bare metal


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bare metal

(1)
New computer hardware, unadorned with such snares and delusions as an operating system, an HLL, or even assembler. Commonly used in the phrase "programming on the bare metal", which refers to the arduous work of bit bashing needed to create these basic tools for a new computer. Real bare-metal programming involves things like building boot PROMs and BIOS chips, implementing basic monitors used to test device drivers, and writing the assemblers that will be used to write the compiler back ends that will give the new computer a real development environment.

bare metal

(2)
"Programming on the bare metal" is also used to describe a style of hand-hacking that relies on bit-level peculiarities of a particular hardware design, especially tricks for speed and space optimisation that rely on crocks such as overlapping instructions (or, as in the famous case described in The Story of Mel, interleaving of opcodes on a magnetic drum to minimise fetch delays due to the device's rotational latency). This sort of thing has become less common as the relative costs of programming time and computer resources have changed, but is still found in heavily constrained environments such as industrial embedded systems, and in the code of hackers who just can't let go of that low-level control. See Real Programmer.

In the world of personal computing, bare metal programming is often considered a Good Thing, or at least a necessary evil (because these computers have often been sufficiently slow and poorly designed to make it necessary; see ill-behaved). There, the term usually refers to bypassing the BIOS or OS interface and writing the application to directly access device registers and computer addresses. "To get 19.2 kilobaud on the serial port, you need to get down to the bare metal." People who can do this sort of thing well are held in high regard.

bare metal

(1) Hardware. A "bare metal computer" is one without any software (OS or applications). See bare bones system and bare-metal server.

(2) A "bare metal" virtual machine monitor, correctly called a "hypervisor," directly controls the hardware without using device drivers from another operating system (see virtual machine). See bare-metal switch.
References in periodicals archive ?
A bare metal server is one delivered over the cloud and dedicated completely to a single customer.
RecoverEDGE bare metal disaster recovery automatically rebuilds disk partitions and volume groups, then restores from any of the above media.
Data backup, business continuity and disaster recovery services provider Axcient Inc unveiled on Wednesday the latest feature of its complete data protection platform, Bare Metal Restore (BMR) for workstations.
The paclitaxel-eluting stent had a rate of 10 per cent and the bare metal stent had a rate of 22.
In year 1, initially the risk was lower in the group with drug-eluting stents than in the group with bare metal stents.
At five-year follow-up, the patients in the CYPHER(R) Stent arm of the study continued to be significantly less likely than the patients in the bare metal stent arm to need another procedure in the same arterial area (TLR or target lesion revascularization).
Bare metal system recovery -- In the event of system hardware or software failure, or user error, a disk-to-disk solution enables administrators to recover a system much faster than traditional methods.
Bare Metal Stents (BMS) - Global Pipeline Analysis, Competitive Landscape and Market Forecasts to 2017 provides key data, information and analysis on the global bare metal stents market.
AgileSERVER combines the dedicated processing power of bare metal with the agility of the cloud, allowing companies to achieve peak performance and scalability for mission critical workloads.
With the new offering, clients will be able to select OpenPOWER-based bare metal servers when configuring their cloud-based IT infrastructure from SoftLayer, an IBM company.
Report: fewer deaths with drug-coated stents than bare metal.
According to Miles, the bare metal recovery ability and speed of recovery operations have made the new D2D backup an invaluable resource.