Virtual Machines (VMs)

Virtual Machines deliver on-demand, scalable compute infrastructure when you need to quickly provision resources to meet your growing business needs.  With Virtual Machines, you get choice of Windows Server and Linux operating systems in multiple configurations on top of the trustworthy Azure foundation. 

Provision compute infrastructure at the pace your business requires

Unlock the IT backlog and provision infrastructure at the pace your business requires. Simply choose your compute configuration (standard or high memory instances) and choose an image from the Virtual Machines image gallery.

Virtual Machines give your applications and systems full mobility, allowing you to move virtual hard disks (VHDs) back and forth between on-premises and the cloud.  

Enterprise grade support with enterprise ready products

With 99.95% monthly SLA for multiple instances, Virtual Machines are ready to extend on-premises workloads to the cloud.  Microsoft SQL Server, SharePoint Server, BizTalk Server, and many more server applications are validated to run on Virtual Machines. Support for validated workloads is directly provided by Microsoft.  You can select one of the many direct support options here.

Use the tools you know and be ready for tomorrow

If your app runs on Hyper-V, it runs on Azure Virtual Machines.  This means you can manage your entire infrastructure, on-premises or in the cloud, with System Center.  In addition, you can combine your apps running in Virtual Machines with Azure platform services - such as Service Bus or Media Services - and extend with new capabilities. With Virtual Machines, you can take advantage of what you already know to achieve new capabilities in the cloud.

Monitor and alert (preview)

Azure provides a number of capabilities that help you better understand the health of your applications. You can monitor the health and availability of your applications via health metrics dashboard. You can set up alert rules to be notified when your service availability is degraded. Further, with alerts and notifications, you can define an event of interest that occurs in your application, be notified in real-time when the event occurs. Health and availability monitoring, and alerting are available at no additional cost while in preview.

Auto scale to optimize cost and performance

Azure allows you to configure your application to automatically scale up or down to match the current demands while minimizing costs via auto scale rules. To automatically scale, choose your scale metric on the 'Scale' tab and set the minimum and maximum number of instances. Generally, you should set the minimum at a level that meets your expected daily traffic and allows for small spikes; you should set your maximum at a level that allows for large, unexpected bursts of activity. Auto scaling has now been released under General Availability, and is included as a component of Standard mode without any additional cost.

To try Virtual Machines and other infrastructure services on Azure, you will need an account. Begin your sign up here.

Next Steps

View pricing details. Browse the documentation center for resources. Explore flexible purchase options.