Microsoft Azure provides building, testing, deploying and managing applications and services through Global Network of Data Centers managed by Microsoft. This article describes types of Virtual Machines(VMs) available in the Azure Cloud.

Microsoft Azure provides various types of Virtual Machine(VM) and have classified them based on the Memory, Storage and Compute types. If you want to create a Virtual machine in Azure Cloud, you first need to check your application and workloads and can select the VM machine based on the available types.

Types of Virtual Machine Available in Azure Cloud:

  • General purpose
  • Compute optimized
  • Memory optimized
  • Storage optimized
  • GPU
  • High performance compute

Below provided is a list of VM types with a short description.

Type Sizes Description
Compute optimized Fsv2, Fs, F High CPU-to-memory ratio.
Memory optimized Esv3, Ev3, M, GS, G, DSv2, DS, Dv2, D High memory-to-CPU ratio.
Storage optimized Ls High disk throughput and IO
GPU NV, NC, NCv2, ND Specialized virtual machines targeted for heavy graphic rendering and video editing.
High performance Compute H, A8-11 Fastest and most powerful CPU virtual machines with optional high-throughput network interfaces (RDMA).

Consideration of VM sizes

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There are multiple standard sizes available in Azure. Following are the short description of various VMs Sizes available.

A Series VM:

Mostly used small and medium businesses,these VMs are used for entry level workloads like development and test machines. These are economical and provide low-cost options.

B Series VM:

Similar to A series VM, they are economical with low CPU utilization. But on a need basis, the utilization can be turned up to handle the requirements. They are typically used as small databases and build servers.

D Series VM:

These type of VMs are designed to run applications with high compute power and temporary disk and memory performance. D-Series VMs give faster processors, high memory to core ratio and Solid State Drive(SSD) for temporary disks making them suitable to run enterprise applications, relational databases and analytics.

Dv3 & Dv2 Series VM:

These types of VMs are similar to D-series, but with more powerful CPUs. The Dv2 Series CPU is 35% faster than D-series CPU. Dv2 series is based on the latest generation 2.4GHz Intel Xeon® E5-2673 v3 (Haswell) processor with Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 and can go up to 3.1GHz. The memory capacity and disk configurations are same as the D2 series.

F Series VM:

F Series VMs are are optimized for intensive workloads and provide higher CPU to memory ratio, 2GB Ram and 16GB Solid State Drive (SSD) per CPU core. Based on the 2.4 GHz Intel Xeon® E5-2673 v3 (Haswell) processor, these VMs can achieve clock speeds as high as 3.1 GHz with the Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0. F Series VMs are used in web servers, batch process, and gaming.

G Series VM:

These VMs run on hosts that have Intel Xeon E5 V3 processor with features up to half a TB RAM and 32 CPU cores that will be useful in handling heavy requirements like data warehousing and large databases.

H Series VM:

H series VMs are next generation high performance computing Virtual Machines. They are built on Intel Haswell processor technology, specifically E5-2667 V3 processors with 8 and 16 core VM sizes, both featuring DDR4 memory and local SSD based storage.

L Series VM:

L Series VMs are storage optimized Virtual Machines. L series VMs are built on Intel Haswell processor technology, specifically E5 Xeon v3 processors with 4, 8, 16 and 32 core VM sizes. L series supports up to 6TB local SSD and provides unmatched storage I/O performance.

M Series VM:

M series VMs are the largest memory optimized Virtual machines. M series Virtual Machines are ideal for heavy in memory workloads such as SAP HANA. The M series offers the largest memory capacities starting from 1 TiB RAM on single VM, and the VMs offer the highest virtual CPUs upto 128 vCPUs on single Virtual Machine to enable high performance parallel processing.

N Series VM:

N series VMs are GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) enabled Virtual Machines. The N-series features the NVIDIA Tesla accelerated platform as well as NVIDIA GRID 2.0 technology, providing the highest-end graphics support available in the cloud today. One of the N-series VMs has a second low latency, high-throughput network interface (RDMA) tuned for tightly coupled, parallel computing workloads.

