Community Blog What Are the Differences between Bare Metal and Cloud Server?

What Are the Differences between Bare Metal and Cloud Server?

This article explains bare metal and cloud servers and how they differ from each other.

Do you want to know the differences between bare metal server and cloud server in 2021? If you are an enterprise-level company owner or your business is growing rapidly, you will need a convenient and optimum hosting solution to handle large amounts of data. You may have heard about cloud server solutions, but do you know about bare metal servers? Is it a better server solution than the cloud! If you want to learn more about it, this is the article for you! This article explains bare metal and cloud servers and how they differ from each other.

What Are Bare Metal Servers?

A bare metal server is a physical machine with dedicated hardware resources, including CPU, RAM, storage, and a network port. It is built in a highly secure and controlled environment within a data center. The main purpose of these servers is to provide high-quality performance for a lot of users by accessing all dedicated resources.

Bare metal servers are also referred to as the dedicated server or physical server.

Although there is a small difference between the bare metal server and the dedicated server, the purpose is the same, better and flawless performance.

Dedicated servers use a separation layer called the hypervisor layer. This layer creates a virtual machine into the machine. However, bare metal servers don’t use the hypervisor layer. That’s why the operating system is installed on the server straightaway. For that reason, bare metal servers provide top performance among other hosting solutions.

Bare metal servers offer high-performance processors, RAM, NVMe solid-state drives, and other hardware. These strong capabilities are not included with dedicated servers.

The billing options of bare metal servers are more flexible than dedicated ones. You don’t need to pay daily, monthly, or yearly for the bare metal servers. You only need to pay for the time used. They also have hourly payment options for bare metal servers.

Pros and Cons – Bare Metal

Now, you have the definition of bare metal servers. In this section, let’s look at the pros and cons of bare metal servers.


  1. Complete Hardware Resources: Users can get the whole machine performance solely since bare metal servers allocate a single physical machine for a single user. Performance failure or performance degradation never happens in this server solution.
  2. Excellent Performance: If performance is the main priority of your services, then bare metal servers will never let you down. They provide superior performance for high-power applications, and your server can manage the increased workload with comfort. Big data processing, performance-sensitive applications, and almost any process that requires more resources will improve from running on a bare metal server.
  3. Highly Secured: Bare metal servers are highly secured compared to their counterparts. Since it is a single-tenant configuration, there are no interference and security threats. A security-conscious organization may be hesitant to choose a multi-tenant environment because the risk of violating regulatory compliance is greater than in a single-tenant environment.
  4. Minimum Storage Cost: If you have a huge amount of data, a bare metal server is the best solution for you since the storage cost is minimum for a big amount of data in a single-tenant solution.
  5. High Processing Power: Since it is a single-tenant configuration, the processing power and speed are higher.
  6. Consistent Disk and Network Input/Output Performance: Users can get I/O operations in a second.


  1. High Price: One of the major disadvantages of bare metal servers is the high price. However, this disadvantage is not for all users. If you have a lot of customers and a large amount of data, it will be not an issue. However, if you don’t have that capacity, it is not an efficient solution for your company. Since bare metal servers allocate a single machine for a single user, the costs can get high.
  2. Not Scalable: Another disadvantage is bare metal servers are not scalable. If your traffic is not consistent, the bare metal option is not suitable for you. You need scalability, but bare metal servers are not scalable.

What Are Cloud Servers?

Cloud server refers to a virtual portion of a single machine. It is a multi-tenant configuration, which means when you buy a cloud server, you buy a virtual portion of a machine. You share the CPU, memory, RAM, and storage with others. This is the most popular configuration. However, there is another configuration of cloud servers. You can get a storage block from the hosting machine. Even though it is a multi-tenant configuration, its performance is decent because the CPU, storage, and memory are allocated for each customer.

Pros and Cons – Cloud Server

Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of cloud servers.


  1. Highly Scalable: The main benefit of cloud servers is scalability. If you have variable traffic and don't want server failure, cloud servers should be your first priority. It scales the workload dynamically according to the number of visitors.
  2. Cost Efficient: You don’t have to pay for the idle hardware. You pay for the extra performance you need by the minute. You only have to pay for the services and resources you use. That is why it is a cost-effective and optimum solution.
  3. Customizable: It is highly customizable. You can add storage, RAM, and CPU power according to your requirements.


  1. Hardware Sharing: Since it is a multi-tenant solution, the hardware resources, such as CPU, RAM, and storage, are divided by multiple users. If one user of the same machine runs intensive data processing, you may get reduced power.
  2. Limited Network Configuration: Cloud server’s network configurations are limited.
  3. Unknown Physical Server Quality: Physical hardware quality is unidentified. You have no way of knowing if the host is using substandard equipment, leaving you unaware of the machine's real workload.


Let’s look at the main differences between bare metal servers and the cloud servers on the chart below:

Bare Metal Server Cloud Server
Performance High Optimal
Security Excellent Good
Scalability Not Scalable Scalable
Pricing High Low

Are you still confused? If you need technical support, please contact the Alibaba Cloud Support Team for more information.

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