Create Linux and Windows virtual machines (VMs) in seconds and reduce costs.
Choose the right VM for your workload and reduce costs
Migrate your business and mission critical workloads to Azure and realize operational efficiencies. Run SQL Server, SAP, Oracle® software and high-performance computing applications on Azure Virtual Machines. Choose your favorite Linux distribution or Windows Server.
Deploy virtual machines featuring up to 416 vCPUs and 12 TB of memory. Get up to 3.7 million local storage IOPS per VM. Take advantage of up to 30 Gbps Ethernet and cloud’s first deployment of 200 Gbps InfiniBand.Explore the full list of Azure VM types
Keep your budget in check with low-cost, per-second billing. You only pay for the compute time you use
Scale from one to thousands of VM instances in minutes with VM Scale Sets
Encrypt sensitive data, protect VMs from malicious threats, secure network traffic, and meet regulatory and compliance requirements
Choose Linux or Windows. Deploy your own VM image or download images from the Azure Marketplace
Optimize your infrastructure and save money
Reduce costs—up to 72 percent compared to pay-as-you-go prices—with term pricing through Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances (RIs). Re-use your on-premises licenses to run Windows Server VMs on Azure with Azure Hybrid Benefit and combine RIs with Azure Hybrid Benefit to save up to 80 percent. Take advantage of spot pricing on Azure VMs and VMSS to run interruptible workloads at deep discounts compared to pay as you go rates. Optimize your cloud spend with Azure Cost Management. Get three more years of free extended security updates for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 when you migrate to Azure.
Computing options for every workload on Microsoft Azure
Discover the broad range of compute options that Microsoft Azure can offer and tap into a diversified range of Azure virtual machines able to accommodate every workload including the applications you create. Learn how you can use various purchasing options to reduce your costs and gain confidence in the security and compliance capabilities that Azure offers.
Govern, monitor, and back up your VM environments
Ensure compliance and deploy applications to production faster across your entire business with Azure Blueprints. Get recommendations for high availability, security, performance, and cost for all of your VMs with Azure Advisor. Safeguard your data against ransomware with Azure Backup. Proactively identify issues and gain intelligent insights with Azure Monitor.Control your resources with Azure Policy
Embrace consistent hybrid cloud technologies
Extend the capacity of your data center with Azure VMs and access on-demand, high-performance computing capabilities in the cloud. Develop, test, run, and operate hybrid cloud applications consistently across Azure and your on-premises environment. Adopt simple and cost-effective cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions to avoid business interruptions. Meet regulatory and policy requirements for your VMs by developing in Azure and deploying on-premises with Azure Stack.Learn more Azure Stack
Scale your infrastructure without adding complexity
Set up highly available, centrally managed, and scalable services for computationally intensive, big data, and container workloads with virtual machine scale sets. Reduce cost and time to reimage your VMs for your stateless applications with Ephemeral OS disks. Manage global replication and sharing of images at scale with Shared Image Gallery. Use generation 2 VMs to improve boot and installation times. Get extreme computing power for your artificial intelligence (AI) and remote visualization workloads with GPU-enabled VMs.Learn more about high-performance computing on Azure
Enhance security and compliance
Protect your virtual machine data while in use with Azure confidential computing. Monitor your workloads and find and fix vulnerabilities with Azure Security Center. Meet a broad set of international and industry-specific compliance standards, including General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), ISO 27001, HIPAA, FedRAMP, and SOC 2. Deploy your Azure VMs on Azure Dedicated Host, a physical server used only by your organization. Take advantage of a broad range of VM SLAs: from single-instance VMs at 99.9 percent, up to 99.99 percent for VMs deployed across two or more Azure Availability Zones.Learn more about protecting your VMs
Get the power, control, and customization you need at competitive prices
Our Bs-series VMs provide an economical, low-cost solution for workloads that normally don't use a lot of CPU, but occasionally need to burst to handle higher workloads. Free for 12 months.
Raw compute power
Fsv2 is our newest compute-optimized VM family and uses the Intel Skylake processor. Fsv2 delivers the latest Intel CPU for raw compute power.
Balanced CPU and memory
Our Dv3 family is the latest generation of our general purpose VMs. It's appropriate for a variety of workloads.
High memory-to-core ratio
Ev3 is our latest generation memory-optimized VM. It's great for relational database servers, caches, and in-memory analytics.
Trusted by companies of all sizes
Accelerating cancer research with unlimited compute power
BC Cancer uses Azure to supplement its on-premises data center—reducing data processing times from 7 days to just 2 days.
Remedying mainframe pain
GEICO’s business is 24/7. With Azure, six-week releases are a thing of the past. In most cases, changes are deployed without taking the systems down.
Boosting calibration speed with machine learning
Find out how Scottish energy services company Wood cut its meter calibration time by 80 percent with Azure.
Integrating data from hybrid sources at scale
Adobe built its data lake with Azure Data Lake Store and Azure infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offerings like Azure Virtual Machines.
A trip to the cloud
Forever 21 scaled up to 120,000 concurrent sessions to meet seasonal demand. The result was unprecedented revenue. And after the holiday, it scaled down to just 16 servers, lowering costs and generating savings that it passes on to customers.
Everything you need to get started with VMs
Documentation, training, and migration resources
Build an NGINX web-server within an Ubuntu VM using:
Build an IIS web server within a Windows Server 2016 VM using:
Learn how to provision VMs on Azure with step-by-step guidance from Microsoft Learn.
Migrate to Azure
Manage costs and migrate apps, data, and infrastructure with these free resources.
Community and Azure support
Ask questions and get support from Microsoft engineers and Azure community experts.
