What Are Bare Metal Servers? A Comprehensive Guide

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These days, most servers run virtualization software, which lets you run multiple operating systems on one physical server. But there are still some cases where you might want a bare metal server that doesn’t have virtualization software installed.

So, what exactly are bare metal servers, and how do they work? This article will guide you through all you need to know.

Bare Metal Servers: Definition

Bare metal servers are physical computer servers designed to run services specifically for one tenant without being shared, even within a data center. This server type is redesigned to run dedicated services, so reliability, stability, and durability are essential. Users can benefit from predictable performance as these servers don’t share resources with neighbors.

With these servers, applications run directly on the server’s operating system. Moreover, you can use a hypervisor and get more control.

A hypervisor, commonly known as a virtual machine monitor, lets you create and run virtual machines on a bare metal server. The management suite with the hypervisor helps manage the virtual machines on the server. Users get more reliability and flexibility from hypervisors because they divide the workload among several VMs.

Overall, a bare metal server will give you all the access you need and more options for building a platform for a service or app. Unlike with the virtual environment, you won’t need many additional layers of software solutions, making the entire process way more straightforward.

Single-Tenancy vs. Multi-Tenancy

Since one of the essential characteristics of bare metal servers is that they’re a single-tenant solution, let’s look at what that means and how it compares with multi-tenancy.

Single-tenancy means that only one client is using the server. Single-tenant servers are incredibly reliable, stable, and long-lasting, and they can work for long periods with few breaks. They can offer predictable, consistent performance as they stand apart from other systems.

In contrast, “multi-tenant cloud architecture” is a term for a cloud infrastructure that more than one client can use. Multitenancy lets cloud services let multiple companies use the same application on the same hardware. It is also known as “shared computing.”

When you obtain a virtual machine, you will, in most cases, also have access to a guest operating system that runs on top of a hypervisor, which is running on top of the hardware. However, you can only access the guest OS and the management interface. You won’t have access to the hardware. 

Why Should You Choose Bare Metal Servers?

Bare metal servers offer more remarkable performance, power, and security than virtualized servers.

Bare metal servers are perfect for high-demand, critical applications like databases or business intelligence apps and media encoding and rendering farms. Businesses that need reliable performance prefer this kind of server.

Let’s take a closer look at the bare metal server benefits we haven’t yet mentioned:

  • You won’t need a hypervisor, a great save, and a performance hack, as any additional software solution might affect the performance. 
  • Various setup specifications allow you to customize the server based on usage and workload. 
  • As a tenant, you can choose everything, such as the operating system, based on your preference.
  • You can be in charge of your security, with an option to set up security protocols how you want to without involving a third party. Additionally, the server is physically protected, which gives it additional value. 
  • No “noisy neighbor” concerns when you use a bare metal server. Only you will be using this server. You won’t have to deal with anyone else popping in and out of the server and hogging all the bandwidth while you work.

Bare Metal Servers: Uses

Bare metal servers offer a set of functionalities and benefits that attract various sorts of organizations from multiple industries. Let’s look at some popular reasons people choose basic metal systems.

Render Farms

Bare metal servers benefit businesses that use specialized apps that use many resources and need real-time collaboration and communication.

A good example is a cluster of interconnected computers whose sole purpose is to generate rendered visuals, typically employed in producing computer-animated films, such as in Hollywood studios and by 3D animation companies. These servers work well because they offer many resources without contracts and can be leased for short periods.

Big Data Processing

Bare metal servers are an excellent option for organizations that need to process massive amounts of data from IoT sensors. Bare metal servers have high-performance computing features that let them quickly handle large amounts of data. This makes them perfect for companies that analyze and process large amounts of data rapidly and in real time.

Additionally, because bare metal services can be started and stopped on demand, they provide the flexibility required to adapt quickly to changing needs, allowing organizations to use the resources they need at any given time.

