Ampere-Server-ARM-CPU-Microsoft-Azure-Virtual-Machines

Back in April, Microsoft revealed it was launching a preview of ARM support for Azure virtual machines (Azure VMs). Yesterday, the company confirmed the preview is graduating to full release, with general availability coming September 1.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been offering ARM virtual machines for some time. Microsoft is no catching up, allowing ARM processing across VMs like open-source databases, web servers, media servers, game servers, and more.

Microsoft Azure VMs will get ARM support from Ampere Altra CPUs. 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.

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At the time of the introduction, Microsoft said the following about bringing ARM support to cloud VMs:

“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.”

The new Azure Arm-based VMs include

  • Dpsv5 series, with up to 64 vCPUs and 4GiBs of memory per vCPU up to 208 GiBs,
  • Dplsv5 series, with up to 64 vCPUs and 2GiBs of memory per vCPU up to 128 GiBs, and
  • Epsv5 series, with up to 32 vCPUs and 8GiBs of memory per vCPU up to 208 GiBs

Availability

Microsoft’s new Azure VMs with Ampere Altra ARM processors will start rolling out this week. Initially available in 10 Azure regions and availability zones. Specifically, in the United States (West US2, West Central US, Central US, East US, East US 2); Europe (West Europe, North Europe); Asia (East Asia, Southeast Asia) and Australia (Australia East).

More regions have already been promised in the future. The new ARM-based VMs run on Windows 11 Enterprise or Professional on ARM. There is also support to run the VMs across several Linux distributions, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Debian, Canonical Ubuntu, CentOS, and SUSE Enterprise Linux.

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