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Best bare-metal hosting in 2020

Best bare-metal hosting
(Image credit: Pixabay)

A bare-metal server is a physical server dedicated to a single tenant. Despite seeing the rise (and rise) of bare metal servers in recent years, they are not new and have been commercially available for more than a decade. Many big players in cloud storage now have bare metal server offerings.

Bare metal servers remove the overhead hypervisor that enables virtualization with cloud computing services, meaning that there is nothing preventing applications from performing at their fastest. However, some vendors' bare metal server offerings tote both the high-performance benefits of a physical server and the multi-tenancy benefits that come with virtualization.

Despite being often used interchangeably, the terms 'bare metal server' and 'dedicated server' refer to different types of server. As such, it's worth asking yourself: bare-metal vs dedicated servers: which is the better hosting option? before making a decision.

Here then are the featured bare metal hosting providers we think are the best.

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Best bare-metal hosting - at a glance

  1. Rackspace OnMetal
  2. IBM Cloud Bare Metal Servers
  3. Oracle Bare Metal Instance
  4. Amazon EC2 C5 Instances
  5. Alibaba Cloud ECS Bare Metal Instance
  6. Fasthost Bare Metal Servers
  7. Scaleway Elements Bare Metal Cloud Servers
  8. Zenlayer Bare Metal Cloud
  9. Redstation Gaming bare metal servers
  10. HEFICED bare metal servers

Rackspace OnMetal

(Image credit: Rackspace)

1. Rackspace OnMetal

Fanatical bare metal hosting

Global support
Secure networking
Consumption-based pricing

Rackspace's feature-packed OnMetal Cloud Servers support customers globally from multiple regions in the US and UK. They offer private, secure networking via integration with Cloud Networks and RackConnect – in addition to deep integration with OpenStack Public Cloud via Nova-backed APIs. 

Virtualized workloads can be consolidated onto fewer OnMetal Servers to reduce complexity as applications start to scale, and you'll be safe in the knowledge that you'll only pay for what you use thanks to consumption-based pricing and billing.

IBM Cloud Bare Metal Servers

(Image credit: IBM )

2. IBM Cloud Bare Metal Servers

Bare metal servers from the IBM titan

Affordable services
Global data centers

IBM positions its Cloud Bare Metal Servers offering as a more affordable alternative to AWS in many cloud computing scenarios. The company acquired SoftLayer and its bare-metal server capabilities six years ago and now runs more than 60 IBM Cloud data centers across 19 countries. 

Its bare-metal servers can be customized to meet workload needs, with more than 11 million configurations available that can be paid for hourly, monthly or through reserved capacity pricing. IBM uses the latest Nvidia GPUs, in addition to 1-, 2-, or 4-core Intel CPUs, to chew through heavy workloads.

Oracle Bare Metal Instance

(Image credit: Oracle)

3. Oracle Bare Metal Instance

For performance-based bare metal hosting

Standard options
Fast random I/O
High Performance Computing

If you need a highly tailored bare-metal server configuration that caters for specific workloads, Oracle’s Bare Metal Instances could be for you. Options include a 'Standard' instance configuration for standard purpose workloads, which balances CPU cores, memory and network resources to suit a range of applications and use cases. 'HighIO', for performance-intensive database workloads with high IOPS requirements, offers local NVMe-based SSDs and delivers fast random I/O and high IOPs. 

For big data workloads, there's 'DenseIO', and 'HPC Instance' is Oracle's most powerful config designed for massively parallel HPC (or high-performance computing) workloads.

Amazon EC2 C5 Instances

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Amazon EC2 C5 Instances

The established cloud server service

Wide range of service options
High-end performance
Distributed analytics

In November 2019 Amazon launched a new bare metal option for its EC2 C5 server instances, which are commonly used for running compute-heavy workloads like batch processing, distributed analytics, and high-performance computing. Called c5.metal, Amazon is aiming its bare metal instances at companies deploying applications that need to avoid being slowed down by virtualization, need access to physical resources and low-level hardware features, and are intended to run directly on server hardware. 

Amazon EC2 C5 Instances can take advantage of Elastic Load Balancing, Auto Scaling, Amazon CloudWatch, and other AWS services.

