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Microsoft has released seven new VMs as part of its A-Series lineup. Labelled A_v2, they offer more RAM per vCPU, faster storage speeds and more. The new VMs are available today in most regions and will be coming to other countries soon.

According to Principal Program Manager Jon Beck, local disk IOPS random is anywhere from two to ten times faster than the existing series, depending on size. RAM per vCPU has also increased significantly, from 1.75 GiB or 7 GiB of RAM to 2 GiB or 8 GiB.

A-Series v2 Specifications

As always, the specs of the new VMs varies depending on your plan. The lowest sits at one vCPU with 2 GiB of RAM and scales to 8 vCPUs with 64 GiB. Here’s the full list of each tier:

Size

vCPU

RAM (GiB)

Temporary Disk (SSD)

Max Network Bandwidth

1

2

10 GB

Moderate

Standard_A2_v2

2

4

20 GB

Moderate

Standard_A4_v2

4

8

40 GB

High

Standard_A8_v2

8

16

80 GB

High

Standard_A2m_v2

2

16

20 GB

Moderate

Standard_A4m_v2

4

32

40 GB

High

Standard_A8m_v2

8

64

80 GB

High

This announcement pre-empts some by Microsoft’s biggest competitor, AWS. At its re:invent conference next week, Amazon is set to reveal its latest line of cloud hardware. By announcing now, the Redmond giant may secure sales before its rival.

Pricing

With increased specifications comes a higher price, and in this case, it’s quite significant. The A1 v2 VM is $40.18 per month, while it’s predecessor is only $26.78. This includes 30GB less of disk size, though the amount of RAM is far better.

Other tiers are more competitively priced, especially when you get up to the higher ranges. A-Series v2 offers more choices than the A series, with RAM up to 64 GB. In general, the new series costs quite a bit more, but that’s what you’d expect from newer hardware.

However, that could change. Microsoft will do its best to match any prices AWS puts out. Though Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie has said the two are competing on “features, not price,” both will be trying for the same amount, but with better value. That means we could see a drop in prices depending on what Amazon does next.

Last month, for example, Microsoft cut the prices of some its Azure VMs by up to 50%. On Monday, Amazon made a cut of 28%, so the war goes both ways. The competitive nature of the two companies means that we’ll likely see some kind of leeway down the line.

You can read more about the new A-Series v2 VMs on the Azure blog.