When choosing a server hosting solution, you have lots of options. Two of the most common types include bare metal (dedicated) server hosting and virtual private server (VPS) hosting. But understanding which option is best for your needs can be overwhelming, as each one comes with its unique advantages and disadvantages.
At its core, a bare metal server typically provides more power, control, security, and consistent performance than virtualization. However, virtualized servers are more agile, dynamic, and allow IT to quickly spin up or down new test environments or other temporary workloads.
This guide will break down the fundamental differences between a bare metal server vs a virtual server, allowing you to make a more informed decision on which solution will provide adequate infrastructure for your needs.
A traditional bare metal server is a physical computer that is dedicated to a single client known as a tenant. With this type of single-tenant server hosting solution, the tenant can customize the server’s performance, security, and configuration at any time without sharing its resources with other tenants. All of the server’s resources, including network resources, are dedicated to the single tenant.
Traditional bare metal servers feature an operating system (OS such as Ubuntu VM host) that is installed directly onto the bare metal or hard disk of the computer’s hardware. Alternatively, using software called hypervisor virtualization, the hosting company implements a virtual layer on top of the host server to manage a virtual server on the host. A bare metal hypervisor provides a similar level of security and performance while also providing the benefits of a cloud computing solution.
What is a Virtual Private Server (VPS)?
A cloud virtual private server (VPS) is a virtual operating system that resides within a primary server designed to provide and designate resources to virtual servers. A VPS operates similarly to a physical server, with similar processes and functionality.
Typically used for smaller workloads that need consistent performance, a VPS uses a parent server to host multiple virtual servers that are separated from each other. While the virtual servers are completely isolated from each other, they may share networking resources and can cause noisy neighbor issues if one of the VPS tenants is undergoing unusual problems.
Traditional bare metal servers are physical servers with only one operating system installed directly on the server’s hardware and are dedicated to a single client. Virtual private servers function similarly to physical servers, but multiple VPSs can be hosted on a single physical server.
To understand a VPS, it’s important to know the role a hypervisor plays in virtualization. A hypervisor—also known as a virtual machine monitor (VMM)—is one of the different types of virtualization. In this case, a software layer creates and runs virtual machines (also known as VMs, guest machines, or virtual instances) by separating a bare metal server’s software from its hardware.
With virtual private servers, each dedicated VPS on a server is leased out to different customers, making it a multi-tenant server solution.
Advantages of Bare Metal Server Hosting
Because bare metal server hosting offers a fully customizable single-tenant framework, it provides many advantages over virtualization, including:
Disadvantages of Bare Metal Server Hosting
While traditional bare metal server hosting offers many unique advantages, it also has a few considerations that may not be ideal for everyone. A few of the most common include:
Advantages of Virtual Private Server Hosting
VPS hosting is essentially renting a portion of a bare metal server, which means it offers many advantages, including:
Disadvantages of Virtual Private Server Hosting
Due to its multi-tenant nature, VPS hosting offers some disadvantages to bare metal server hosting, including:
When choosing between traditional bare metal vs virtual server hosting, it’s important to consider your needs closely. Many growing businesses that operate in the financial, healthcare, or retail sectors typically choose bare metal server hosting.
Many companies opt for this hosting solution for its performance, as well as to meet strict privacy and security regulations. Smaller businesses that don’t require top-tier performance levels or stringent privacy and security regulations are typically a good fit for a virtual server hosting solution.
If you are looking for the performance and security of a bare metal server but still want the flexibility of virtualization, you may want to consider bare metal virtualization. Bare metal virtualization allows for virtualization on an isolated hypervisor platform that provides you with your own virtual data center to manage your virtual machines (VMs). While there is more isolation and power available for dedicated bare metal servers, bare metal virtualization provides the flexibility of cloud-based computing with the performance and reliability of single-tenant solutions.
Looking for a traditional bare metal server or VPS hosting solution you can trust? Liquid Web is here to help. For maximum performance and security, you can use our traditional dedicated servers.
With our fully managed VPS hosting solution, you gain access to an affordable and secure virtual server that is reliable, provides powerful root access, and comprehensive support.
If you’re in need of a more powerful solution, our Cloud Dedicated and Bare Metal Cloud hosting provides a virtualized server that is the sole tenant of the host system, granting our highest level of computing power in VPS hosting.
Searching for even more scalability? Our Managed Private Cloud servers powered by VMware and NetApp bring together the processing power and resources of bare metal servers with the instant provisioning and flexibility of the cloud.
Contact our team today to find out which hosting solution is right for your unique needs.