Category Archives : Virtual Machines

03

Sep

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

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22

Aug

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

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15

Aug

Azure Ultra Disk Storage: Microsoft’s service for your most I/O demanding workloads

Today, Tad Brockway, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Azure, announced the general availability of Azure Ultra Disk Storage, an Azure Managed Disks offering that provides massive throughput with sub-millisecond latency for your most I/O demanding workloads. With the introduction of Ultra Disk Storage, Azure includes four types of persistent disk—Ultra Disk Storage, Premium SSD, Standard SSD, and Standard HDD. This portfolio gives you price and performance options tailored to meet the requirements of every workload. Ultra Disk Storage delivers consistent performance and low latency for I/O intensive workloads like SAP Hana, OLTP databases, NoSQL, and other transaction-heavy workloads. Further, you can reach maximum virtual machine (VM) I/O limits with a single Ultra disk, without having to stripe multiple disks.

Durability of data is essential to business-critical enterprise workloads. To ensure we keep our durability promise, we built Ultra Disk Storage on our existing locally redundant storage (LRS) technology, which stores three copies of data within the same availability zone. Any application that writes to storage will receive an acknowledgement only after it has been durably replicated to our LRS system.

Below is a clip from a presentation I delivered at Microsoft Ignite demonstrating the leading performance of Ultra Disk Storage:

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15

Aug

Announcing the general availability of Azure Ultra Disk Storage

Today, we are announcing the general availability (GA) of Microsoft Azure Ultra Disk Storage—a new Managed Disks offering that delivers unprecedented and extremely scalable performance with sub-millisecond latency for the most demanding Azure Virtual Machines and container workloads. With Ultra Disk Storage, customers are now able to lift-and-shift mission critical enterprise applications to the cloud including applications like SAP HANA, top tier SQL databases such as SQL Server, Oracle DB, MySQL, and PostgreSQL, as well as NoSQL databases such as MongoDB and Cassandra.With the introduction of Ultra Disk Storage, Azure now offers four types of persistent disks—Ultra Disk Storage, Premium SSD, Standard SSD, and Standard HDD. This portfolio gives our customers a comprehensive set of disk offerings for every workload.

Ultra Disk Storage is designed to provide customers with extreme flexibility when choosing the right performance characteristics for their workloads. Customers can now have granular control on the size, IOPS, and bandwidth of Ultra Disk Storage to meet their specific performance requirements. Organizations can achieve the maximum I/O limit of a virtual machine (VM) with Ultra Disk Storage without having to stripe multiple disks. Check out the blog post “Azure Ultra Disk Storage: Microsoft’s service for your most I/O demanding

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14

Aug

Improving Azure Virtual Machines resiliency with Project Tardigrade

“Our goal is to empower organizations to run their workloads reliably on Azure. With this as our guiding principle, we are continuously investing in evolving the Azure platform to become fault resilient, not only to boost business productivity but also to provide a seamless customer experience. Last month I published a blog post highlighting several initiatives underway to keep improving in this space, as part of our commitment to provide a trusted set of cloud services. Today I wanted to expand on the mention of Project Tardigrade – a platform resiliency initiative that improves high availability of our services even during the rare cases of spontaneous platform failures. The post that follows was written by Pujitha Desiraju and Anupama Vedapuri from our compute platform fundamentals team, who are leading these efforts.” Mark Russinovich, CTO, Azure

This post was co-authored by Jim Cavalaris, Principal Software Engineer, Azure Compute. 

 

Codenamed Project Tardigrade, this effort draws its inspiration from the eight-legged microscopic creature, the tardigrade also known as the water bear. Virtually impossible to kill, tardigrades can be exposed to extreme conditions, but somehow still manage to wiggle their way to survival. This is exactly what we envision our servers to emulate

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12

Aug

https://azure.microsoft.com/blog/6-ways-were-making-azure-reservations-even-more-powerful/Our newest Azure reservations features can help you save more on your Azure costs, easily manage reservations, and create internal reports. Based on your feedback, we’ve added the following features to Azure reservations: Azure Databricks pre-purchase plan AppService Isolated Stamp READ MORE

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08

Aug

Introducing the new HBv2 Azure Virtual Machines for high-performance computing

Announcing the second-generation HB-series Azure Virtual Machines for high-performance computing (HPC). HBv2 Virtual Machines are designed to deliver leadership-class performance, message passing interface (MPI) scalability, and cost efficiency for a variety of real-world HPC workloads.