Azure Virtual Machine Series in Microsoft Site https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/pricing/details/virtual-machines/series/

Let us see the detailed description for Virtual machine types. Azure provides Virtual Machines types based on storage, memory, Network, graphics and CPU capacity.

  • General purpose
  • Compute optimized
  • Memory optimized
  • Storage optimized
  • GPU optimized
  • High performance compute

General purpose

General purpose VM sizes provide balance CPU to memory ratio. These VMs are used in testing and development, small and medium databases and low to medium traffic web servers. The following VM sizes(series) are available in general purpose Virtual machines.
B, Dsv3, Dv3, Dsv2, Dv2, DS, D, Av2, and A0-7`

To know about number vCPUs, data disks, and NICs as well as storage and Network bandwidth of each size in this type, refer the below URL.
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/sizes-general

Compute optimized

Compute optimized VM sizes provide high CPU to memory ratio. This type of VMs are used in medium traffic web servers, Network appliance, batch process, and application servers. Below VM sizes are available in Compute optimized Virtual machines.

Fsv2, Fs, and F

To know about number vCPUs, data disks, and NICs as well as storage and Network bandwidth of each size in this type, refer below URL. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/sizes-compute

Memory optimized

Memory optimized VM sizes provide high memory to CPU ratio. This type of VMs are used in relational database servers, medium to large caches, and in memory analytics. Below VM sizes are available in memory optimized Virtual machines.

Esv3, Ev3, M, GS, G, DSv2, DS, Dv2, and D

To know about number vCPUs, data disks, and NICs as well as storage and Network bandwidth of each size in this type, refer below URL.
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/sizes-memory

Storage optimized

Storage optimized VM sizes provide high disk throughput and IO, and are ideal for Big Data, SQL, and NoSQL databases. Ls series is only available in Storage optimized VM sizes which offers up to 32 vCPUs, using Intel® Xeon® processor E5 v3 family.
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/sizes-storage

GPU optimized

GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) optimized virtual machines provides high graphic performance and these sizes are designed for compute-intensive, graphic intensive and visualization workloads. This type of virtual machines available with single or multiple https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/sizes-gpu

High performance compute

High performance compute virtual machines use hardware that are designed and optimized for compute intensive and network intensive applications, including high performance computing (HPC) cluster applications, modeling and simulations. The A8-A11 series uses Intel Xeon E5-2670 @ 2.6 GHz and the H-series uses Intel Xeon E5-2667 v3 @ 3.2 GHz. The A8-A11 and H-series sizes are also known as compute-intensive instances. H series and A8-11 series sizes are available in High performance compute virtual machines where the H series Virtual machines are next generation high performance computing VMs.

To know about number vCPUs, data disks, and NICs as well as storage and Network bandwidth of each size in this type, refer the below URL.
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/sizes-hpc#using-hpc-pack

Conclusion:

Deploying Azure Virtual machines in Azure cloud is very easy and Azure provides various types of virtual machines, based on our requirement we can select the virtual machines to deploy in Azure cloud.

Running an IT infrastructure does not end with deploying virtual machines. You need to set up necessary measures to protect your virtual machines from data loss. Although Microsoft protects the entire Azure from downtime, you need to protect your data inside the cloud from threats like accidental deletion and malware.

Vembu, with its 15+ years of experience in data protection, offers Vembu BDR Suite, using which you can backup your Azure VMs to the same or different region, or a different public cloud or even to your local data center.

By leveraging Vembu Backup for Microsoft Windows for your Windows VMs and Vembu Backup for File & Application for your Linux VMs, you can perform image-level and file-level backups of your machines respectively. To know more about the different deployment options for backing up your Azure VMs using Vembu BDR Suite, click here.

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