Create Linux and Windows virtual machines (VMs) in seconds.
Choose the right VM for your workload
Deploy virtual machines featuring up to 128 vCPUs and 6 TB of memory. Get up to 3.7 million local storage IOPS per VM. Take advantage of up to 30 Gbps Ethernet and 100 Gbps InfiniBand networks. Keep using your existing Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and SAP applications, build new ones, or choose from thousands of pre-built applications in the Azure Marketplace.
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.
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 (RIs). 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. Use low-priority or burstable VMs and continuously reduce 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.
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. Meet regulatory and policy requirements for your VMs by developing in Azure and deploying on-premises with Azure Stack.Learn more Azure Stack
Power your high-performance computing scenarios
Get extreme computing power for your artificial intelligence (AI) and remote visualisation workloads with GPU-enabled VMs. Solve your computationally intensive problems with your own Cray supercomputer delivered as a managed service. Get integrated load balancing and auto-scaling with virtual machine scale sets.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. 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
Our B-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
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 centre – reducing data processing times from 7 days to just 2 days.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Explore cost-effective compute solutions for a variety of workloads
Learn about core VMs, cloud-native computing and security capabilities in this infobrief by International Data Corporation (IDC).
Azure Virtual Machines updates, blogs and announcements
Announcing the largest Azure VM ever with 6 TB of memory
New Azure Migrate and Azure Site Recovery enhancements for cloud migration
Learn about important Azure product updates and announcements
New 48vCPUs Azure Virtual Machine sizes are now available
Proximity placement groups are now in preview
Azure Monitor for VMs is now available in East and South East Australia regions
11 July, 2019
Introducing the new Azure Migrate: A hub for your migration needs
9 July, 2019
CGG speeds geoscience insights on Azure HPC
Introducing B12, B16 & B20 – new larger B-series VM sizes with flexible CPU usage
26 June, 2019
Announcing the general availability of Azure premium files
20 June, 2019
Azure HC-series Virtual Machines cross 20,000 cores for HPC workloads
19 June, 2019
Virtual machine scale set insights from Azure Monitor
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.
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 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.
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.