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Microsoft has released its B-Series Azure VMs in preview, marking the lowest cost offering with flexible CPU usage. The B-Series is geared specifically towards ‘bursty’ workloads, making it ideal for web servers, small databases, and dev test environments.

In essence, the machines offer on demand burst performance and let users build up credits when the full CPU power isn’t utilized. It’s a similar tactic to AWS’s T2 instances and Google’s f1-micro, letting users spend those credits when more performance is required.

B-Series Azure VM Sizes

As usual, Microsoft is offering several different sizes in the series to meet different workload and financial requirements. A single-core ‘B1’ VM with 1 GiB of memory is $0.012 per hour on Linux and $0.017 on Windows.

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That scales up to an 8-core, 32 GiB machine on the high-end, setting users back $0.376 for the Standard_B8ms. Here are the full details:

Size

vCPU’s

Memory: GiB

Local SSD: GiB

Baseline CPU Performance of VM

Max CPU Performance of VM

US East Linux Price / Hour

Standard_B1s

1

1

4

10%

100%

$ 0.012

($ 0.006)

Standard_B1ms

1

2

4

20%

100%

$ 0.023

($ 0.012)

Standard_B2s

2

4

8

40%

200%

$ 0.047

($ 0.024)

Standard_B2ms

2

8

16

60%

200%

$ 0.094

($ 0.047)

Standard_B4ms

4

16

32

90%

400%

$ 0.188

($ 0.094)

Standard_B8ms

8

32

64

135%

800%

$ 0.376

($ 0.188)

The machines are currently available in four regions: US – West 2, US – East, Europe – West, and Asia Pacific – Southeast. More regions will be coming ‘later this year’ according to director of compute Corey Sanders.

Customers in supported regions can participate in the preview via a quota request in the Azure portal. Developers will get a 50% price reduction during this period, so it could be worth getting in early.

You can find more information through the official documentation, which has further performance metrics and credit costs.

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