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Last month we mentioned Microsoft’s plans to talk about their N-Series VMs at Siggraph 2016. Powered by Nvidia graphics, the virtual machines provide users with GPU accelerated workloads and visualization.

The company has now announced that the N-Series is available in preview. The VMs are split into two categories, NC and NV.

NC Series

The NC series have compute-focused GPUs. They’re aimed at those who want to run intensive HPC workloads using CUDA or OpenCL.

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The SKU is powered by Tesla K80 GPUs, which Microsoft claims “offers the fastest computational GPU…in the public cloud.” The new SKUs utilize discreet device assignment resulting in almost bare-metal performance.

Director of Azure program management Corey Sanders explains the new capabilities that this brings:

“You can now crunch through data much faster with CUDA across many scenarios including energy exploration applications, crash simulations, ray traced rendering, deep learning and more. The Tesla K80 delivers 4992 CUDA cores with a dual-GPU design, up to 2.91 Teraflops of double-precision and up to 8.93 Teraflops of single-precision performance.”

There are three plans available:

NC6

  • Cores: 6 (E5-2690v3)
  • GPU: 1 x K80 GPU (1/2 Physical Card)
  • Memory: 56 GB
  • Disk: 380 GB SSD

NC12

  • Cores: 12 (E5-2690v3)
  • GPU: 2 x K80 GPU (1 Physical Card)
  • Memory: 112 GB
  • Disk: 680 GB SSD

NC24

  • Cores: 24 (E5-2690v3)
  • GPU: 4 x K80 GPU (2 Physical Cards)
  • Memory: 224 GB
  • Disk: 1.44 TB SSD

NV Series

The NV-Series is focused on visualization rather than computing. Using Tesla M60 GPUs and NVIDIA GRID, customers can run single-precision workloads like encoding and rendering. The VMs offer superior graphics capabilities, cutting down times with 4096 CUDA cores.

As with the NC-Series, this one also has three plans:

NV6

  • Cores: 6 (E5-2690v3)
  • GPU: 4 x K80 GPU (2 Physical Cards)
  • Memory: 56 GB
  • Disk: 380 GB SSD

NV12

  • Cores: 12 (E5-2690v3)
  • GPU: 2 x M60 GPU (1 Physical Card)
  • Memory: 112 GB
  • Disk: 680 GB SSD

NV24

  • Cores: 24 (E5-2690v3)
  • GPU: 4 x M60 GPU (2 Physical Cards)
  • Memory: 224 GB
  • Disk: 1.44 TB SSD

The preview will also use Teradici’s PCoIP technology to bring desktop accelerated programs such as AutoCAD and Adobe Premier Pro to the virtual desktop.

You register for the preview now on the GPU Azure webiste, or check out the blog post if you need more information.

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