Learn English – the antonym of ‘virtual machine’


What is the antonym of 'virtual machine'?

A virtual machine (VM) is a piece of software pretending to be a piece of hardware. There can be virtual servers, virtual desktops…

I googled around a bit and did not find anything.

I am creating a list that has Servers, Desktops and Virtual Machines; where Servers & Desktops are understood to only include non-VMs, I need to add two more items to the list

  • Severs VM & (virtual machine antonym)
  • Desktop VM & (virtual machine antonym)

I need a word to replace "(virtual machine antonym)" I was thinking "Hard" but not sure that is appropriate.

The Audience is IT Professionals.

Best Answer

Let's consider a definition of a virtual machine:

A virtual machine is a software computer that, like a physical computer, runs an operating system and applications. The virtual machine is comprised of a set of specification and configuration files and is backed by the physical resources of a host. Every virtual machine has virtual devices that provide the same functionality as physical hardware and have additional benefits in terms of portability, manageability, and security.

Out of this definition we explicitly see an antonym physical computer. But i would use physical machine instead. And if we surf the web, we find the usage quite common:

A physical computer (sometimes called a physical machine or a physical box) is a hardware-based device, such as a personal computer. The term is generally used to differentiate hardware-based computers from software-based virtual machines (VMs). (Source)

"Virtual Machine to Physical Machine Migration - VMware" (PDF document)