High-Performance Computing

Organizations often choose bare metal servers with a GPU configuration to get the most out of the potent processing power of HPC systems. These systems are made to be as fast and efficient as possible. This makes them perfect for high-performance computing tasks like deep learning, predictive analytics, and risk modeling.

A GPU-enabled HPC setup can help you achieve your goals and stay ahead of the competition, whether you need to solve complex data problems in healthcare, finance, or another field.

Fintech and Adtech

Adtech and fintech are growing industries that rely on fast and safe data processing to run their services. The bare metal server is a popular choice for these industries because it can offer high speeds, efficiency, and resources. These industries use it to create user profiles and manage assets. Additionally, the security features of bare metal make it ideal for handling sensitive data.

Creating Bare Metal Environments

A virtualization environment where the hypervisor is executed and directly installed on the hardware is called a “bare metal environment.” It directly interfaces with the hardware to enable processes typical of virtual machines so that you won’t need a host operating system.

In these environments, you have complete control over your server’s hardware, network, and other resources. This makes them perfect for mission-critical applications that strictly follow legal or regulatory rules.

A dedicated bare metal environment is an excellent way to meet specific performance standards or keep private data from being accessed by people who shouldn’t be able to.

Bare Metal Infrastructure: Server Management

What follows are the crucial points of server management that you need to handle when using a bare metal server. If you believe you’re not up to the task, you can alternatively outsource server management. This will allow you to focus on running your business while letting a specialized service provider manage the server.


You should monitor firewalls, switches, the metrics of the server, and similar elements. One way to do this efficiently is to set reminders and check everything regularly.

Operational Management

Operational management can sometimes be very demanding as it involves many tasks that must be taken care of carefully and on time. These are domain name services, backup and recovery, hardware replacement, and data migration.

Patches and Updates

The main tasks you’ll have to perform regularly with your bare metal system are software patches and updates to the operating system. This is particularly important in terms of cyberattack prevention.

Password Management

Regularly change server passwords, especially your root password and those of administrative and other users. It’s wise to check for password leaks occasionally.

Bare Metal Servers vs. Virtual Servers

By using virtual servers, companies can save money on hardware they don’t need and have more rental options and faster provisioning. This allows for a more cost-effective approach, as the hardware costs are shared among multiple customers.

Additionally, virtual servers can be turned off when not in use, allowing for more efficient and cost-effective use of resources. When considering whether to use a bare metal server or a virtual server for a specific workload, it is essential to weigh cost, performance, and security factors.

While virtual servers may be more affordable and convenient, they also run on shared hardware, impacting their performance and jeopardizing security. In contrast, bare metal servers offer higher performance and enhanced security but come at a higher cost.

But if you can’t compromise on performance and security, investing in a bare metal service may be your best bet. As technology keeps improving, the hardware price decreases, making it possible for more companies to use bare metal servers.

Should You Buy or Lease a Bare Metal Server?

You can buy or lease a bare metal server, depending on your specific requirements. Purchasing will give you full access to physical hardware. After making the necessary investments, there will be costs for running and maintaining the server, too.

Consider the total cost of ownership, which includes your initial investments, operational costs, technical support, redundancy, and uptime. Moreover, you must decide whether to lease racks at a colocation center or run everything on-premise. The latter is more expensive as there will be more maintenance required.

On the other hand, leasing is the most straightforward and convenient option if you need to rent a bare metal server for your business. This server type offers fast deployment, high network uptime, and reliable hardware performance.

Many bare metal server providers offer fast deployment times, so you can get your server up and running within a few hours without special instructions. Additionally, they offer 100% uptime, so you don’t have to worry about hardware failures or other issues affecting your server’s performance.

Bottom Line

The number of organizations that employ bare metal servers is on the rise again, and there are many satisfied users, especially among small and medium businesses. This service offers a stable, scalable, and long-term solution for keeping your data optimal and secure

So, whether you decide to lease or buy a bare metal server, work on planning how best to manage the basic metal hardware and software and make the most of this effective way to maintain your data.

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