Microsoft says Azure Virtual Machines are now available on ARM processors, allowing ARM chips to power VMs. Microsoft's focus is on processors from Ampere Computing.
This announcement has been a long time coming and it allows ARM processing across VMs like open-source databases, web servers, media servers, game servers, and more. In a blog post, Microsoft explains how Azure Virtual Machines will benefit from the support:
“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.”
At the moment, the availability is in preview and limited to the following Azure regions: West Central US, West US 2, and West Europe.
If you're unfamiliar with Ampere Computing, it is a startup that develops CPUs for servers. Microsoft has been a customer of the company since last year. According to the company, the new ARM CPUs for Azure Virtual Machines bring several performance boosts:
“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.”
The preview for the CPUs works across CentOS, Ubuntu, and of course, Microsoft's Windows 11 (Enterprise and Professional) on ARM. However, Microsoft says support will expand to include SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Flatcar, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Debian, and AlmaLinux.
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