Comparing Bare Metal Cloud and Dedicated Servers

Traditional dedicated servers and modern bare metal servers share many of the same characteristics. While both server types deliver non-virtualized single-tenant physical machines, they differ in terms of provisioning, billing, and customization options. The table below compares phoenixNAP’s Bare Metal Cloud platform with traditional dedicated servers.

Feature Bare Metal Cloud Dedicated Servers
Server provisioning Fully automated Partial orchestration
Provisioning time < 2 minutes Hours or days
Pre-installed virtualization Non-virtualized Non-virtualized
Hardware customization Pre-configured instances Configured based on customer’s requirements
Single-tenant environment Yes Yes
Dedicated resources Yes Yes
Hourly billing Yes No
API and CLI functionality Yes No
Continuous Delivery alignment Yes No
Support for IaC tools Yes No

Differences Between Bare Metal Cloud and Dedicated Servers Explained

Server provisioning

Server provisioning

Even though dedicated servers support particle orchestration, provisioning and deploying them is a manual process. Datacenter technicians configure and customize dedicated servers by hand according to the customer’s hardware specifications.

Bare Metal Cloud servers are grouped into pre-configured server instance types that users can provision and deploy automatically without human intervention.

Provisioning time

Provisioning time

Depending on the complexity of the deployment, it takes anywhere from hours and days to weeks or even months to provision dedicated servers.

Thanks to automation, provisioning one or more Bare Metal Cloud instances takes less than 120 seconds while the process of decommissioning is instantaneous.

Pre-installed virtualization layer

Pre-installed virtualization layer

Bare Metal Cloud and dedicated servers do not come with pre-installed hypervisors or other virtualization layers. However, users can add their desired hypervisor or container engine.

In the absence of virtualization, both server types allow users to utilize the full performance potential of physical CPU, RAM, and storage resources. And with root-level administrative access, users have more freedom to optimize and customize their environments to support specific workloads.

Hardware customization

Hardware customization

Bare Metal Cloud servers offer limited customization options in terms of hardware, but users can choose between 20 different pre-configured instance types.

Dedicated servers are highly customizable and can be provisioned with specific hardware components based on the customer’s specific requirements.

Single-tenant environment

Single-tenant environment

Both server types are single-tenant environments, meaning they support only one customer. As a result, the so-called “noisy neighbor” effect is eliminated, giving the user more control over performance and security.

Dedicated resources

Dedicated resources

There is no resource sharing among multiple users on the same machine in Bare Metal Cloud or dedicated server environments. All of the server’s physical compute, memory, and storage resources are dedicated exclusively to one customer.

Billing

Billing

Bare Metal Cloud servers are billed hourly on a pay-per-use basis. Customers can deploy a server instance for a couple of hours or days and only pay for the resources consumed. However, customers that need guaranteed resources availably can take advantage of Reservations. This monthly billing option is ideal for those who want to reserve Bare Metal Cloud resources for a longer period.

Dedicated servers most often entail monthly or yearly billing plans and providers usually require customers to sign long-term contracts. In general, providers do not offer hourly billing plans for dedicated servers.

Latest hardware

Latest hardware

As a rule of thumb, Bare Metal Cloud servers are fitted with the latest CPU, RAM, and storage components. On the other hand, dedicated servers are often associated with low-end or outdated hardware, but that’s not always the case.

phoenixNAP’s FlexServers are dedicated servers powered by next-gen scalable CPU technologies from Intel, hardware components from Supermicro, and cutting-edge NVMe drives.

Continuous Delivery Alignment

Continuous Delivery Alignment

As an automation-ready platform, Bare Metal Cloud is tailor-fit for powering build and testing servers in CI/CD pipelines. With root-level access to the hardware, teams have more control to fine-tune their environments for performance, giving them more compute power per dollar. Users can also leverage custom-built API and CLI utilities, as well as various Infrastructure as Code engines to manage resources programmatically. Bare Metal Cloud is fully compatible with Terraform, Ansible, and Pulumi with more IaC modules coming soon.

Dedicated servers are not automation-ready, do not support custom APIs and CLIs, and are not compatible with Infrastructure as Code engines by design.

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phoenixNAP Bare Metal Cloud and Dedicated Servers Solutions

In addition to Bare Metal Cloud, phoenixNAP also offers a wide variety of traditional dedicated server solutions. Each server option is custom-tailored to address the specific needs and requirements of modern businesses operating in different verticals.

Bare Metal Cloud

Bare Metal Cloud

BMC is built for DevOps by DevOps. It is geared toward VPs of Engineering who are looking to run their CI/CD pipelines on a fully automated physical server infrastructure. With API-driven server provisioning and compatibility with IaC tools, BMC is equipped with all the tools DevOps teams need to deliver quality software to market faster and easier.
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Dedicated Servers

Dedicated Servers

phoenixNAP’s dedicated servers and FlexServers solutions are tailored to meet the demands of hosting providers, resellers, and businesses looking to leverage high-performance single-tenant servers at an OpEx model. These solutions are ideal for running virtualization, databases, HPC, and streaming and gaming workloads.
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Hardware as a Service (HaaS)

Hardware as a Service (HaaS)

Startups and developers who are building large scale infrastructure can opt for phoenixNAP’s Hardware as a Service solution. This hardware leasing service offers highly customizable hardware options, worldwide scalability, and budget-friendly pricing. It also includes 100% SLAs, DDoS protection, and full-time managed support.
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Join the Bare Metal Cloud Developer Community

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Check us out on GitHub

Download IaC modules, use GitHub Actions to deploy servers, stay up to date with new releases, and contribute to our open-source projects.

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