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InfoQ Homepage News Azure Virtual Machines with Ampere Altra Arm-Based Processors Now Generally Available

Azure Virtual Machines with Ampere Altra Arm-Based Processors Now Generally Available

Microsoft recently announced the general availability (GA) of virtual machines (VMs) on Azure featuring the Ampere Altra, a processor based on the Arm architecture. In addition, the Arm-based virtual machines can be included in Kubernetes clusters managed using Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).

Earlier, the company launched the preview of the new general-purpose Dpsv5 and Dplsv5 and memory-optimized Epsv5 Azure Virtual Machine series, built on the Ampere Altra processor. These machines were designed for efficiently running scale-out, cloud-native workloads. 

Paul Nash, vice president, Azure Compute Platform, explained in an Azure Virtual Machines blog post on the Ampere Altra Arm-based processors:

Azure’s Ampere Altra Arm-based virtual machines represent a cost-effective and power-efficient option that does not compromise the level of performance that customers require.

Azure Arm-based VMs support up to 64 virtual CPU cores, 8 GB of memory per core, 40 Gbps of networking bandwidth, and SSD local and attachable storage. The VMs are suitable for various workloads such as web and application servers, open-source databases, microservices, Java and .NET applications, gaming, and media servers. The Azure Arm VMs include support for preview releases of Windows 11 and Linux OS distributions, including Canonical Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Enterprise Linux, CentOS, and Debian, with further support for Alma Linux and Rocky Linux coming soon.

Alexander Gallagher, vice president of Public Cloud at Canonical, said in an Ubuntu blog post:

We see companies using Arm-based architectures as a way of reducing both cost and energy consumption. It’s a huge step forward for those looking to develop with Linux on Azure. We are pleased to partner with Microsoft to offer Ubuntu images.

With the Ampere Altra VMs, Microsoft will compete with the Arm-powered VMs from Amazon Web Services and Google. AWS acquired startup Annapurna Labs in 2015 to build its own Arm-based, general-purpose server hardware lineup called Graviton – the latest available instances are the Graviton 3 instances. And Google recently released VMs based on the Arm architecture of Compute Engine called Tau T2A (also Ampere Altra Arm-based processors).

Jeff Wittich, chief product officer, states in an Ampere Computing blog post:

The Arm-based server ecosystem has rapidly matured over the last few years with open-source Cloud Native software stacks extensively tested and deployed on Ampere Altra-based servers. For example, Ampere runs over 135 popular applications across five different cloud native infrastructures to ensure that our customers have confidence in the Ampere software environment across the marketplace.

The Ampere Altra Arm-based VMs are currently available in ten Azure regions and multiple availability zones worldwide. Pricing details of Azure VMs are available on the pricing page.

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