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Generation 2 virtual machines in Azure – Public Preview

Published date: May 20, 2019

We are excited to announce the Public Preview of Generation 2 virtual machines on Azure. Generation 2 virtual machines use the new UEFI-based boot architecture vs. the BIOS-based architecture used by Generation 1 virtual machines. The new architecture enables customers to:

  • Build large virtual machines (up to 12TB)
  • Provision OS disks sizes that exceed 2TB.

Microsoft introduced Generation 2 virtual machines for on-premises Hyper-V users with Windows Server 2012 R2. An increasing number of customers are moving their on-premises workloads to Azure and they want native support for Generation 2 virtual machines, on the Microsoft Azure platform.  Therefore, we are taking the first step and we are enhancing the Azure infrastructure to support the creation of Generation 2 virtual machines, natively.

If you want to take advantage of these features, you can now create Generation 2 virtual machines in Azure. Note that we will be evolving generation 2 capabilities overtime and based on our customers feedback. For a complete list of capabilities, limitations and details associated with the deployment of Generation 2 virtual machines on Azure, please refer to our documentation.

For your review please find enclosed a table that summarizes some of the differences between Generation 1 and Generation 2 virtual machines



Generation 1 Virtual Machine

Generation 2 Virtual Machine




Disk Controllers



VM sizes supported


Premium Storage VMs

OS Disk > 2TB



Azure Site Recovery/Backup



Azure Disk Encryption



Shared Image Gallery




You can now

  • Create standalone generation 2 virtual machines using the Azure Marketplace images from the Azure Portal or via command line.
  • Create standalone generation 2 virtual machines using Managed Image/Disk from Azure Portal/command line.
  • Create generation 2 virtual machines via Virtual Machine Scale Set from Azure Portal/command line.
  • Deploy Virtual Machines with OS Disks larger than 2TB.


If you have any comments, questions or any general feedback we would like to hear from you!


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