Category Archives : Virtual Machines



Announcing the general availability of the new Azure HPC Cache service

If data-access challenges have been keeping you from running high-performance computing (HPC) jobs in Azure, we’ve got great news to report! The now-available Microsoft Azure HPC Cache service lets you run your most demanding workloads in Azure without the time and cost of rewriting applications and while storing data where you want to—in Azure or on your on-premises storage. By minimizing latency between compute and storage, the HPC Cache service seamlessly delivers the high-speed data access required to run your HPC applications in Azure.

Use Azure to expand analytic capacity—without worrying about data access

Most HPC teams recognize the potential for cloud bursting to expand analytic capacity. While many organizations would benefit from the capacity and scale advantages of running compute jobs in the cloud, users have been held back by the size of their datasets and the complexity of providing access to those datasets, typically stored on long-deployed network-attached storage (NAS) assets. These NAS environments often hold petabytes of data collected over a long period of time and represent significant infrastructure investment.

Here’s where the HPC Cache service can help. Think of the service as an edge cache that provides low-latency access to POSIX file data sourced from one




Accelerating customer success with Azure migration

This blog post was co-authored by Jeremy Winter, Partner Director and Tanuj Bansal, Senior Director for Microsoft Azure.

At last year’s Microsoft Ignite 2018, we shared best practices on how to move to the cloud and why Azure is the best destination for all your apps, data, and infrastructure. Since then, we’re happy to share that a number of customers have joined us on Azure—H&R Block, Albertsons, Devon Energy, and Carlsberg Group, just to name a few. Azure has helped these customers drive innovation, enhance their security posture, and reduce costs with unique offers such as Azure Hybrid Benefit.

At this week’s Microsoft Ignite event in Orlando, we shared the approach these customers took and more news in Azure migration sessions and one-on-one architecture review sessions with Azure engineers.

In this blog, we want to share some of the exciting news we shared at Microsoft Ignite.

Accelerating customer success: Azure Migration Program (AMP)

Since its launch in July, AMP has seen an enthusiastic reception with more than a thousand customers entering the program for migration projects ranging across Windows Server, SQL Server, and Linux workloads. To recap, AMP offers customers:

Technical skill building with foundational, workload, migration, and role-specific courses



Nov week at Microsoft Ignite, we announced several important additions to our Azure infrastructure as a service (IaaS) portfolio. Many companies, including GEICO, H&R Block, and CONA Services, rely on Azure to run a very diverse set of business-critical workloads, READ MORE




Intel Optane DC Persistent memory, Azure NetApp Files, and Azure Ultra Disk for SAP HANA

With the recent preferred cloud partnership with SAP, both companies are committed to ensuring that we provide customers with a simplified path for the migration from on-premises SAP ERP to SAP S/4HANA in the cloud, on Azure. Microsoft Azure enables customers to be future-ready, and for SAP customers our promise is to continue to offer market-leading innovation to support mission-critical SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA workloads. With the recent general availability of Azure Mv2 virtual machines offering up to 12 TB of memory, purpose-built SAP HANA on Azure large instances offering scale up to 24 TB and scale-out up to 120 TB, 32 SAP certified configurations, global availability of SAP HANA infrastructure in 34 Azure regions, 99.99 percent SLA for availability, Azure offers the best scale, performance, global availability, and reliability for mission-critical SAP applications.

SAP HANA on Azure Large Instances with Intel Optane DC persistent memory

Today, we’re announcing another market-leading innovation for SAP HANA customers with the general availability of new SAP HANA on Azure Large Instances, powered by second generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors (codenamed Cascade Lake) and Intel Optane DC persistent memory. These instances are offered in single-node configurations with 3 TiB to 9 TiB of




How Hanu helps bring Windows Server workloads to Azure

For decades our Microsoft services partners have fostered digital transformation at customer organizations around the world. With deep expertise in both on-premises and cloud operating models, our partners are trusted advisers to their customer, helping shape migration decisions. Partners give customers hands-on support with everything from initial strategy to implementation – giving them a unique perspective on why migration matters.

Hanu is one of our premier Microsoft partners and the winner of the 2019 Microsoft Azure Influencer Partner of the Year.  Hanu experts rely on expertise with Windows Server and SQL Server, as well as Azure, to plan and manage cloud migration. This ensures that customers get proactive step-by-step guidance and best in class support as they transform with the cloud. 

Recently, I sat down with Dave Sasson, Chief Strategy Officer at Hanu, to learn more about why Windows Server customers migrate to the cloud, and why they choose Azure. Below I am sharing a few key excerpts.

How often are Windows Server customers considering cloud as a part of their digital strategy today? How are they thinking about migrating business applications?

Very frequently we talk to customers that have Windows Servers running their business-critical apps. For a significant number




SAP on Azure–Designing for availability and recoverability

This is the third in a four-part blog series on Designing a great SAP on Azure Architecture.

Robust SAP on Azure Architectures are built on the pillars of security, performance and scalability, availability and recoverability, efficiency and operations.

