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. Reduce costs by automating Windows Server management with Azure Automanage. 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 five 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. Modernise applications at scale on Azure, on premises and at the edge with Azure Container Service (AKS) and AKS on Azure Stack HCI.
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 - now also available in Azure. 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. Improve your security posture while retaining high availability by applying security patches automatically with hotpatch in Azure Automanage. 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.
Comprehensive security and compliance, built in
Microsoft invests more than USD 1 billion annually on cybersecurity research and development.
We employ more than 3,500 security experts who are dedicated to data security and privacy.
Azure has more certifications than any other cloud provider. View the comprehensive list.
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 the 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 is appropriate for a variety of workloads.
High memory-to-core ratio
Ev4 is the latest memory-optimised VM. It is great for relational database servers, caches, and in-memory analytics.
Trusted by companies of all sizes
Randy De Meno, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Commvault
"We decided to use Microsoft as our foundation, trusting we could deliver what we intended to deliver using the reliability, scalability, and security of the Microsoft infrastructure. We literally bet our company on Microsoft."
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.
Migrating seamlessly to Azure
Leading construction software ISV shifts 900 customers to Azure in record time.
Markus Hogsved, CTO, OPEN
"Our operating costs decreased by more than 50 percent, and at the same time, gave us better performance and a more flexible and scalable environment for our internal needs."
Younhyung Nam, Director of Platform and System Management, Pearl Abyss
"We chose Azure because of its stability. It had all the functions we needed, and Azure delivered them more reliably and at a lower cost than many of the other options we assessed."
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
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.
As you transition your workloads to Azure, take advantage of Azure Hybrid Benefit, to 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 reuse your licenses to run Windows Server virtual machines in Azure and pay a lower base compute rate. For each license, Azure will cover the cost of the OS for up to two virtual machines while you pay just for the base compute VM costs.
Yes. On 14th January 2020, support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 ended, 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 and Azure Reserved Virtual Machine 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 pricing.
Create VMs in Azure through the Azure portal, Azure PowerShell or Azure CLI:
- 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.
Azure Virtual machine scale sets help you create and manage a group of load-balanced and autoscaling VMs. Deploy VM scale sets using Azure Resource Manager templates, which support Windows and Linux platform images and custom images and extensions.
More than 95 percent 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.
Microsoft offers a range of OS-independent Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for Azure VMs. Read the SLA for Azure Virtual Machines.
Most Azure VMs come with temporary non-persistent local storage. Additionally, Azure offers HDD and SSD storage for data. Learn more about Azure Disk Storage. 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.