Microsoft recently announced general availability (GA) of virtual machines (VMs) on Azure with the Altra amp, a processor based on the Arm architecture. Additionally, Arm-based VMs can be included in Kubernetes clusters managed using Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).
Previously the company spear preview of the new all-rounder Dpsv5 and Dplsv5 and memory optimized Epsv5 Azure Virtual Machine series, based on the Ampere Altra processor. These machines were designed to efficiently run scalable cloud-native workloads.
Paul Nash, Vice President, Azure Compute Platform, explained in an Azure Virtual Machines blog post on Ampere Altra Arm based processors:
Azure’s Ampere Altra Arm-based virtual machines are a cost-effective, power-efficient option that doesn’t compromise the level of performance customers need.
Azure Arm-based VMs support up to 64 vCPU cores, 8 GB of memory per core, 40 Gbps of network bandwidth, and local and removable SSD storage. Virtual machines are suitable for various workloads such as web and application servers, open source databases, microservices, Java and .NET applications, games and media servers. Azure Arm VMs include support for pre-release versions of Windows 11 and Linux operating system distributions, including Canonical Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Enterprise Linux, CentOS, and Debian, with additional support for Alma Linux and Rocky Linux coming soon.
We see companies using Arm-based architectures as a way to reduce both cost and power consumption. This is a huge step forward for anyone looking to develop with Linux on Azure. We are happy to partner with Microsoft to offer Ubuntu images.
With Ampere Altra VMs, Microsoft will compete with Arm-powered VMs from Amazon Web Services and Google. AWS acquired startup Annapurna Labs in 2015 to create its own line of Arm-based general-purpose server hardware called Graviton – the latest available instances are Graviton 3 instances. And Google recently released virtual machines based on the architecture Arm from Compute Engine called Tau T2A (also Ampere Altra Arm based processors).
The Arm-based server ecosystem has matured rapidly over the past few years with extensively tested Cloud Native open source software stacks deployed on Ampere Altra-based servers. For example, Ampere runs over 135 popular applications on five different cloud-native infrastructures to ensure our customers have confidence in the Ampere software environment across the market.
Ampere Altra Arm-based VMs are currently available in ten Azure regions and multiple Availability Zones around the world. Pricing details for Azure VMs are available at pricing page.