the number of sockets and physical cores that are available so that you can obtain and use software licenses that are a good match for the actual hardware.” You can read all the technical details of how to order a dedicated host and how to place your instance on this host at this blog: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/now-available-ec2-dedicated-hosts/
In case of a Dedicated Host, the billing starts as soon as you are provisioned a Dedicate Host. The billing doesn’t depend on how many instances you are running on the Dedicated Host. You can check the pricing of the dedicated hosts here: http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/dedicated-hosts/pricing/
This is a good move by Amazon and I sure this will slowly lead towards a bare metal provisioning being available as well in future course. The reason I say this is because IBM SoftLayer has bare metal and it is their USP. Bare Metal offers enterprises lot of control and also ensure that the compliance requirements and performance requirements are taken care of. So if you want to build your own data center within the public cloud infrastructure using bare metal could be preferable for certain use cases. IBM SoftLayer gives that flexibility to its users. IBM SoftLayer has both dedicated hosts and bare metal. Amazon has caught up with the dedicated hosts path. I think in future they may get to the bare metal part.
In case of Bare Metal you ‘own’ the server, in the sense that you can control the server fully by using say IPMI. You get a KVM for your use and then you decide if you want to use it as a standalone machine or you can load any hypervisor that you want. Since you completely own the server many of your compliance headaches are solved.
In due course of time i think every cloud provider will be pushed to offer Bare Metal servers. Ofcourse the main value proposition of the cloud is that it takes the management headache away from you and leaves you free to concentrate on your product or service. Slowly everyone is realizing that this dream of a No-IT is not a possibility since there are multiple reasons why an Enterprise, especially a large one, needs to have control over the infrastructure. For such large Enterprises, it is not the No-IT but rather the flexibility and elasticity of the cloud which will be the main value proposition. The Dedicated Hosts offering from AWS tells us that it is indeed true.