A year ago, Amazon added AWS EC2 instances powered by AMD EPYC processors. A few months later, Microsoft did the same to its Azure instances. Now, it's expanding the array of instances to choose from with new v4 Azure D-series and E-series with AMD EPYC processors, and the latest NV-series instances with Radeon Instinct GPUs.
Microsoft Azure, the cloud platform from Microsoft, is expanding the choice of instances it has to offer. The NV-series, D-series, and E-series will receive 4th generation instances: NV v4, Ea v4, Eas v4, Da v4, and Das v4.
Starting with the NV v4 series, powered by 2nd gen AMD EPYC CPUs and Radeon Instinct GPUs, these instances are targeted for everyday use of the employees. Previously, you had to choose between non-GPU accelerated VMs that “struggle to deliver” the proper application experience for the daily office use or pay for a GPU-accelerated VM with workstation capabilities, an expensive choice.
With NVv4 instances, being “the first VMs on Microsoft Azure to take advantage of SR-IOV technologies (Single-root input/output virtualisation) and introducing GPU partitioning”, it will be able to share a GPU with as many as 8 VMs. Due to this flexibility, you can deliver a better experience for the users, without spending as much. The NV v4 instances are not yet available, but you can sign in a customer preview.
The Da v4 and Das v4 (s stands for premium SSD storage) are powered by AMD EPYC 7452 processors, and “the fastest Azure VMs in their class, with a balanced core-to-memory ratio”. They are recommended for enterprise-grade applications such as applications, relational databases, in-memory caching, and analytics. The specifications range goes from 2-96 vCPUs, 8-384GB of DDR4 RAM, and up to 2,4TB of SSD storage or 768GB of premium SSD storage. They are available for everyone, and the cost starts at $0.188/hour, up to $9.024/hour.
The latest E-series generation, the Ea v4 and Eas v4 are powered by EPYC 7452 CPUs too. These instances deliver the best performance for memory-intensive applications such as relational databases, caching servers, and in-memory analytics. It offers the same range of vCPUs and SSD storage as the Da v4 and Das v4 series:2-96 vCPUs, up to 2,4TB of SSD storage. The amount of RAM is 16-672GB DDR4 RAM, the maximum premium SSD storage is 1344GB, and the price goes from $0.218/hour to $10.464/hour. They are available to be used now, as well.
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KitGuru says: Unlike AWS, which gives you the chance to choose between AMD and Intel for its latest generation of virtual machines, Azure is building all of its 4th generation instances (edit: all those detailed in this article) with AMD processors. This decision will make Microsoft lower its costs, but customers may not want to use AMD on their workloads. What do you think of Microsoft's decision?