HBv2 Virtual Machines feature 120 AMD EPYC™ 7002-series CPU cores, 480 GB of RAM, 480 MB of L3 cache, and no simultaneous multithreading (SMT). HBv2 Virtual Machines provide up to 350 GB/sec of memory bandwidth, which is 45-50 percent more than comparable x86 alternatives and three times faster than what most HPC customers have in their datacenters today.

Size CPU cores Memory: GB Memory per CPU Core: GB Local SSD: GiB RDMA network Azure network Standard_HB120rs 120 480 GB 4 GB 1.6 TB 200 Gbps 40 Gbps

‘r’ denotes support for RDMA. ‘s’ denotes support for Premium SSD disks.

Each HBv2 virtual machine (VM) also features up to 4 teraFLOPS of double-precision performance, and up to 8 teraFLOPS of single-precision performance. This is a four times increase over our first generation of HB-series Virtual Machines, and substantially improves performance for applications demanding the fastest memory and leadership-class compute density.

Below are preliminary benchmarks on HBv2 across several common HPC applications and domains:

To drive

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08

Aug

Introducing NVv4 Azure Virtual Machines for GPU visualization workloads

Azure offers a wide variety of virtual machine (VM) sizes tailored to meet diverse customer needs. Our NV size family has been optimized for GPU-powered visualization workloads, such as CAD, gaming, and simulation. Today, our customers are using these VMs to power remote visualization services and virtual desktops in the cloud. While our existing NV size VMs work great to run graphics heavy visualization workloads, a common piece of feedback we receive from our customers is that for entry-level desktops in the cloud, only a fraction of the GPU resources is needed. Currently, the smallest sized GPU VM comes with one full GPU and more vCPU/RAM than a knowledge worker desktop requires in the cloud. For some customers, this is not a cost-effective configuration for entry-level scenarios.

Announcing NVv4 Azure Virtual Machines based on AMD EPYC 7002 processors and virtualized Radeon MI25 GPU.

The new NVv4 virtual machine series will be available for preview in the fall. NVv4 offers unprecedented GPU resourcing flexibility, giving customers more choice than ever before. Customers can select from VMs with a whole GPU all the way down to 1/8th of a GPU. This makes entry-level and low-intensity GPU workloads more cost-effective than ever before,

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07

Aug

Announcing new AMD EPYC™-based Azure Virtual Machines

Microsoft is committed to giving our customers industry-leading performance for all their workloads. After being the first global cloud provider to announce the deployment of AMD EPYC™ based Azure Virtual Machines in 2017, we’ve been working together to continue bringing the latest innovation to enterprises.

Today, we are announcing our second-generation HB-series Azure Virtual Machines, HBv2, which features the latest AMD EPYC 7002 processor. Customers will be able to increase HPC performance and scalability to run materially larger workloads on Azure. We’ll also be bringing the AMD 7002 processors and Radeon Instinct GPUs to our family of cloud-based virtual desktops. Finally, our new Dav3 and Eav3-series Azure Virtual Machines, in preview today, provide more customer choice to meet a broad range of requirements for general purpose workloads using the new AMD EPYC™ 7452 processor.

Our growing Azure HPC offerings

Customers are choosing our Azure HPC offerings (HB-series) incorporating first generation AMD EPYC Naples for their performance and scalability. We’ve seen a 33 percent memory bandwidth advantage with EPYC, and that’s a key factor for many of our customers’ HPC workloads. For example, fluid dynamics is one workload in which this advantage is valuable. Azure has an increasing number of customers

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07

Aug

Disaster recovery of Azure disk encryption (V2) enabled virtual machines

Choosing Azure for your applications and services allows you take advantage of a wide array of security tools and capabilities. These tools and capabilities help make it possible to create secure solutions on Azure. Among these capabilities is Azure disk encryption, designed to help protect and safeguard your data to meet your organizational security and compliance commitments. It uses the industry standard BitLocker Drive Encryption for Windows and DM-Crypt for Linux to provide volume encryption for OS and data disks. The solution is integrated with Azure Key Vault to help you control and manage disk encryption keys and secrets, and ensures that all data on virtual machine (VM) disks are encrypted both in-transit and at rest while in Azure Storage.

Beyond securing your applications, it is important to have a disaster recovery plan in place to keep your mission critical applications up and running when planned and unplanned outages occur. Azure Site Recovery helps orchestrate replication, failover, and recovery of applications running on Azure Virtual Machines so that they are available from a secondary region if you have any outages in the primary region.

Azure Site Recovery now supports disaster recovery of Azure disk encryption (V2) enabled virtual machines without

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