Most popular server profiles

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How clients use it

Flexible workloads

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Flexible workloads

Run development and testing applications and other nonproduction workloads not requiring constant uptime on our transient servers. Transient servers are deprovisioned on a first-on, first-off basis.

Sustained capacity planning

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Sustained capacity planning

Get guaranteed capacity in your chosen data center by reserving a set of up to 20 virtual machines (VMs) for a 1- or 3-year term. Ideal for sustained workloads and enterprise-level capacity challenges.

Control requirements

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Control requirements

Deploy private virtual servers in minutes on global dedicated hosts for your data-sensitive workloads. Get affinity and anti-affinity support, post-deployment control and inclusive host-level billing.

Enhanced GPU capabilities

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Enhanced GPU capabilities

Use NVIDIA vGPUs for high-performance workloads requiring more compute density, like applied AI, intense graphics and data applications, and deep learning.


Key features

Differentiating options


Key claims report

Users explain why they chose IBM Cloud Virtual Servers over other IaaS solutions.

Get started with virtual servers

Explore security, storage and software options. Check out tutorials and more.

How-to documentation

From provisioning and managing virtual servers to monitoring and migrating, read our how-to docs.

API reference

More information about our API, virtual APIs, and dedicated and public virtual server usage examples.

Virtual servers explained

What are virtual servers?

Virtual servers, also called virtual machines or virtual private servers, come with dedicated core and memory allocations. VMs on classic infrastructures are deployed to the same VLANs as physical servers, so you can spread workloads across virtual servers and bare metal servers, while maintaining interoperability. Virtual servers are customizable and scalable.

What is the difference between virtual machines and bare metal servers?

Choosing a virtual machine or a physical machine (bare metal server) depends on your needs. Bare metal servers are single-tenant, physical servers void of virtualization software and dedicated to a single client. Workloads prioritizing performance and seclusion are best suited for bare metal. VMs best support workloads demanding flexibility and scalability.

How does a virtual server work?

Using a hypervisor on a bare metal server lets the physical machine separate its operating system and applications from its hardware, so it can split into independent VMs. Each new VM can then run its own operating system and applications independently, while sharing the bare metal server’s resources — memory, RAM, storage and so on — managed by the hypervisor.

What is a virtual server used for?

Enterprise IT administrators and users use VMs to:

  • Enable cloud computing. Run and scale different types of apps and workloads.
  • Support DevOps. Configure templates with settings for software development and testing to help streamline the DevOps toolchain.
  • Test a new operating system.
  • Investigate malware.
  • Run incompatible software.
  • Browse securely.


Related products

IBM Cloud® Bare Metal Servers

High-performance cloud servers configurable in hourly and monthly options

IBM Cloud® Object Storage

An unstructured data storage service designed for durability, resiliency and security

IBM Cloud® Virtual Servers for VPC

Designed for deploying application workloads in your own private space on the IBM Cloud

Start using our virtual servers in minutes

Provision a public, dedicated, transient or reserved VPS to match your workload.