Pre-provisioned VMs and partner solutions
Connect with certified partners and choose from thousands of apps and VM images on:
Microsoft Azure Cloud Journey InfoBrief 2020
Learn about core VMs, cloud-native computing, and security capabilities in this infobrief by International Data Company (IDC).
Azure Compute IDC White Paper July 2020
Take a deep dive into Azure's compute portfolio, cost-effectiveness, hybrid capabilities, security components, and management services in this white paper by International Data Corporation (IDC).
Azure Virtual Machines updates, blogs, and announcements
Announcing the largest Azure VM ever with 6TB of memory
New Azure Migrate and Azure Site Recovery enhancements for cloud migration
Learn about important Azure product updates and announcements
New Azure Spot Virtual Machines features
Confidential computing nodes (DCSv2) support on Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) in public preview
General availability: Azure Availability Zones in more regions
New maintenance control features
Selective disks backup for Azure Virtual Machines
Azure Backup support for up to 32 disks is now generally available
New Azure Dedicated Hosts capabilities
May 27, 2020
Streamlining your image building process with Azure Image Builder
April 30, 2020
Cross Region Restore (CRR) for Azure Virtual Machines using Azure Backup
Frequently asked questions about Azure and Azure VMs
Azure Virtual Machines are image service instances that provide on-demand and scalable computing resources with usage-based pricing.
More broadly, a virtual machine behaves like a server: it is a computer within a computer that provides the user the same experience they would have on the host operating system itself. In general, virtual machines are sandboxed from the rest of the system, meaning that the software inside a virtual machine can’t escape or tamper with the underlying server itself.
Each virtual machine provides its own virtual hardware including CPUs, memory, hard drives, network interfaces, and other devices.
A range of guest operating systems, including the Azure-endorsed Linux and Windows Server versions can be migrated to Azure. Migrate physical servers or virtual machines from VMware environments and Microsoft Hyper-V environments with Azure Migrate. VMs migrated from these on-premises virtualization platforms run as native Azure infrastructure as a service (IaaS) VMs and are not dependent on the on-premises hypervisor.
vCPU stands for virtual central processing unit. A vCPU is a share of a physical CPU that is assigned to a virtual machine. An Azure VM can contain one or more vCPUs.
Some Azure Virtual Machines support hyperthreading. Hyperthreading improves parallelization of computations performed on x86 microprocessors. For each physical processor core, the operating system addresses two virtual cores and shares the workload between them. A list of Azure VMs supporting hyperthreading is available in Azure Virtual Machines documentation.
Azure offers a range of virtual machines—there’s a VM for every workload. View the entire set of Azure Virtual Machine Series or read the documentation for Linux VMs or Windows VMs to learn more.
Refer to the Azure Products by Region website.
The concept of Azure Compute Units (ACUs) provides a way of comparing compute (CPU) performance across Azure VM sizes. This helps to easily identify which Azure VM is most likely to satisfy your performance requirements. ACU is currently standardized on a Small (Standard_A1) VM being 100, with higher numbers representing approximately how much faster those products can run a standard benchmark.
There are several Microsoft and partner tools and a large ecosystem of partners to help migrate on-premises VMs to Azure. Visit the Azure migration center to learn more.
Availability sets are logical grouping capabilities to ensure that VM resources placed within them are isolated from each other when they are deployed within an Azure datacenter.
Azure ensures that the VMs you place within availability sets run across multiple physical servers, compute racks, storage units, and network switches.
If a hardware or Azure software failure occurs, only a subset of your VMs will be impacted. Availability sets are an essential capability for building reliable cloud solutions. To provide redundancy to your application, it is recommended that you group two or more virtual machines in an availability set.
- For all VMs that have two or more instances deployed across two or more availability zones in the same Azure region, VM connectivity to at least one instance is guaranteed at least 99.99 percent of the time.
- For all VMs that have two or more instances deployed in the same availability set, virtual machine connectivity to at least one instance is guaranteed at least 99.95 percent of the time.
- For single-instance VMs using premium storage for all operating system disks and data disks, VM connectivity is at guaranteed at least 99.9 percent.
Find more details about Azure VM SLAs here.
Most Azure VMs come with temporary non-persistent local storage. Additionally, Azure offers HDD and SSD-based disk storage for data. Learn more in the Azure Managed Disk Storage portfolio. Refer to the Azure VM technical documentation (Linux VMs and Windows VMs) to learn about the Azure disks that are available for each VM series.
As you transition your workloads to Azure, with Azure Hybrid Benefit, you can reuse your existing Windows Server licenses with Software Assurance or Windows Server Subscriptions for significant savings. For each license, Azure covers the cost of the OS on up to two virtual machines, while you pay for just the base compute VM costs.
Virtual Machine Scale Sets let you create and manage a group of identical, load balanced, and autoscaling VMs. Deploy virtual machine scale sets using Azure Resource Manager templates which support for Windows and Linux platform images as well as custom images and extensions.
Security and privacy are built into the Azure platform. Microsoft is committed to the highest levels of trust, transparency, standards conformance, and regulatory compliance with the most comprehensive set of compliance offerings of any cloud service provider. Learn more.
With no upfront cost, you only pay for what you use. Azure provides flexible purchasing and pricing options for all your cloud scenarios, such as the Azure Hybrid Benefit and Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances. Azure also offers a comprehensive set of tools to help manage your cloud spend. Learn more.
Azure is the only consistent hybrid cloud, has more regions than any cloud provider, delivers unparalleled developer productivity, and offers more comprehensive compliance coverage—including meeting the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Compare Azure vs. AWS.