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Now in preview: Azure Virtual Machines with Ampere Altra Arm-based processors

在 四月 4, 2022 上貼文

Vice President, Azure Compute Platform

Up to 50 percent better price-performance than comparable x86-based virtual machines (VMs) for scale-out workloads.

The demand for compute capacity to sustain business modernization and digital transformation initiatives continues to grow. Organizations are facing a complex set of challenges as they deploy a broad range of workloads globally, from the edge to the cloud. There is also a need for a new breed of operationally efficient cloud-native computing solutions that can meet this demand without a massive growth in infrastructure footprint and energy consumption.

To address some of these challenges Microsoft is announcing the preview of Azure Virtual Machines series featuring the Ampere Altra Arm-based processor. The new VMs are engineered to efficiently run scale-out workloads, web servers, application servers, open-source databases, cloud-native as well as rich .NET applications, Java applications, gaming servers, media servers, and more. The new VM series include general-purpose Dpsv5 and memory-optimized Epsv5 VMs, which can deliver up to 50 percent better price-performance than comparable x86-based VMs. You can request access to the preview by filling out this form.

The new Azure Virtual Machines, featuring the Ampere Altra Arm-based processor, further extend our portfolio of compute solutions to help customers manage complexity and seamlessly run modern, dynamic, and scalable applications. Azure customers will benefit from the improvements the new VMs provide in terms of scalability, performance, and operational efficiency.

One customer is Amadeus, the leading IT provider for the global travel industry. Their research and development team gained early access to the preview and is excited about the potential of the offering.

“We power better journeys through travel technology. To achieve that, we design and deliver the most complex, trusted, and critical systems that our customers need”, said Denis Lacroix, SVP Cloud Transformation Program at Amadeus. “Travelers demand that their needs are met efficiently and quickly, and that they receive a consistent, personalized experience through every step of their journeys, from inspiration to search and booking, to ticketing, check-in, and arriving home. With Azure Arm64 VMs, we will be able to deliver higher throughput and even better experiences than the x86 VM that we’ve used in the past. Azure Arm64 VM series have proven to be a reliable platform for our applications, and we’ve accelerated our plans to deploy Arm64-based Azure solutions.”

A growing solution ecosystem

The Dpsv5 and Epsv5 Azure VM-series feature the Ampere Altra Arm-based processor operating at up to 3.0GHz. The new VMs provide up to 64 vCPUs and include VM sizes with 2GiB, 4GiB, and 8GiB per vCPU memory configurations, up to 40 Gbps networking, and optional high-performance local SSD storage.

The VMs currently in preview support Canonical Ubuntu Linux, CentOS, and Windows 11 Professional and Enterprise Edition on Arm. Support for additional operating systems including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Debian, AlmaLinux, and Flatcar is on the way.

"We see companies using Arm based architectures as a way of reducing both cost and energy consumption. It's a huge step forward for those looking to develop with Linux on Azure and we are pleased to partner with Microsoft to offer Ubuntu images."—Alexander Gallagher, Vice President of Public Cloud, Canonical

"Red Hat was one of the early leaders in creating common standards around Arm-based platforms, helping to ultimately bring Arm processors to the datacenter and beyond. This aligns with Red Hat’s long-standing commitment to giving our customers a broad set of choices to meet their unique enterprise computing needs, which extends to choice of architecture on-premises and in public clouds. We look forward to supporting Ampere Arm instances on Microsoft Azure as well as continuing our collaboration around the evolution of these platforms with key partners like Microsoft.”—Maryam Zand, Vice President, Cloud Partners, Red Hat

“SUSE has played a significant and active role in the Arm ecosystem, supporting the Arm 64-bit architecture and the Ampere Altra server instances.  SUSE is excited to partner with Microsoft Azure in supporting the Dpsv5 and Epsv5 Azure VM-series based on the Ampere Altra Arm-based server instances in our upcoming SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP4 release.  Arm-optimized solutions in the cloud offer significant market potential as enterprises improve time to value and scale-out cloud environments with Azure Virtual Machines.  We look forward to continued collaboration with Microsoft Azure.”—Dr. Thomas Di Giacomo, Chief Technology and Product Officer, SUSE

We are also excited about the collaboration with Ampere and Arm. We have been working together to help Azure customers build and manage modern applications at cloud scale.

