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Jan 12 2015

Microsoft Starts “Largest VM in the Cloud”

Late last week, Microsoft's Drew McDaniel – who serves as the Principal Program Manager for Azure – informed customers that a new 'XXL' version of Azure VMs is now available on the US west coast and ready to appear in other markets at short notice.

According to McDaniel's post on the Azure Blog, the fresh VMs are called the G-Series and combine "the most memory, the highest processing power and the largest amount of local SSD of any Virtual Machine size currently available in the public cloud." Technically, a G-Series VM may consist of up to 32 virtual CPUs (labeled "cores"), 448 GB of main memory, and 6.59 TB of SSD storage; these 'monsters' are supposed to run on servers equipped with Intel's most recent flagship processors from the Xeon E5 v3 product line. The idea is to get enterprises to outsource mission-critical applications that often require massive upscaling, in particular SQL Server and MySQL installations as well as NoSQL databases, e.g. Mongo.

G-Series VMs are available in five different standard configurations; the basic package includes 2 vCPUs, 28 GB RAM, and 412 GB storage space. The offering appears attractive enough in general and should help Microsoft compete against Amazon and Google; however its costs may turn out to be a somewhat limiting factor: pricing starts at $0.59 per hour or $425/month (€0.50/371) and maxes out at $8.48/hour or $6,300/month (€7.1864/5,347). For more details, especially a comparison how Microsoft stacks up against other cloud vendors, see Simon Sharwood's article at The Register and Pedro Hernandez' report on eWeek.


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