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Why IBM Cloud Virtual Servers

Essential performance for single-tenant or multi-tenant capacity

Key features

Differentiating options


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 are the network differences between virtual servers on IBM Cloud VPC and IBM Cloud Classic Infrastructure?

IBM Cloud Virtual Servers on our Classic Infrastructure operate on native subnet and VLAN networking to communicate to each other within a data center (and single pod). IBM Cloud Virtual Servers for VPC operate with an additional network orchestration layer that eliminates the pod boundary, creating increased capacity for scaling instances.

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® Virtual Servers for VPC

Advanced networking and performance features with dedicated and multi-tenant options

IBM Power Systems Virtual Servers

Extend your on-prem workloads at your own pace and price point.

IBM Cloud® Hyper Protect Virtual Servers

Control workloads that contain sensitive data or business IP.

Getting started

Start customizing your virtual server in minutes. Create an account and get USD 200 in credits to use toward your cloud environment today.