In the cloud-services market, bare metal offerings have lagged behind virtualized ones, mostly because the use of the cloud for things like elastic apps and developer environments are better suited to instances with a native operating system.
The term “bare metal” simply means no software of any kind, not even a hypervisor. Customers provide their own operating environments, and the provider offers nothing more than CPUs, memory, and storage. Up to now, IBM has led the charge with bare-metal services because SoftLayer, the major data-center provider it acquired in 2014, was heavily involved in that business.
Thanks to Andy Patrizio (see source)