Alibaba Cloud ECS Bare Metal Instance

(Image credit: Alibaba )

5. Alibaba Cloud ECS Bare Metal Instance

The disruptive cloud server host

Up to 96 cores
Up to 768GB RAM
Storage configurations

Based on the company's next-generation virtualization technology, Alibaba’s ECS Bare Metal Instance offers both the elasticity benefits of virtualization and the performance advantages of physical servers. Compatible with all Alibaba Cloud products, ECS Bare Metal Instance supports CPU configurations of between eight and 96 cores, in addition to instance memory expansion from 32GB to 768GB. 

Storage configurations start from virtual server images or cloud disks and support mounting of multiple cloud disks for better storage capability. It’s all protected by Alibaba’s stringent security requirements, so you won’t need to worry about your data's welfare.

Fasthost Bare Metal Servers

(Image credit: Fasthost)

6. Fasthost Bare Metal Servers

Specialist UK bare metal hosting provider

Pay-as-you-go billing
Hard drive options
Optimize performance

One for companies that want access to data centers and support based in the UK, Fasthost Bare Metal Servers will let you run projects on single-tenant servers with dedicated resources, purchased by the hour or month with pay-as-you-go billing. 

In terms of storage, you can choose between hard disk for high capacity; SSD (for fast storage); or NVMe for speedy and capacious storage. Servers can be spun up in minutes and feature integrated load balancing for spreading resources around server infrastructure to optimize performance.

Scaleway Elements Bare Metal Cloud Servers

(Image credit: Scaleway)

7. Scaleway Elements Bare Metal Cloud Servers

Fast bare metal hosting deployment

Multiple Linux options
Fast deployment
Additional features

Scaleway Elements Bare Metal Cloud Servers offers hardware configurations based on Intel Xeon or AMD EPYC CPUs that are available in Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS and other Linux variants. Deployable in a snap, configurations include General Purpose (balancing CPU, RAM and Disks for production environments); High CPU (boosted with CPU for big data applications); and High Memory (boosted with memory for virtualization or RAM-demanding applications). 

They offer a slew of features that include remote booting from an ISO file, and the ability to manage servers via Scaleway Console or an API (to automate the creation, installation, reboot or deletion of services).

Zenlayer Bare Metal Cloud

(Image credit: Zenlayer )

8. Zenlayer Bare Metal Cloud

Fast set up for a bare metal cloud

Fast deployment
25 locations
Private backbone

For high-performance computing with cloud-like flexibility, Zenlayer Bare Metal Cloud lets you spin up servers from 25 locations within 10 minutes. (Other locations are available if you call them to enquire.) Servers run on a private backbone, meaning traffic between Zenlayer Bare Metal Cloud PoPs (points of presence) bypasses public internet connections. 

Zenlayer is a particularly enticing option if you're building a high-performing hybrid cloud, as its bare metal cloud can be connected with public clouds from companies such as AWS; Azure; IBM Cloud; SAP and Oracle to create a private network.

Redstation Gaming bare metal servers

(Image credit: Redstation)

9. Redstation Gaming bare metal servers

DDoS protected bare metal servers

Specially for gamers
DDoS protection
Unlimited bandwidth

Redstation's bare metal servers benefit from multiple tier 1 transit and peering partnerships, meaning they are configured to give gamers the lowest pings even if they're located across the other side of the world to their team-mates. 

The company's fiber network offers unlimited bandwidth and is suitable for hosting applications needed to monitor and optimize performance, monetize moments and deliver advertising. Redstation's servers operate in a DDoS-free environment, so you won't have to worry about your gaming customers falling victim to a DDoS attack mid-session.

HEFICED bare metal servers

(Image credit: HEFICED)

10. HEFICED bare metal servers

State of the art bare metal hosting

State of the art facilities
Intelligent management
Robust security

HEFICED's bare-metal servers promise high performance, robust security, and are available with a high level of customization. Used by companies such as IBM, Avast and PureVPN, the company's servers are located in ISO-certified, state-of-the-art Tier 3 data facilities which feature power and cooling redundancy to ensure maximum uptime and enterprise-grade infrastructure for mission-critical applications. 

They also come equipped with Intelligence Platform Management Interface (IPMI) to ensure easy remote access and monitoring - and you get access to in-house tech support who can solve infrastructure-related issues onsite without delay.