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Mastering Azure VMs: Comprehensive Guide to VM Size Selection



Azure virtual machines (VMs) are a powerful tool in the world of cloud computing. They allow you to create and manage virtual machines in the cloud, giving you the freedom and flexibility to run your workloads anywhere, at any time.

With Azure VMs, you can easily deploy and scale your applications with minimal fuss. The beauty of Azure VMs is that they provide a secure, highly available infrastructure that can be customized to meet your exact needs.

With Azure’s global network of data centers, you can run your applications from virtually anywhere in the world while benefiting from low latency and high availability. One of the key benefits of using Azure VMs is their scalability.

Whether you need to quickly spin up new instances during periods of high demand or scale down during quieter times, Azure makes it easy to adjust resources as and when needed. This means that you only pay for what you use, making it an extremely cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes.

Another major benefit is the ease with which you can migrate existing workloads into Azure VMs. With support for multiple operating systems and technologies, including Windows Server and Linux, migrating to Azure has never been easier.

In fact, many businesses find that they can save money by moving existing workloads into the cloud rather than continuing to maintain expensive on-premises infrastructure. Whether you’re a small start-up or a large enterprise business looking for a flexible cloud computing solution, Azure VMs are an excellent choice.

Their scalability, security features and ease-of-use make them an ideal platform for running applications in the cloud. So why not give them a try today?

Understanding VM Sizes

If you’re new to Azure, it’s important to understand that virtual machines (VMs) are a fundamental building block of cloud computing. They allow you to create an instance of a computer in the cloud, which can then be used for hosting applications or processing data. One key aspect of VMs is their size.

The size of a VM determines how much memory, CPU and storage resources it has available. If you choose a smaller size, your VM will have fewer resources and may not be able to handle as much workload as a larger one.

It’s also important to note that the choice of VM size affects performance. A larger VM will generally perform better than a smaller one, particularly when running compute-heavy workloads such as machine learning or data analytics.

Categories of VM Sizes

Azure offers four main categories of VM sizes: general purpose, compute optimized, memory optimized and storage optimized. General purpose VMs are well suited for most workloads and offer balanced CPU-to-memory ratios. They’re available in several different series such as A-series and D-series, each with different sizes ranging from small (e.g., 1 core) to large (e.g., 64 cores).

Compute optimized VMs have higher CPU-to-memory ratios than general purpose ones and are designed for compute-intensive workloads such as high-performance computing or batch processing. The F-series is an example of this category and includes sizes ranging from 2 vCPUs up to 72 vCPUs.

Memory optimized VMs are designed for memory-intensive workloads such as in-memory databases like SAP HANA or large-scale caching scenarios. The E-series is an example of this category and includes sizes ranging from 16 GB RAM up to 432 GB RAM.

Storage optimized VMs have high disk throughput rates with local SSD storage attached directly to the virtual machine’s physical host. They’re highly specialized and designed for storage-intensive workloads such as NoSQL databases or data warehousing.

The L-series is an example of this category and includes sizes ranging from 8 vCPUs up to 80 vCPUs. In the next sections, we’ll go into more detail on each category, including their use cases, specific sizes available, and pricing information.

General Purpose VMs: The Swiss Army Knives of Azure

When it comes to virtual machines in Azure, general purpose VMs are the most versatile. They are designed to provide a balance between compute, memory, and networking resources and can handle a wide range of workloads.

In other words, they’re like the Swiss Army knives of Azure VMs. If you’re not sure which VM series to choose for your workload, general purpose VMs are a safe bet.

They can be used for a variety of scenarios such as web servers, small databases or development environments. There are several series within general purpose VMs – A-series, Av2-series, D-series, Dv2-series and Dsv3-series.

The A-series is the oldest and cheapest series available. It’s suitable for low traffic web servers or dev/test environments that don’t require much processing power.

The D-series is the newer version of A-series with more processing power and memory. It’s ideal for applications that need higher CPU performance such as SQL server or SharePoint farms.

