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In the age of data and information security, ensuring you have a secure and effective IT infrastructure has never been so important. With technology advancing rapidly, understanding which solution is best for you and your business can be one of the most complicated questions out there. 

From public cloud to private cloud and dedicated servers, there are endless options when it comes to choosing which hosting infrastructure best suits your business. More recently, options such as bare metal have become a contender for many businesses, but what is a bare metal server? To help you make the right choice for your business we’ve put together a guide to bare metal servers.

What is a bare metal server and how do they work?

A bare metal server is a physical server dedicated to a single tenant (a user or business). As a bare metal server is designed for only one user or business, the tenant can optimise the server according to their needs in relation to performance, security and efficiency, without impacting other users. 

While bare metal and dedicated servers are often referred to as synonymous, it is important to note they are not necessarily the same and do differ on some key operational points. The most prominent difference lies in their setup. On a bare metal server, the tenant will install the necessary operating system directly onto the server, customising it to meet specific requirements, eliminating unnecessary layers and delivering increased efficiency.

What are the uses of bare metal servers?

As bare metal servers are completely customisable, they are perfect for meeting the bespoke needs of their users. Organisations can employ bare metal servers for a variety of uses some of the most common including:

  • Big data processing: Bare metal servers provide businesses with reliable and efficient computing capabilities required for large data collection and processing.
  • High-security environments: The truly customisable and dedicated nature of a bare metal server is ideal in situations where a business may be processing highly sensitive data or information. 
  • High-performance computing: Bare metal servers allow for maximum performance in use cases like artificial intelligence or machine learning. 

What is the difference between bare metal and dedicated servers? 

There is no denying that in terms of technical specifications, bare metal and dedicated servers have many features in common. Whilst they are both single-tenant, physical machines with resources that are not shared with other users, they do differ on a number of core components. 

The core difference between the two is the flexibility of the bare metal server. Bare metal servers can get all the performance of a standard dedicated server (and often more), but with increased operational flexibility. As bare metal servers arrive almost as an ‘empty shell’, they provide the user with the ability to customise and install the relevant operating systems and applications when needed. 

What are the benefits of using a bare metal server? 

Like any single-tenant piece of infrastructure, bare metal servers have several distinct advantages: 

Full control 

Bare metal servers provide users and businesses with the ability to control all elements of the server that other IT infrastructure solutions simply cannot provide. As bare metal servers are dedicated to a single organisation, it allows an organisation to scale, manage and turn on or off at any time while maintaining full control. 

Furthermore, if users choose to install a hypervisor, they can create virtual machines within a bare metal server. By doing this, it allows the user to virtualise workloads into separate virtual machines and further benefit from increased flexibility and control. 

Customisation 

A bare metal server provides the user with the ability to customise the server however they like. An organisation can choose its operating system, application and configuration from the ground up. 

Increased security

As no one else is sharing or can use the server, an organisation’s servers will be as safe and secure as possible from external manipulation. 

Cost-effective 

As more and more IT infrastructure moves away from traditional on-premise hosting and towards managed hosting providers, businesses have the option to rent a bare metal server on an hourly, daily or even monthly subscription service, saving thousands of pounds in unused resources.

Bare metal servers with Hyve

As a fully managed hosting provider, Hyve can provide your business with a range of bespoke bare metal or dedicated server solutions. If you are looking to utilise Hyve’s bare metal server service or simply would like to find out more, please contact our sales team today. 

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