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Azure Virtual Machines

Create Linux and Windows virtual machines (VMs) in seconds and reduce costs
Overview

Access secure, reliable compute capacity

  • Run apps from SQL Server, Oracle, and SAP to open-source software and high-performance computing.
  • Optimize costs by using Azure reservations, Azure Spot Virtual Machines, Azure savings plan for compute, and Azure Hybrid Benefit.
  • Deploy thousands of different virtual machines across 60+ regions, backed by a 99.99 percent high-availability SLA. 
  • Protect data in use with Azure confidential computing and data at rest with disk encryption.
  • Easily transition applications to the cloud with Azure Migrate and extend on-premises datacenters using Azure Arc.
  • Embrace the tools, stacks, open-source solutions, and community-driven initiatives you prefer. 
Features

Azure VMs for every workload

Automatic scaling
Autoscale up to thousands of VMs according to demand or defined schedules with Virtual Machine Scale Sets.
Accelerated performance
Enhance network and storage performance with the Azure Boost custom hardware and optimized hypervisor design.
Rapid backup and restore 
Ensure business continuity with Azure Backup and rapid disaster recovery solutions.
Multiple OS support
Choose from Linux, Windows, and other OS options for a tailored VM experience.
Built-in monitoring and management
Monitor performance in real time and automate VM management using Azure Monitor and Application Insights.
AI and high-performance computing
Create the most cutting-edge AI and performance applications with GPU-enabled and HPC-optimized VMs in Azure.

Built-in security and compliance 

Microsoft has committed to investing $20 billion in cybersecurity over five years.
We employ more than 8,500 security and threat intelligence experts across 77 countries.
Azure has one of the largest compliance certification portfolios in the industry.

Optimize your spending

For more details, visit the Windows and Linux VM pricing pages.

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CUSTOMER STORIES

See how customers are innovating with Azure Virtual Machines

FAQ

  • Azure Virtual Machines is an on-demand, scalable cloud computing Azure service.
  • Each Azure virtual machine has a certain allocation of hardware, including CPU cores, memory, hard drives, network interfaces, and other devices to run a wide range of operating systems, applications, and workloads in the Azure cloud environment.  These hardware resources are partitioned within an Azure datacenter to create Azure virtual machines.
  • Azure virtual machines are billed based on the type of VM and amount of time they are used for. Azure also offers reserved instances at discounted rates for longer-term commitments.
  • Yes! Create an Azure free account to learn how Azure works, try products and cloud services, and view tutorials on how to deploy your first solution in 10 minutes or less. Get started.
  • With no upfront cost, you pay only for what you use. Azure provides flexible purchasing and pricing options for all your cloud scenarios, such as the Azure Hybrid Benefit and Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances. Azure also offers a comprehensive set of tools to help manage your cloud spend. Learn more about Azure pricing options.
  • More than 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies use Azure. Azure has more global regions than any cloud provider and offers the most comprehensive set of compliance offerings. Azure offers built-in support for the most popular integrated development environments trusted by more than 20 million developers—Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code. Compare Azure vs. AWS.
  • Security and privacy are built into the Azure platform. Microsoft is committed to the highest levels of trust, transparency, standards conformance, and regulatory compliance with a comprehensive set of compliance offerings. Learn more.
  • Azure offers a wide range of virtual machines series for a wide range of workloads. View the entire set of Azure Virtual Machine series or read the documentation for Linux VMs or Windows VMs to learn more.
  • Use the virtual machine selector tool to choose the best virtual machine for your workload. Additionally, refer to the Azure VM series page for a comprehensive view of the available options to suit your workload requirements.
  • For the most up-to-date information on the regional availability of different virtual machines, see Azure product availability by region.
  • In addition to various Windows Server versions, Azure supports all the major Linux distributions, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, CoreOS, Debian, Oracle Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise, openSUSE, and Ubuntu.
  • When provisioning a new virtual machine in Azure, you have several disk storage options such as Premium SSD, Ultra Disk, Premium SSDv2, Standard HDD, Standard SSD, available. Learn more about by visiting Azure Disk Storage and Azure Managed Disks. These options allow you to configure the storage to meet your performance, capacity, and cost requirements. Read the technical documentation to learn about Azure disks.
  • Azure Virtual Machines offers a range of networking capabilities and related services such as Azure Virtual Network, public and private IP addresses, network security groups, virtual private networks (VPN), and Azure ExpressRoute that enable connectivity and security and ensure high availability for your applications. Read the technical documentation to learn more about networking options.
  • Availability zones are physically separate zones within an Azure region that have a distinct power source, network, and cooling. Replicating your Azure VMs across multiple availability zones is the best way to achieve the highest reliability in Azure, since each Azure virtual machine is deployed in multiple datacenters, protecting you from loss of either power or networking in an individual datacenter. 
  • Virtual Machine Scale Sets help you create and manage a group of load-balanced and autoscaling VMs. Virtual machines in a scale set can be scaled dynamically according to current demand or a predefined schedule and can also deployed into single or multiple availability zones or regionally. You can deploy Virtual Machine scale sets using Azure Resource Manager templates, which support Windows and Linux platform images and custom images and extensions.
  • Azure Load Balancer distributes traffic between multiple virtual machines. You can combine Azure Load Balancer with availability zones and scale sets to get the most application resiliency. For more information about load balancing your virtual machines, see the Load Balancer quickstarts using the Azure CLI or PowerShell.
  • Azure Site Recovery helps ensure business continuity by keeping business apps and workloads running during outages. Site Recovery replicates workloads running on physical and virtual machines from a primary site to a secondary location. When an outage occurs at your primary site, you fail over to a secondary location, and access apps from there. After the primary location is running again, you can fail back to it.
  • Microsoft offers a range of SLAs for Azure Virtual Machines. Read the SLA for Azure Virtual Machines.
  • There are several Microsoft and partner tools and a large ecosystem of partners to help migrate on-premises VMs to Azure. Visit the Azure migration and modernization center to learn more.
  • A range of guest operating systems, including the Azure-endorsed Linux and Windows Server versions can be migrated to Azure. Migrate physical servers or virtual machines from VMware environments and Microsoft Hyper-V environments with Azure Migrate. VMs migrated from these on-premises virtualization platforms run as native Azure infrastructure as a service (IaaS) VMs and aren't dependent on the on-premises hypervisor.
  • As you transition your workloads to Azure, take advantage of Azure Hybrid Benefit to reuse your existing Windows Server licenses with Software Assurance or Windows Server subscriptions for significant savings. For each license, Azure covers the cost of the OS, while you pay for just the VM compute costs. Additionally, through Azure Hybrid Benefit for Linux, you can use your pre-existing on-premises Red Hat and SUSE software subscriptions on Azure. Learn more.
  • vCPU stands for virtual central processing unit. A vCPU is a virtual representation of a physical CPU in a cloud computing environment. An Azure VM contains one or more vCPUs.
  • Yes, Azure Virtual Machines support symmetric multithreading (SMT). A list of Azure VMs supporting SMT is available in Azure Virtual Machines documentation. SMT improves parallelization of computations performed on x86 microprocessors. For each physical processor core, the operating system addresses two virtual cores and shares the workload between them. However, if the VM is based on an Azure Resource Manager-based processor, the entire physical core is allocated for each virtual machine vCPU.
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