The Av2 series is an updated version of A-Series with better CPU performance and memory than its predecessor. It’s perfect for entry-level workloads like development/testing or small-scale web applications.

The Dv2 series comes with faster CPUs than the original D-Series providing better overall performance at similar cost levels as its predecessor. This makes it an excellent choice when you want better performance without breaking your budget.

Specific Sizes Within Each Series

Each series has different sizes designed for specific workloads and requirements. For example, within the A-Series range there is the A1 size which has 1 vCPU and 1GB RAM while the largest in this category is A11 with 16 vCPUs and 112GB RAM. Similarly in D-Series range you have sizes starting from DS1_v2 which has 1 vCPU and 3.5GB RAM to the largest DS15_v2 with 20 vCPUs and 140GB RAM.

Each size in each series is designed keeping in mind the targeted workload and is priced accordingly. It’s important to choose the right size for your workloads so you don’t end up overspending or underutilizing resources.

In short, if you are looking for a general-purpose VM that can handle a wide range of workloads, then general purpose VMs are perfect for your needs. With different series and sizes available, it’s easy to find one that will fit your requirements while staying within budget.

Carbon Azure Migration Progress Screen

Migrate your Azure VMs back to VMWare or Hyper-V

  • ⚙️ Migrating Azure virtual machines back to an on-premise hypervisor can be complex and time-consuming.
  • 🔄 Carbon streamlines the migration process and provides a hassle-free experience.
  • 📊 Carbon offers comprehensive VM management, displaying detailed information about Azure VMs.
  • 🚀 The software enables easy migration and conversion of Azure VMs to VMware or Hyper-V with just a few clicks.
  • 📧 Carbon provides automatic configuration and email notifications to keep users informed about the migration progress.
  • 💡 Carbon is a powerful and user-friendly solution for businesses of all sizes.
  • 📥 Downloading a free trial of Carbon is available to learn more about its features and benefits.

Compute Optimized VMs

When it comes to running compute-intensive workloads or applications that require a lot of processing power, compute optimized VMs are the way to go. These VMs come with higher CPU-to-memory ratios and are designed to deliver high performance for demanding workloads. The F-series is the most popular series of compute optimized VMs on Azure, offering a wide range of sizes to choose from.

When to use Compute Optimized VMs

Compute optimized VMs are ideal for workloads that require high CPU performance but do not need much memory. Some common use cases include running batch processing jobs, web servers, and gaming servers. If you have an application that needs a lot of CPU power but doesn’t require as much memory, then you should consider using a compute optimized VM.

The Different Series within Compute Optimized VMs (F-series)

The F-series consists of five different sizes: F1, F2, F4, F8, and F16. The F1 is the smallest size in the series and comes with one virtual CPU (vCPU) and 2 GB of RAM.

The larger sizes offer more vCPUs and RAM up to 16 vCPUs and 32 GB of RAM in the F16 size. Additionally, each size offers a different level of network bandwidth depending on your workload requirements.

Details on Specific Sizes within the F-series (e.g., F2)

If you need more processing power than what is offered by the smallest options in the series but don’t want to break your budget with larger offerings like the 16-core option at $1 per hour or more per virtual machine instance (VM), then consider choosing an example like an `F2` which includes two vCPUs and 4 GB RAM starting at just $0.089 per hour. This size is perfect for running applications that need a bit more CPU power than the basic offerings, but don’t require as much memory or network bandwidth. Overall, compute optimized VMs provide an excellent way to handle workloads that require a lot of processing power, but not as much memory.

The F-series on Azure offers a wide range of sizes to choose from, each with different levels of performance and pricing options to fit your specific needs. So next time you’re looking for a high-performance cloud computing machine on Azure for your compute-intensive workloads or applications, be sure to check out the F-series!

Memory Optimized VMs

Overview of Memory Optimized VMs and Their Benefits

When it comes to high-performance computing, memory optimized virtual machines (VMs) are the way to go. These VMs are specifically designed for workloads that require a lot of memory and fast data access.

