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The new F-Series has the same CPU performance as Microsoft’s Dv2-Series, but at a lower per-hour price.

Despite using 2.4 GHz Intel Xeon E5-2673 v.3 Haswell processors, organizations might select the F-Series over the Dv2-Series if they do not need as much memory or local SSD (solid-state disk) per CPU core as the latter provides.

The D-Series VMs boasted great performance for applications that need fast, local storage or a faster CPU.

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The F-Series come as Standard offerings but offer no Premium storage-optimized products. The Premium F-Series is available across Microsoft’s Azure data centers worldwide.

Standard storage optimized F-Series sizes

Size

CPU Cores

Memory

Temporary Disk (SSD)

Max Network Bandwidth

Standard_F1

1

2 GB

16 GB

moderate

Standard_F2

2

4 GB

32 GB

high

Standard_F4

4

8 GB

64 GB

high

Standard_F8

8

16 GB

128 GB

high

Standard_F16

16

32 GB

256 GB

very high

Premium storage optimized F-Series sizes

Size

CPU Cores

Memory

Temporary Disk (SSD)

Premium Storage Cache Size

Max Network Bandwidth

Standard_F1s

1

2 GB

4 GB

12 GB

moderate

Standard_F2s

2

4 GB

8 GB

24 GB

high

Standard_F4s

4

8 GB

16 GB

48 GB

high

Standard_F8s

8

16 GB

32 GB

96 GB

high

Standard_F16s

16

32 GB

64 GB

192 GB

very high

Source: Microsoft — Note: In the tables above 1 GB = 1024^3 bytes

New VM trends

Microsoft has also introduced a new VM naming standard for the F-Series and upcoming Azure VM lines.

The numeric value after the family name letter will match the number of CPU cores in the VM. Additional capabilities will be designated by letters following the CPU core count, while the letter s is added to the series name to distinguish Premium and Standard products.

For instance, the F-Series’ Standard_F16s option has 16 cores, 32GB of memory, 64GB of temporary SSD space, 192GB of premium storage cache and bandwidth ranging from moderate to very high. This naming convention will however not be applied to older Azure VM lines.

Microsoft´s focus on Virtualization

Virtual machines provide quick and easy ways to create a computer with specific configurations to code and test applications.

Microsoft Azure’s VMs is one of several computing resources Azure offers. It boasts the flexibility of virtualization without having to buy and maintain physical hardware that runs the virtual machine. Users will only have to configure, patch and maintain the software that runs their VMs.

Like standard VMs, Azure’s VMs have operating systems, storage and networking capabilities and can run applications.

Microsoft bills its Azure VMs on a per-minute basis. Organizations can select from Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Windows, SQL Server, BizTalk Server, Sharepoint and Oracle Options.

Microsoft’s Azure VM series offerings include A, D, DS, F, Fs, G, and GS VM sizes. The A line is for “compute-intensive instances” such as high-performance computing, while enterprise-grade applications can benefit from the Dv2-Series, D-Series, G-Series, and the DS/GS variants.

Microsoft recently launched its Data Science Virtual Machine in 2015 and is on its way to the Linux platform. It helps developers and scientists get insights from apps and build predictive models. Windows 10 VMs are also available for test runs on the Microsoft Edge Dev site.

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