Microsoft Targets Heavy Workloads With M-Series VM For Azure

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Redmond touts the UK’s ‘most powerful cloud services’ with launch of M-Series virtual machines (VMs)

Microsoft has launched in the UK its M-Series virtual machines (VMs) for Azure to help customers dealing with heavy workloads.

The M-Series virtual machines (VMs) in Azure can support up to 128 virtual central processing units (vCPU) and between one and 3.8 tebibytes of RAM with 20 terabytes of memory.

The launch of the new powerful cloud services comes Redmond last year revealed it would also offer Cray supercomputing power via its Azure cloud platform, for those organisations carrying out processing-intensive chores.

Cloud

M-Series VMs

Microsoft had in August last year launched its G-Series, H-Series and N-Series virtual machines (VMs) to allow UK-based developers running graphics intensive workloads to increase their computing power by creating multiple copies of their own PC.

And now Microsoft with the M-Series, which it says is the UK’s ‘most powerful cloud services’, is geared towards handling very large workloads that involve a lot of data.

As mentioned above, the M-series can support up to 128 virtual central processing units (vCPU) and between one and 3.8 tebibytes of RAM – on a single VM. It also offers up to 20 terabytes of memory – the most offered by any public cloud, said Microsoft.

And Microsoft claimed that data can be transferred between VMs at up to 30 gigabytes per second, making it easy for companies to back up files or replicate their databases.

Microsoft has also announced Dv3 VMs in UK data centres.

“By unlocking more power from the underlying hardware, we are able to harness better performance and efficiency, resulting in cost savings that we are passing on to our customers,” said Jon Beck, Principle Program Manager at Microsoft.

Microsoft explained that the Dv3 VMs apparently use “hyper-threading technology” on Intel processors, which allows users to run several processes at once. And they offer nested virtualisation – the ability to run a VM inside another VM.

The Dv3s offer up to 64 vCPUs and 256 gigabytes of RAM, while Ev3s offer 432GB of RAM, for those customers requiring more memory in order to run larger workloads.

Low Cost Option

Microsoft also took the opportunity to announce B-series VMs, which are a new low-cost range that offers customers flexibility in how much Azure computer power they use.

“These VM sizes allow you to pay and burst as needed, using only a fraction of the CPU when you don’t need it and burst up to 100% of the CPU when you do need it,” said Corey Sanders, Director of Compute at Azure. “This level control gives you extreme cost flexibility and flexible value.”

Finally, Microsoft has revealed that Notification Hubs will be available in its UK data centres. This essentially lets users send push notifications (information in a pop-up box) to their customers regardless of platform.

The launch of the M-Series VMs is just the latest Azure development, as Redmond seeks to take the fight to Amazon Web Services.

Late last month Microsoft officially launched its Azure Event Grid, its a fully-managed intelligent event routing service in the cloud.

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