Windows virtual machines
Get on-demand, highly scalable and protected virtualised infrastructure with Windows virtual machines (VMs) in Azure.
Get the most cost-effective VMs for Windows Server workloads
Capitalise on your existing investments and migrate your Microsoft technologies to Azure—Windows Server, SQL Server, .NET applications, Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) and System Center. Take advantage of savings with reservation pricing and by using your existing on-premises Windows Server licenses with Azure Hybrid Benefit when you move to Azure. Get free extended security updates for Windows Server and SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2. Taking these benefits together, AWS is 5 times more expensive than Azure for Windows Server and SQL Server.
Run Microsoft enterprise applications
Host and run your applications on VMs in Azure. Run SQL Server, SharePoint Server, Project Server and additional Microsoft server software in Azure VMs. Or, transition to fully managed Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365, SharePoint online or Azure SQL Database and get hybrid identity services with Azure AD.
Migrate or build new apps using familiar tools
Improve scalability and agility by migrating your existing .NET applications to the cloud—lift and shift using VMs and containers or rewrite them as cloud-native apps. Get intelligent insights, analytics and machine learning capabilities. Access familiar open source and Microsoft tools including PowerShell, Visual Studio and Azure AD.
Extend your on-premises datacenter with hybrid solutions
Get operational consistency across on-premises and Azure. Manage all your servers and VM with Windows Admin Center. Use Azure Backup, Azure Site Recovery and Azure Storage for Windows Server workloads running on-premises or on Azure. Take advantage of bottomless storage in Azure by replicating files from your on-premises Windows Servers to Azure using Azure File Sync. Use Azure Stack to build and deploy in the same way for both cloud and on-premises environments.
Get built-in security management for your Windows VMs
Help prevent attacks with the built-in security features of Windows Server 2016 and 2019. Continuously monitor threats and respond quickly to attacks with Azure Security Center and get three more years of security updates for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2. Implement extra security for development, testing, customer training and demo environments by using nested VMs on Azure.
Unmatched security and compliance to keep your data safe and consistently accessible
Microsoft invests over USD 1 billion annually on cyber security research and development.
Microsoft employs more than 3500 security experts completely focused on securing your data and privacy.
Microsoft has more certifications than any other cloud provider. View the comprehensive list here.
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
Our Dv3 family is the latest generation of our general purpose VMs. It is appropriate for a variety of workloads.
High memory-to-core ratio
Ev3 is our latest generation memory-optimised VM. It is great for relational database servers, caches, and in-memory analytics.
Trusted by companies of all sizes
Launching e-commerce features in minutes, not days
Travelers get new offers sooner, which in turn translates to happier customers and higher revenues for Alaska Airlines.
Harmonising development and hosting
To transform its applications frequently and host them securely, Allscripts lifted and shifted dozens of acquired applications running on 1000 VMs to Azure.
Delivering seamless, play-as-you-go updates to gamers
Tencent Games uses the cloud so that gamers can play PC games anytime and enjoy the latest updated game content without any delay.
Using Azure to get the most out of SAP
Mosaic improved its scalability and capacity with Microsoft Azure infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) VMs to run both Windows and SUSE Linux.
Seamlessly connecting shippers and carriers in the cloud
J.B. Hunt first used the hybrid cloud to migrate core services to virtual machine scale sets—then created a full cloud offering.
Everything you need to get started with Windows 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 developer documentation.
Documentation, training and migration resources
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.
Community and Azure support
Ask questions and get support from Microsoft engineers and Azure community experts.
Migrate to Azure
Manage costs and migrate apps, data and infrastructure with these free resources.
Popular templates and labs
Discover self-paced labs and popular quickstart templates for common configurations.
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
Windows Server 2019 now generally available!
New Azure Migrate and Azure Site Recovery enhancements for cloud migration
Learn about important Azure product updates and announcements
Automatic VM guest patching is now in public preview
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
27 May, 2020
Streamlining your image building process with Azure Image Builder
30 April, 2020
Cross Region Restore (CRR) for Azure Virtual Machines using Azure Backup
Frequently asked questions about Azure and Azure VMs
Azure supports most Windows Server versions, refer to the Azure Guest OS releases compatibility matrix for more details.
A range of guest operating systems can be migrated to Azure. This includes all the supported Windows Server versions and VMs from these VMware 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.
A broad range of Microsoft applications run in Azure VMs, including BizTalk Server 2013 and later versions, Dynamics AX 2012 R3 and later and Exchange Server 2013 and later versions. For a complete list of supported Microsoft server software please refer to the documentation.
Azure offers a broad range of virtual machines—there is a VM for every workload. View the entire set of Azure Virtual Machine Series or read the documentation Windows VMs to learn more.
Refer to the Azure Products by Region website for more information on the Azure services available in each region.
As you transition your workloads to Azure, with Azure Hybrid Benefit, you can use your existing Windows Server licenses with Software Assurance or Windows Server Subscriptions for significant savings on Azure. You can use the benefit with Windows Server Datacenter and Standard edition licences covered with Software Assurance or Windows Server Subscriptions. Depending on the edition, you can convert or re-use your licenses to run Windows Server virtual machines in Azure and pay a lower base compute rate. For each licence, Azure will cover the cost of the OS up to two virtual machines while you pay just for the base compute VM costs.
Yes. On14th January 2020, support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end, which means the end of regular security updates. Rehost your Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 workloads to Azure and get three years of extended security updates at no additional charge and upgrade to a current version when you are ready. Get the details.
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 Azure Hybrid Benefit, Azure Reserved VM Instances and offers a comprehensive set of tools, such as Azure Cost Management, to help you manage your cloud spend. Model your total cost of ownership (TCO) in Azure with this calculator.
Yes, with Azure Dev/Test you can obtain pricing discounts on a variety of other Azure services. Learn more about Azure Dev/Test.
Create VMs in Azure through the Azure portal, Azure PowerShell or Azure CLIs:
- The Azure portal provides a browser-based user interface to create VMs and their associated resources.
- The Azure PowerShell module is used to create and manage Azure resources from the PowerShell command line or in scripts.
- The Azure CLI is used to create and manage Azure resources from the command line or in scripts.
Refer to the documentation for more details.
Nested virtualisation is supported in Azure. This feature allows you to run Microsoft Hyper-V inside of a Hyper-V virtual machine, which is useful, for example, when running a Visual Studio phone emulator in a virtual machine or testing configurations that ordinarily require several hosts.
Learn how to enable nested virtualisation by reading the documentation.
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 Windows and Linux platform images as well as custom images and extensions.
Azure is the most cost-effective cloud for your Windows Server or SQL Server migration. 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).
Azure VM SLAs are OS independent:
- For all VMs that have two or more instances deployed across two or more availability zones in the same Azure region, virtual machine 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 any single instance VM using premium storage for all operating system disks and data disks, virtual machine connectivity of at least 99.9 percent is guaranteed.
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.