bare metal

(redirected from bare-metal hypervisor)

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 ?
0 will support VMware ESXi - VMware's next-generation bare-metal hypervisor.
The company has been shipping bare-metal hypervisor clients in its Receiver product line since it shipped an Android version almost a year ago.
Several additional products, including a hardened Linux-based operating system, bare-metal hypervisor, network security protection suite, software self-healing application, anti-forensics capability, and data watermarking feature are in various stages of maturity.
It comes with a virtualisation management console, as well as a bare-metal hypervisor, the Kernel-Based Virtual Machine (KVM).
It accommodates the broadest range of hardware of any other bare-metal hypervisor solution on the market, while requiring a mere 2GB of RAM and a 64-bit compatible CPU.
VMware ESX is a bare-metal hypervisor that abstracts processor, memory, storage, and networking resources to create multiple virtual machines (VM) from a single physical machine.
VMware introduced VMware ESX in 2001 as the industry's first bare-metal hypervisor, abstracting server processor, memory, storage and networking resources into multiple virtual machines.
The company's solutions, which include a Xen-based open source Type 1 bare-metal hypervisor for endpoints, enable critical IT tasks to operate in isolated, trusted virtual environments with complete access to the capabilities offered by the underlying endpoint hardware.
Microsoft bare-metal hypervisor is the Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 that was built using the Windows hypervisor and other components, including base kernel and driver technologies.
Key components include Sun xVM Ops Center and Sun xVM Server, an enterprise-grade bare-metal hypervisor that is based on the open-source Xen code base.
Sun xVM is the company's open, comprehensive virtualization and management platform, which includes Sun xVM Ops Center and Sun xVM Server, an enterprise-grade bare-metal hypervisor.
VMware ESX and VMware ESXi are bare-metal hypervisors that install directly on top of the physical server and partition it into multiple virtual machines that can run simultaneously, to share the physical resources of the underlying server and deliver hardware-like reliability and security to applications.