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New A8/A9 Virtual Machine Sizes

Опубликовано 14 мая, 2014

Program Manager, Azure Compute
This week, we announced two new VM sizes for Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines: A8 and A9. These sizes feature faster processors, more virtual cores for higher compute power, and larger amounts of memory. These instances include an additional 40Gbit/s backend network that provides remote direct memory access (RDMA) technology for maximum efficiency of parallel MPI applications. This combination of features make these instances optimal for running compute and network intensive applications, including engineering design and simulation, genome research, or video encoding. For more information, go here. This blog post will help you start using these new virtual machine sizes.

Geographic Availability

Today, this capability is supported in the following regions: United States
  • East US
  • West US
  • North Central US
  • South Central US
  • West Europe
  • North Europe
  • Japan East
  We will continue to expand our global capacity to add new support for these sizes. To determine which regions have support for A8 and A9, this PowerShell script can help. Note: Download the latest version here.
$myregion = "West US"
$location = Get-AzureLocation | where { $_.Name -eq $myregion }
This will return all of the role sizes that are available to you in different regions, including A8 and A9. Note that all 7 regions where A8 and A9 virtual machine sizes are available include support for both Cloud Services and Virtual Machines.

Creating an A8 or A9 Virtual Machine

Starting this week, you can create a brand new A8 or A9 virtual machine through the Azure PowerShell cmdlets. You can learn more about how to install and prepare a PowerShell environment here. Update: We now have support for creating A8 and A9 Virtual Machines through the Service Management portal.  Here is an example of creating an A8 Virtual Machine using the PowerShell New-AzureQuickVM command:
PS C:\> New-AzureQuickVM -windows –ServiceName mya8vm -name mya8vm -imagename $image -instancesize A8 –AdminUserName $admin –password $pwd -location "West US"
deploying an A8 VM Update: You can now create these Virtual Machine sizes through the Service Management portal.  

Adding an A8 or A9 Virtual Machine to a Regional Virtual Network

If you would like to use an A8 or A9 virtual machine, we recommend that you deploy it into a Regional Virtual Network. This type of virtual network is new and different than the type of virtual network that you’re familiar with as it has a larger scale than the existing networks. Previously, a virtual network was bound to an affinity group. A particular affinity group may not support all the VM sizes offered in the region. By deploying a Regional Virtual Network, you now can deploy any VM size available in that region into the virtual network. You can tell that your Virtual Network is a regional virtual network through the portal when a Region is listed under Location: vnet Or if you can determine this when using the “Get-AzureVNetConfig” cmdlet through PowerShell and Location attribute is present: vnetconfig To create a regional virtual network through PowerShell, perform the following steps:
  1. Download the current network configuration file from repository.
    $outfile = $Env:temp + "VNetConfig.xml"
    Get-AzureVNetConfig -ExportToFile $outfile
  2. Edit the exported file, remove the Affinity Group attribute on the VirtualNetworkSite node, and replace it with a Location attribute as shown below:vnetconfigedit The Location attribute accepts any Azure region as valid input (e.g. 'East US', 'West US' etc)
  3. Create the regional virtual network by running the following command:
    Set-AzureVNetConfig -ConfigurationPath $outfile
  4. This essentially creates a regional virtual network.
For more information on this type of virtual network, go here. Once you’ve set up your Regional Virtual Network, you can deploy an A8 or A9 virtual machine into that virtual network:
PS C:\> New-AzureVMConfig -Name "mya8vm" -InstanceSize A8 -ImageName $myimage | Add-AzureProvisioningConfig -Windows –AdminUserName $admin -Password $pwd | New-AzureVM -ServiceName "mya8vm" –VNetName "kenaz-regionalvnet"

Scenarios Not Currently Supported

Here are a list of scenarios that are currently not supported at this time.

Switching between any VM size to an A8 or A9 VM size and back

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to switch from an existing VM size to one of the new A8 or A9 sizes. These sizes can only be deployed as new virtual machines. However, you can delete your existing Virtual Machine but persist the OS and data disks, using them to create a new VM of size A8 or A9 with those persisted disks. switchingsizes

Adding an A8 or A9 VM size to a Virtual Network in an Affinity Group

You can only deploy an A8 or A9 VM to a new Regional Virtual Network. Adding an A8 or A9 VM to a Virtual Network in an Affinity Group is not supported.

Adding an A8 or A9 VM size to a Cloud Service with non-A8 or A9 VM Sizes

A8 or A9 VM sizes cannot be deployed at this time into the same cloud service as non-A8, A9 VM sizes.

RDMA for Linux Virtual Machines

RDMA is currently only supported for Windows virtual machines and cloud services. Support for Linux virtual machines is under development.