A bare metal environment is a computer system or network in which a virtual machine is installed directly on hardware rather than within the host operating system (OS). The term "bare metal" refers to a hard disk, the usual medium on which a computer's OS is installed.
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The term virtualization refers to the creation of a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, such as an OS, a server or a network resource. A virtual machine is a multi-user shared-resource OS that gives each user the impression of having sole control of all computer or network resources.