What is a bare metal server and why get one?

Wondering what is a bare metal server, why you would need one, and what the difference is between virtualization, a dedicated server, and hypervisor?

You’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll cover the basics of bare metal.

What is a bare metal server?

A bare-metal server is a physical server dedicated to a single user (tenant) with all of the server’s resources being completely dedicated and not shared with anyone else.

All bare metal servers are physical servers. With that said, it’s likely that you do not need a bare metal server. It’s a term that is used interchangeably in the hosting industry with dedicated servers, and there’s one simple difference that distinguishes the two.

A bare metal server is not running a hypervisor on it. While a regular dedicated server can run a hypervisor on it and create VMs.

That’s the difference.

With that out of the way, let’s clear up some more confusion around bare metal server terminology.

Bare Metal Server vs Hypervisor

A hypervisor is a software that is installed on a dedicated server, either directly as its own operating system (this type is called Type 1 or Bare Metal Hypervisor) or on top of an existing operating system (this type of hypervisor is called Type 2). The hypervisor allows you to create virtual machines running on your physical dedicated server. Examples of popular bare metal hypervisors include ESXi, Hyper-V, and KVM.

Once a dedicated server has a hypervisor installed on it, virtual machines can be set up on it and the hypervisor will allocate and virtualize the hardware resources for the guest operating system running on the virtual machine. That way, you can use one physical server to create multiple virtual servers that gain the reliability and flexibility of virtualization.


Type 1 Hypervisor Diagram

A bare metal server without a hypervisor enables operating systems like Windows or Linux to operate natively – instead of in a virtualized environment.

Why would I need a Bare Metal Server?

This is the equivalent of asking why you would need a dedicated server. Upgrading to a dedicated server will give you the dedicated resources required to handle thousands of requests to access your website. If you have outgrown 100 daily visitors to your website, and you feel like your current plan is a daily struggle, it may be time to upgrade to a Dedicated Server.

A bare metal server or a dedicated server is only owned by you. This is different from being on a shared server. Shared servers mean that your resources and environment are used (or shared) with other websites. With a dedicated server, you can control your own dedicated resources such as RAM, Disk Space, and CPU. It’s your space, and you are the only tenant.

Here are a few other benefits of a bare metal server:

  • Exclusivity. The resources we mentioned above – RAM, Disk Space, CPU, Bandwidth – are all dedicated to you and you only
  • Server Root Access. Install your own software, configure your own settings, and review your own server logs
  • Security. You can implement your own security measures on your server, and run your applications
  • Performance. Having full control over the dedicated resources usually translates to better performance
  • Reliability. High periods of web traffic most likely will not crash your server because you have more resources to rely on

When it comes to Dedicated Servers, there are several options to choose from. Choose between unmetered dedicated servers, unmanaged dedicated servers, or fully-managed dedicated servers, depending on what is the best fit for you and your needs.

Learn more about fully managed vs unmanaged hosting, and how to make the right choice for your business.

Maple-Hosting is a privately owned hosting company that has been offering Netherlands VPS Hosting & Netherlands Dedicated Servers to partners around the world since June 2008. We focus on providing a perfect hosting experience that allows our customers to focus on their businesses.

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