Watch Andrew Boring, Product Manager at Internap, define bare metal, bare-metal servers and bare-metal cloud.
What is bare metal?
Bare metal is, simply put, physical hardware and an operating system, but without the hypervisor layer.
Bare-metal servers are exactly what you think they are. They’re simply a physical server with an operating system and your application code, without a hypervisor in between.
With virtualization, you have a single server instance contained within a set of resources fixed by that hypervisor. It limits access to the hardware directly.
Bare-metal servers, just like they always have, give your application direct access to the hardware, or at least through the operating system device drivers.
But with the advent of virtualization, and later cloud technologies, we can now take bare-metal servers, provide them in an elastic, on-demand manner, just like any cloud computing service based on virtualization. So we like to refer to this as bare-metal cloud.