We covered designing for performance and scalability previously and within this blog we will focus on availability and recoverability.

Designing for availability

Designing for availability ensures that your mission critical SAP applications such as SAP ERP or S/4HANA have high-availability (HA) provisions applied. These HA provisions ensure the application is resilient to both hardware and software failures and that the SAP application uptime is secured to meet your service-level-agreements (SLAs).

Within the links below, you will find a comprehensive overview on Azure virtual machine maintenance versus downtime where unplanned hardware maintenance events, unexpected downtime and planned maintenance events are covered in detail.

Manage the availability of Linux Virtual Machines documentation Manage the availability of Windows virtual machines in Azure

From an availability perspective the options you have for deploying SAP on Azure are as follows:

99.9 percent SLA for single instance VMs with Azure premium storage. In this case, the SAP database (DB), system central services




Introducing the preview of direct-upload to Azure managed disks

We are excited to announce the preview of direct-upload to Azure managed disks. Today, there are two ways you can bring your on-premises VHD files to Azure as managed disks:

Stage the VHD into a storage account before converting them into managed disks Attach an empty managed disk to a VM and do copy.

Both these ways have disadvantage. The first option requires extra storage account to manage while the second option has extra cost of running virtual machine. Direct-upload addresses both these issues and provides a simplified workflow by allowing copy of your on-premises VHD into an empty managed disk. You can use it to upload to Standard HDD, Standard SSD, and Premium SSD managed disks of all the supported sizes.

If you are an independent software vendor (ISV) providing backup solution for IaaS virtual machines in Azure, we recommend you leverage direct-upload to restore your customers’ backups to managed disks. It will help simplify the restore process by getting away from storage account management. Our Azure Backup support for large managed disks is powered by direct-upload. It uses direct-upload to restore large managed disks.

For increased productivity, Azure Storage Explorer also added support for managed disks. It exposes




New disk support capabilities in Azure Storage Explorer

The release of Storage Explorer 1.10.0 brings many exciting updates and new features that we hope can help you be more productive and efficient when working with your Azure Storage Accounts. If you’ve never used Storage Explorer before, make sure to head to our product page, and download it for your favorite operating system. In this post, we’ll go over the newly added support for virtual machine (VM) disk management that was added in the 1.10.0 release.

Easily backup and restore VMs with disk support

Managed disks have been simplifying Azure VM creation and maintenance over page blobs, blob containers and storage accounts. Today, Azure managed disks are the default storage option for Azure IaaS VMs. Recently, we introduced the Direct Upload API that allows you to upload data from on-premises without staging the data in a storage account. Azure Storage Explorer further simplifies those tasks by providing performant upload and download capabilities for creating and accessing managed disks. Here are two example scenarios for how the new features benefit customers like you:

We learned it is common to migrate VMs from on-premises to Azure. With Storage Explorer you can conveniently perform this task using the following steps in the




Reduce disaster recovery time with Azure Site Recovery

Companies and cloud solutions teams by and large understand the need for a disaster recovery solution. One of the first steps while defining and choosing a disaster recovery plan is to perform a business impact analysis. This process helps in identifying applications that support critical business processes, the impact to the business in case of an outage, and guides in developing the right disaster recovery strategy for your business. Once you perform the analysis and identify critical applications, the next step is to chart down your disaster recovery strategy. This usually translates into:

Identifying the right employees or admins who will handle the disaster recovery segment Setting targets for recover time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs) Identifying the right product or service based on the needs Identifying all the required software and hardware resources needed Frequently testing the disaster recovery strategy Making continuous improvements to improve the RPO and RTO, identifying and rectifying failure points if any Configuring disaster recovery of Azure Virtual Machines using Azure Site Recovery

With the best in class RTO and RPO, Azure Site Recovery is one of the leaders in the space of disaster recovery. Being a first-class solution in Azure also gives




Plan migration of your Hyper-V servers using Azure Migrate Server Assessment

Azure Migrate is focused on streamlining your migration journey to Azure. We recently announced the evolution of Azure Migrate, which provides a streamlined, comprehensive portfolio of Microsoft and partner tools to meet migration needs, all in one place. An important capability included in this release is upgrades to Server Assessment for at-scale assessments of VMware and Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs.)

This is the first in a series of blogs about the new capabilities in Azure Migrate. In this post, I will talk about capabilities in Server Assessment that help you plan for migration of Hyper-V servers. This capability is now generally available as part of the Server Assessment feature of Azure Migrate. After assessing your servers for migration, you can migrate your servers using Microsoft’s Server Migration solution available on Azure Migrate. You can get started right away by creating an Azure Migrate project.

Server Assessment earlier supported assessment of VMware VMs for migration to Azure. We’ve now included Azure suitability analysis, migration cost planning, performance-based rightsizing, and application dependency analysis for Hyper-V VMs. You can now plan at-scale, assessing up to 35,000 Hyper-V servers in one Azure Migrate project. If you use VMware as well, you can discover and