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Announcing Ultra SSD – the next generation of Azure Disks technology (preview)

Posted on September 24, 2018

General Manager, Azure Storage & Azure Stack

Our customers are moving their most demanding and mission critical workloads to the cloud. I am delighted to announce a new disk offering for the Microsoft Azure platform! Azure Ultra SSD will enable our customers to conquer their most IO intensive workloads! Ultra SSD is a new Azure Managed Disk service which delivers unprecedented and extremely scalable performance with sub-millisecond latency for the most demanding workloads that require consistently low latency and high IOPS. With Ultra SSD, you will have access to best in class IOPS, throughput, and latency in the cloud for your most demanding applications.

With the addition of Ultra SSD, we now provide 4 types of persistent disks to use with your Azure Virtual Machines: Ultra SSD, Premium SSD, Standard SSD, and Standard HDD. This portfolio gives our customers the industry’s most comprehensive set of disk offerings. Azure Ultra SSD is now in public preview in East US2. We encourage you to get started and request access by filling out this form.

Benefits of Ultra SSD Managed disks

Ultra SSD provides top of the line performance at the same availability levels as our other disks offerings. Additional benefits of Ultra SSD include the ability to dynamically tune disk performance, without the need to restart your virtual machines. Ultra SSD is designed for I/O-intensive workloads such as SAP HANA, top tier databases (e.g. SQL, Oracle), and other transaction-heavy workloads.

Virtual machines

Ultra SSD Disks are designed to work with all Premium SSD enabled Azure Virtual Machines. However, during the preview period, supported VM types will be limited to ES/DS v3 VM instances.

Scalability and performance targets

Ultra SSD Disks come in several fixed sizes from 4 GiB up to 64 TiB and feature a flexible performance configuration model that allows you to independently configure IOPS and throughput.

Let’s review some of the key features:

  • Storage capacity

Ultra SSD offers you a range of different disk sizes from 4 GiB up to 64 TiB

  • IOPS

Ultra SSDs support IOPS limits of 300 IOPS/GiB, up to a maximum of 160K IOPS per disk. To achieve the IOPS that you provisioned, ensure that the selected Disk IOPS is less than the VM IOPS. Additionally, if you plan to achieve more than 80K IOPS per disk you will need to provision a new VM type that will become available in the near future as part of the Ultra SSD Preview program.

  • Throughput

With Ultra SSD Disks, the throughput limit of a single disk is 256 KiB/s for each provisioned IOPS, up to a maximum of 2000 MBps per disk (where MBps = 10^6 Bytes per second).

The following table summarizes the different configurations supported for different disk sizes:

Ultra SSD Managed Disk Offerings

Disk size (GiB) 4 8 16 32 64 128 256 512 1,024-65,536 (in increments of 1 TiB)
IOPS range 100-1,200 100-2,400 100-4,800 100-9,600 100-19,200 100-38,400 100-76,800 100-153,600 100-160,000
Throughput Cap (MBps) 300 600 1,200 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000

Pricing

Ultra SSD pricing is based on provisioned disk sizes, provisioned IOPS and provisioned throughput. Refer to the Azure Disks pricing page for the new Ultra SSDs price details available in limited preview.

Getting started

You can create and manage Ultra SSD Disks as Managed Disks. You can leverage Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates to deploy VMs with Ultra SSD Disks. For details on how to get started and use Ultra SSD Disks in preview, please refer to the documentation page.

In the coming weeks, we will be enabling Portal support. Additional features are under development and will be available soon, including: disk snapshots, Azure Backup, Azure Site Recovery, Virtual Machine Scale Sets, Azure Disk Encryption, and migration between disk types. Refer to the Managed Disks documentation for detailed instructions on all disk operations.

Ultra SSDs are currently available in our East US 2 Region. If you are interested in participating in the preview, request access by filling out this form. Additional regions will be added throughout the preview period and can be tracked on the documentation page.

Watch our Ignite session to learn more.