Virtual Machines

Create Linux and Windows virtual machines (VMs) in seconds.

Choose the right VM for your workload

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 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.

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

Optimise 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 fault-tolerant 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.

Discover why Azure is the most cost-effective cloud for Windows Server

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. 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 visualisation 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 only used by your organisation. Take advantage of a broad range of VM 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

Burstable VMs—B1S

Most economical

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.

Compute Optimised—Fsv2

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.

General purpose—Dv3

Balanced CPU and memory

Our Dv3 family is the latest generation of our general purpose VMs. It's appropriate for a variety of workloads.

Memory optimised—Ev3

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.

For more details, visit the Windows and Linux VM pricing pages, and use this pricing calculator to configure and estimate the costs of your Azure VMs.

Trusted by companies of all sizes

Accelerating cancer research with unlimited compute power

BC Cancer uses Azure to supplement its on-premises data centre – reducing data processing times from 7 days to just 2 days.

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BC Cancer

Guaranteeing access to emergency updates during disasters

Tokyo University of Technology moved its emergency news site to Azure to provide stable performance even during unexpected access surges.

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The University of Tokyo

Boosting calibration speed with machine learning

Find out how Scottish energy services company Wood cut its meter calibration time by 80 per cent with Azure.

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Wood

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.

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Adobe

Implementing predictive equipment maintenance

Toyota Material Handling uses the cloud to get its technicians to job sites more reliably – and with instant access to the technical information they need when they get there.

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Toyota

Revolutionising healthcare with secure, real-time data

Oculys uses Azure to connect its leaders and teams to the pulse of the hospital’s operations while maintaining the highest standard of patient privacy.

Read the story

Oculys

Everything you need to get started with VMs

Get instant access and a $200 credit by signing up for an Azure free account.

Learn how to provision your first VM with 5-minute quickstart tutorials and documentation for Windows and Linux.

Enhance your VM with additional features and products, such as security and backup services.

Documentation, training and migration resources

5-minute quickstarts

Linux

Build an NGINX web-server within an Ubuntu VM using:

Windows

Build an IIS web server within a Windows Server 2016 VM using:

Learning modules

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:

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 is a computer within a computer that provides the user with 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 Site Recovery. VMs migrated from these on-premises virtualisation 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 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.

  • In addition to various Windows Server versions, Azure supports all of the major Linux distributions, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, CoreOS, Debian, Oracle Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise, openSUSE and Ubuntu.

  • 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 Azure VM technical documentation pages, Azure VM series pages and Azure VM pricing calculator are great resources for helping you determine your VM needs.

  • 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.

    • 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 per cent 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 per cent of the time.
    • For single-instance VMs using premium storage for all operating system disks and data disks, VM connectivity is guaranteed at at least 99.9 per cent.

    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 re-use 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 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 auto-scaling 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.

  • Of course. Create an Azure free account to learn how Azure works, try products and cloud services, and view tutorials on how to deploy your first solution in 10 minutes or less. Get started.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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