The cloud market is witnessing renewed interest in bare metal, for which providers have offered services since 2009. But bare metal has recently been brought to the mainstream, with Mirantis’s OpenStack Express release, IBM SoftLayer’s move to provide bare metal servers on an hourly basis and Rackspace’s launch of single-tenant, bare-metal infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

Bare-metal cloud servers can be delivered via a cloud-like service model but are not virtualised and do not run a hypervisor. Bare metal cloud eliminates the overhead associated with virtualisation but does not compromise flexibility, scalability and efficiency.

IBM SoftLayer has the most comprehensive bare metal infrastructure, with options such as SSD storage, redundant power supply, GPU and even dedicated racks with assured low latency connectivity between servers.

Internap recently expanded its bare metal cloud service to Hong Kong and London. Canonical has an offering called Metal as a Service (MaaS) to provision bare metal through their Juju tool chain.

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