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 infrastructure and improve operational efficiency. Run SQL Server, SAP, Oracle® software and high-performance computing applications on Azure Virtual Machines. Choose your favourite 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 the 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 Azure virtual machine 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
Optimise your infrastructure and save money
Reduce costs – up to 72 per cent compared to pay-as-you-go prices – with term pricing through Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances. Re-use your on-premises licences to run Windows Server VMs on Azure with Azure Hybrid Benefit and combine RIs with Azure Hybrid Benefit to save up to 80 per cent. Take advantage of spot pricing on Azure VMs and VMSS to run interruptible workloads at deep discounts compared to pay-as-you-go rates. Optimise 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.
Experience what’s new in Azure Compute
Use virtual machine scale sets to build scalable applications. Reduce your cloud spend with Azure Spot Virtual Machines and reserved instances. Build your private cloud with Azure Dedicated Host. Run mission-critical applications in Azure to increase resiliency.
Computing options for every workload on Microsoft Azure
Discover the broad range of compute options that Microsoft Azure offers and tap into a diversified range of Azure virtual machines able to accommodate every workload including the applications you create.
Running mission-critical workloads – such as SAP – in Azure for business resilience
Organisations are migrating business-critical applications such as SAP, e-commerce sites and systems of record to Azure. Learn how you can scale your core applications on Azure while protecting your most valuable data.
What’s new in Azure compute
Thousands of organisations rely on Azure compute services (IaaS) to run core business applications. The Azure portfolio continues to expand to help you increase the cost efficiency, scalability, performance and resiliency of your applications.
Build scalable applications with VM scale sets
Develop dynamically scalable applications with virtual machine scale sets. Rightsize your infrastructure based on demand while optimising costs. Simplify management and increase the resiliency of your business-critical applications at scale.
Azure Virtual Machines – what’s new?
Digital transformation? Discover some of the new VM families and their target workloads and experience their capabilities in action.
Azure Dedicated Host – your very own private cloud in Azure
Use Azure Dedicated Host to control the maintenance window, gain visibility over the underlying infrastructure, and place your Azure VMs on a single-tenant server to satisfy specific compliance or regulatory requirements.
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 centre 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 VM 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 galleries. Use generation 2 VMs to improve boot and installation times. Get extreme computing power for your artificial intelligence (AI) and remote visualisation workloads with GPU-enabled VMs.Learn more about high-performance computing on Azure
Enhance security and compliance
Protect your VMs against bootkits, rootkits and kernel-level malware with trusted launch. Safeguard your VM 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 only used by your organisation. Take advantage of a broad range of VM service-level agreements (SLAs): from single-instance VMs at 99.9 per cent, up to 99.99 per cent for VMs deployed across two or more Azure Availability Zones.Learn more about protecting your VMs
Get the power, control and customisation 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-optimised VM family and uses the Intel Skylake processor. Fsv2 delivers the latest Intel CPU for raw compute power.
Balanced CPU and memory
The Dv4 family is the latest generation of our general-purpose VMs. It's appropriate for a variety of workloads.
High memory-to-core ratio
Ev4 is the latest memory-optimised VM. It's great for relational database servers, caches, and in-memory analytics.
Trusted by companies of all sizes
Matt Douglas, Chief Enterprise Architect, Sentara Healthcare
"With Azure, we make decisions based on what we want to spend on the application, without restricting performance. As a result, we've seen a 30 percent reduction in infrastructure costs."
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.
Comprehensive, automated governance for the public cloud
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) helps safeguard cloud development with automated deployments and governance enforcement.
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 such as 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
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’s a computer within a computer that provides the user the same experience that 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 virtualisation platforms run as native Azure infrastructure as a service (IaaS) VMs and aren’t 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 hyper-threading. Hyperthreading improves parallelisation 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 hyper-threading 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.
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 standardised 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 data centre.
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 affected. Availability sets are an essential capability for building reliable cloud solutions. To provide redundancy for your application, it is recommended that you group two or more virtual machines in an availability set.
Microsoft offers a range of OS-independent SLAs for Azure VMs. Read the SLA for Azure Virtual Machines.
As you transition your workloads to Azure, take advantage of Azure Hybrid Benefit to reuse your existing Windows Server licences with Software Assurance or Windows Server subscriptions for significant savings. For each licence, Azure covers the cost of the OS, while you pay for just the VM compute costs. Additionally, through Azure Hybrid Benefit for Linux, you can use your pre-existing on-premises Red Hat and SUSE software subscriptions on Azure. Learn more.
Virtual machine scale sets help you create and manage a group of load-balanced and auto-scaling VMs. Deploy VM scale sets using Azure Resource Manager templates, which support Windows and Linux platform images and 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 of 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.
More than 95 per cent of Fortune 500 companies use Azure. Azure has more global regions than any cloud provider and offers the most comprehensive set of compliance offerings. Azure offers built-in support for the most popular integrated development environments trusted by more than 20 million developers – Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code. Compare Azure vs AWS.