If, when choosing the best web hosting(opens in new tab) services that offer dedicated servers, you’re trying to get the best performance out of yours, you have to choose between two options: bare metal vs dedicated server. Specifically speaking, these are respectively traditional dedicated servers and modern bare metal options. However, what’s the best way to choose, and what elements or factors should you base your choice on? Here, we’ve aimed to clarify the difference between the two, touching on a few common industry myths as we go. 

What is Bare Metal Server?

A bare metal server is a computer server that gets assigned for use to a single client. Essentially, bare metal solutions allow customers to lease hardware from providers to use as they see fit. This differs significantly from virtual servers, which can potentially run multiple different software applications on the same piece of hardware. A bare metal server can run any amount of work needed by a client and have multiple users within an organization, but the hardware remains dedicated entirely to the organization that is renting it.

bare metal vs dedicated server

What is a Dedicated Server?

A dedicated server is precisely what its name suggests: a server dedicated entirely to your organization’s tasks and performance. Unlike a typical PC, a dedicated server consists of enterprise-grade hardware resources that organizations can leverage to power their business-critical applications.

With dedicated servers, you do not share CPU, RAM, or disk resources with other organizations. Sometimes, the phrase “bare metal servers” is used to describe dedicated servers. Because the user is close to the physical hardware.

Organizations can achieve the highest possible task speeds with a dedicated server because you don’t share the computing power or connectivity with another organization. Also, IT administrators have full control over the server. As such, there are limitless use cases that you can achieve with dedicated servers. For example, you can use them for web hosting, database operations, email hosting, and reseller hosting.

For example, most websites start with a shared hosting plan but soon grow to exceed that cheap shared plan’s limits. Your options here could include an upgrade to a virtual private server (VPS) or a dedicated one. It’s up to you to weigh up the different options.

Bare Metal vs Dedicated Server: Aren’t they the same?

Undoubtedly, there are a lot of similarities when comparing bare metal vs dedicated servers, especially from a technical point of view. The most obvious commonality is they both refer to a physical server, as opposed to a virtual private server (a VPS).

With a VPS server, your website shares processors, hard drives, and memory resources with other people’s sites. This is fine for some uses, and certainly keeps costs down, but if you need unfettered access to the underlying hardware, or you stress about performance plummeting when other sites experience traffic spikes, you want a bare metal server or dedicated server.

Those in the market for a high-performance server typically have precise use in mind. Whether it’s online gaming, video rendering, voice over IP (VoIP), Software as a Service (SaaS), or simply a high-traffic website that must perform splendidly at all times, dedicated hardware like bare metal or dedicated server is the right choice.

If you’re running an eCommerce site, for example, dedicated hardware allows more simultaneous transactions; while eSports gaming run on dedicated servers offers much lower latency for multiple concurrent sessions. In other words, dedicated hardware solutions always beat shared hosting in performance.

With both types, you get a much higher level of control over your servers’ complexity and security. You can choose the operating systems, software, and security protocols that suit your business best. As you have root (full administrator) access, you call the shots.

bare metal vs dedicated server

How are Bare Metal servers and Dedicated servers different from one another?

If you compare these two single-tenant environment servers, then both of these dedicated servers share a lot of common traits like the same physical nature and the lack of any kind of visualization in their root operations. As being single-tenant, both of these server types do not need to share storage, memory, or processor with any other server. Also both Bare metal and dedicated servers deploy the same level of added security integration.

But when you talk about the differences, then several important differences can be laid compared. Here are some of the key differences:

  • Time Frame: Dedicated servers have been around for a long time. Unlike traditional cloud computing, dedicated servers offer users complete control over the physical machine. Yet in recent years, the use of dedicated servers has decreased. On the other hand, A Bare Metal Server which can be considered a flagship hosting provider’s product is made up of more than one dedicated server.
  • Automation: Dedicated servers are very well known to be quite challenging to provision manually. Although, Bare metal servers are made of one or more dedicated servers. These are specifically designed to automate the provisioning process, saving you the provision time and automating it.
  • Speed: Compared to Dedicated Servers, Bare Metal Servers are faster and much easier to set up. Also, it offers the same level of purchasing and installation as that of popular cloud services.
  • Infrastructure: This is where both of these servers are miles apart from one another. While a dedicated server is made up of the conventional network methodology. A bare-metal server is made up of several dedicated servers running together by a process called hypervisors ( i.e. computer software, firmware, or hardware that builds virtual machines). The hypervisors can be installed in the hard drive without the requirement of being supported by the host operating system.

Bare Metal vs Dedicated Server: The following are the cost differences

The most significant distinction between bare metal servers and dedicated servers is the difference in price or cost. There are convenient payment plans available for dedicated servers, which enable you to set up monthly or annual contracts that can be readily compared in terms of overall cost throughout the industry.

On the other hand, bare metal servers provide more flexible per-hour pricing options, allowing you to pay only for the resources that you use. This approach is excellent for websites and apps that get a large volume of traffic during peak hours since it allows them to manage expenses directly.

bare metal vs dedicated server

What is best for you?

Both traditional dedicated servers and bare metal servers are great options for potential future users. Bare metal servers provide the newest and best technology currently available. With this being said, bare-metal servers require more resources and can be quite costly. Traditional dedicated servers can offer more affordable and consistent pricing.

Small to medium-sized businesses will most likely be happy with the performance of server colocation. Most medium to large-sized companies will often need a dedicated server for a more high-performance environment. Large enterprise companies and businesses that need the best possible performance should go with a bare metal server option. These are the businesses that operate websites with a high volume of traffic.