“Microsoft’s preview of their new Ampere Altra Azure Virtual Machines will provide customers with a first-hand look at its leadership performance across cloud workloads of all types. We have seen rapid growth in the adoption of our Ampere Cloud Native Processors, and this further expands their global scale and availability. Not only do Ampere Altra processors deliver new levels of performance to the cloud, but they are also the efficient and sustainable choice.”—Jeff Wittich, Chief Product Officer Ampere

“Organizations are shifting to a cloud-first approach as modern scale-out workloads diversify, emphasizing the importance of price-performance and power efficiency. The new Microsoft Azure VMs, powered by the Arm Neoverse™-based Ampere Altra platform, highlight our deep collaboration with industry change-makers, and deliver on the power of choice to the cloud computing market.”—Chris Bergey, SVP and GM, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm.

The next generation of computing technology needs to be designed from the ground up for cloud-native software technologies like microservices, containers, and serverless. To that end, customers will be able to deploy and manage containerized applications with Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) running on Ampere Altra Arm-based processors.

“As we continue to see customers adopting AKS as their Cloud Native compute platform, providing the price performance of the Ampere Arm-based processor through a consistent managed Kubernetes API gives them the ability to migrate their workloads to drive further efficiencies as they scale up their cloud footprint.”—Sean McKenna, Group Product Manager AKS, Microsoft

Developer platforms and tools

Most major developer platforms and languages are gearing up to, or already provide Arm support and the inherent benefits that this processor architecture brings.

The modern .NET platform introduced native support for the Arm architecture on Linux starting with .NET 5 and has built upon that with the recent .NET 6 release. With C# 10 and F# 6, .NET 6 delivers language improvements that simplify your code. Additionally, a new dynamic profile-guided optimization (PGO) system delivers deep optimizations that are only possible at runtime, driving significant gains in performance that can reduce the cost of running cloud services in Azure, improved cloud diagnostics, and access to many new APIs. With the introduction of native support for Arm in the .NET Framework 4.8.1 (currently in preview and available as part of the latest Windows 11 Insider Preview builds), investments in the vast ecosystem of .NET Framework apps can also now leverage the benefits of running these workloads on Arm.

The latest Microsoft Visual C++ tools (currently in preview and available as part of Visual Studio 17.2 previews) allow you to not just run your apps, but also build natively for Arm, on Arm.

Java has played a critical role in democratizing cross-platform development. With Microsoft's recent JEP 388 contribution to OpenJDK, Java applications can now run on a wider range of Arm systems with no additional changes.

Java developers can enjoy the development experience they are familiar with while building and running their applications with the Microsoft Build of OpenJDK. Microsoft provides binaries for Windows, Linux, and macOS on compatible Arm hardware, for Java 11 and Java 17.

Last, but not least, the totally free Visual Studio Code editor running natively on Arm enables you to harness the power of the cloud for not just your production environment, but now also for your development environment.

General purpose and memory intensive workloads

The new Dpsv5 VM-series are engineered to run several Linux enterprise workloads such as web servers, application servers, open-source databases, .NET applications, Java applications, gaming servers, media servers, and more.

We are also introducing the Dpldsv5 VM-series, which provide 2GiBs per vCPU and offer a combination of vCPUs, memory, and local storage able to cost-effectively run workloads that do not require larger amounts of RAM per vCPU.

Finally, the new Epsv5 VM sizes can meet the requirements associated with memory-intensive Linux-based workloads including open-source databases, in-memory caching applications, gaming, and data analytics engines.

Series

vCPUs

Memory (GiBs)

Local Disk (GiBs)

Max Data Disks

Max NICs

Dpsv5-series

2 – 64

8 – 208

n/a

4 – 32

2 – 8

Dpdsv5-series

2 – 64

8 – 208

75 – 2,400

4 – 32

2 – 8

Dplsv5-series

2 – 64

4 – 128

n/a

4 – 32

2 – 8

Dpldsv5-series

2 – 64

4 – 128

75 – 2,400

4 – 32

2 – 8

Epsv5-series

2 – 32

16 – 208

n/a

4 – 32

2 – 8

Epdsv5-series

2 – 32

16 – 208

75 – 2,400

4 – 32

2 – 8

The Dpsv5, Dplsv5, and Epsv5 VM-series also offer options with no temporary storage at lower price points. You can attach Standard SSDs, Standard HDDs, and Premium SSDs to any of the VMs currently in preview, with Ultra Disk storage support coming soon. Virtual Machine Scale Sets are also supported.

Spot Virtual Machines are available; however, Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances pricing will be offered only after the VMs become generally available. Prices vary by region.

Learn more about the new Azure Virtual Machines and request access to the preview

The preview is initially available in the West US 2, West Central US, and West Europe Azure regions.

To learn more register for the upcoming webinar, and to request access to the preview, fill out this form.

Additional resources

•    Ampere blog.
•    Arm blog.
•    Microsoft’s binary distribution of the OpenJDK and related support.
•    Azure Virtual Machines pricing.