They are ideal for running large-scale databases, in-memory analytics, and other memory-intensive applications. The biggest benefit of using memory optimized VMs is their ability to provide faster performance and better data processing capabilities compared to general-purpose VMs.

With more available memory, these types of VMs can store more data in RAM rather than relying on slower disk-based storage systems. This can lead to faster application load times, quicker query response times, and improved overall performance.

Breakdown of the Different Series Within Memory Optimized VMs (E-series)

Within Azure’s suite of memory optimized virtual machines, the E-series is the most popular. It offers a wide range of sizes that cater to different workloads and business needs. These sizes include:

– E2 v3: 16 GB RAM – E4 v3: 32 GB RAM

– E8 v3: 64 GB RAM – E16 v3: 128 GB RAM

– E20 v3: 320 GB RAM – E32 v3: 512 GB RAM

These sizes use different types of processors depending on the size chosen. The smaller sizes use Xeon processors that have fewer cores but higher clock speeds while the larger sizes use Xeon Platinum processors with more cores.

Details on Specific Sizes Within the E-series (e.g. E4_v3)

The most popular size within Azure’s E-series is the E4_v3 with its 32GB of memory making it perfect for medium-sized databases or web applications. It uses the Intel Xeon Platinum 8272CL processor that has eight cores and a base clock speed of 2.5 GHz.

This size also provides fast data transfer rates with its 12 Gbps local SSD storage. For larger workloads, the E8_v3 size is a great option with 64GB of memory.

It uses the Intel Xeon Platinum 8272CL processor with eight cores and a base clock speed of 2.5 GHz, but also has double the local SSD storage as compared to the E4_v3. For truly massive workloads, Azure’s E32_v3 size offers an incredible 512GB of memory and utilizes the Intel Xeon Platinum 8272CL processor with thirty-two cores and a base clock speed of just over 2 GHz.

This size is ideal for running incredibly large databases or other applications that require significant amounts of processing power. Overall, Azure’s memory optimized virtual machines offer businesses an excellent solution for high-performance computing needs where RAM is key to success in running your applications or workloads at maximum efficiency.

Storage Optimized VMs

Storage optimized VMs are designed for applications that require high disk throughput and low latency. They typically have large amounts of local storage and are ideal for data warehousing, big data, and NoSQL databases.

Explanation of Storage Optimized VMs and When to Use Them

If you’re running a workload that requires lots of storage and fast disk access, then a storage optimized VM is the way to go. These types of VMs are perfect for applications that need to handle large amounts of data or perform complex analytics.

The local disks on these VMs are optimized for high throughput and low latency, which means your applications can read/write data at lightning-fast speeds. Additionally, these VMs offer high input/output operations per second (IOPS) capabilities, which makes them well-suited for workloads that involve lots of random reads/writes.

Overview of the Different Series within Storage Optimized VMs

Azure offers several different series within storage optimized VMs:


      • L-series: This series is ideal for workloads that require extreme disk performance. It features up to 7 TB of local SSD capacity and up to 80,000 IOPS.


        • M-series: The M-series is designed for heavy workloads that require large amounts of memory (up to 4 TB)and fast storage. It offers up to 20 Gbps bandwidth between the virtual machines and the disks.


          • NVMe-series: This series uses non-volatile memory express (NVMe) technology to provide extremely fast disk access. It’s ideal for workloads that require ultra-low latency disk access.


        Azure offers a wide range of virtual machine sizes to suit the needs of any workload. Whether you’re running a small website or a complex big data application, there’s a VM size that will meet your requirements.

        When it comes to storage optimized VMs, they are the perfect choice for workloads that require high disk throughput and low latency. With Azure’s L-series, M-series and NVMe-series, you can choose the right combination of storage performance and capacity to meet your specific needs.

        So why wait? Head on over to the Azure portal and start exploring the virtual machine sizes available today!

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