Bare Metal

Definition of Bare Metal

Bare metal refers to a computer system or hardware without any operating system or software installed on it. It is essentially a blank, unconfigured machine, often used for installing a new operating system, virtualization, or specific software applications. This term emphasizes that the hardware is unoccupied, with no additional layers between the machine and the system that is to be installed.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Bare Metal” is: /bɛr ˈmɛtəl/

Key Takeaways

  1. Bare metal refers to a dedicated physical server in contrast to a virtualized environment, providing optimal performance and resource utilization.
  2. These servers are highly customizable and can be specifically tailored for the unique requirements of individual applications and workloads, offering users full control over their hardware configurations.
  3. Although bare metal servers can be more expensive, they provide a higher level of security, stability, and flexibility as compared to shared hosting or virtual private servers (VPS).

Importance of Bare Metal

The term “bare metal” holds significant importance in the technology sector as it refers to a computing environment where an operating system (OS) or application runs directly on the hardware without any virtualization layer, such as hypervisors or containers.

This setup ensures that the OS or application can access and utilize the full capacity and resources of the underlying hardware, resulting in optimal performance, reduced latency, and increased efficiency.

Bare metal environments are particularly crucial for critical and resource-intensive applications or workloads, as they eliminate potential bottlenecks or limitations imposed by virtualization.

Additionally, it allows for greater customization, control, and security, making it a vital concept for businesses and developers seeking high-performance and specialized computing solutions.


Bare metal, in the realm of technology, refers to a physical computer or server without any operating system or software installed on it. These servers are often preferred for their ability to dedicate all of their resources to a single purpose or task, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency.

One of the primary purposes of utilizing bare metal servers is to cater to specific workloads that demand high processing power and a large amount of resources without being hampered by the overhead and limitations commonly associated with virtualized environments. Bare metal servers are particularly useful for applications with intensive compute or Input/Output (I/O) requirements, such as video encoding, large databases, and high-performance computing (HPC). They are also popular in deploying private cloud environments where companies can have absolute control over scalability and security aspects.

Companies leveraging bare metal servers can fully customize the hardware as well as the operating system and software stack, allowing them to precisely address their specific workload needs. In industries where performance is of paramount importance, bare metal servers are an invaluable tool for ensuring a streamlined and optimized infrastructure.

Examples of Bare Metal

Bare Metal Cloud by IBM: IBM offers a high-performance, dedicated, and configurable bare metal cloud infrastructure that allows businesses to deploy and manage their applications, databases, and other services without the overhead of a virtualized environment. This service is designed to provide more flexibility, security, and control over the system resources, making it an ideal solution for businesses with demanding workloads and strict compliance requirements.

Bare Metal Infrastructure provided by Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI): The Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offers a wide range of bare metal compute instances that allow organizations to leverage the full potential of modern hardware while maintaining compatibility with on-premises environments. These bare metal instances are suitable for high-performance computing (HPC), artificial intelligence (AI), or machine learning (ML) workloads. Customers can also deploy and configure custom servers according to their specific needs, making it ideal for organizations with specialized application requirements.

Amazon AWS Bare Metal Instances: Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides a range of bare metal instances within its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service. These instances give customers direct access to the underlying hardware and are suitable for applications that require high performance, low latency, or direct hardware access. The AWS bare metal instances support a variety of use cases, including container orchestration, gaming, high-performance computing, and scientific simulations, among others.

Bare Metal FAQ

What is bare metal?

Bare metal refers to a computer system where the operating system is installed directly onto the physical hardware, without the use of any virtualization technologies. This type of setup can provide better performance and control over the resources of the server.

What are the advantages of using bare metal servers?

Bare metal servers offer raw computational power, as there is no virtualization layer between the hardware and the operating system. As a result, these servers usually provide better performance, tighter security, and more control over resource allocation.

When should I choose bare metal servers over virtual servers?

Bare metal servers are an ideal solution when you require dedicated resources, high performance, and low latency. It is especially beneficial for applications with high processing demands or when running resource-intensive workloads such as big data analytics, high-performance computing, and machine learning projects.

Are bare metal servers more expensive than virtual servers?

Bare metal servers can be more expensive than virtual servers because they often require dedicated resources and hardware, resulting in higher costs. However, this cost may be offset by the performance benefits, especially for large-scale applications or resource-demanding tasks.

How do bare metal servers differ from dedicated servers?

Bare metal servers and dedicated servers are often used interchangeably, as they both refer to a single-tenant, non-virtualized environment. The primary difference lies in how they are marketed and provisioned by hosting providers. Bare metal servers are typically deployed faster, as they use pre-configured hardware, while dedicated servers can take more time to set up due to the customization options available.

Related Technology Terms

  • Bare Metal Server
  • Hardware Virtualization
  • Provisioning
  • Operating System (OS) Installation
  • Single-Tenant Infrastructure

Sources for More Information


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