Microsoft Adds Compute-Intensive Servers On Azure

Microsoft intros D series for Azure, a virtual server with lots of SSDs for big data and analytics.

Microsoft has launched a new D series of virtual servers on the Microsoft Azure cloud. The largest comes with 800 GBs of solid state disk, and the series as a whole is meant to support "blazingly fast reads and writes," says Kenaz Kwa, program manager for Azure compute runtime.

CPUs on the D series will be 60% faster than Azure's standard A series virtual servers, Kwa wrote in a blog post Sept. 22. The D drive, in Windows lingo, often serves as a temporary drive; the Series D SSDs fill that function. The storage is temporary rather than persistent.

[Want to learn more about migration into Azure? See Microsoft Enables Fast Migration Into Azure.]

An entry-level, general-purpose Standard_D1 server comes with one virtual CPU, 3.5 GB of RAM, and 50 GB of SSDs. The D2 doubles those proportions, with the D3 and D4 each doubling them again. The D4, for example, has 8 virtual CPUs, 28 GB of RAM, and 400-GB SSDs.

A second D series class with four instances in it are tagged as high-memory servers. The D11 high-memory server comes with two virtual CPUs, 14 GB RAM, and 100-GB SSDs. The D12 comes with 4 CPUs, 28-GB RAM, and 200-GB SSDs. The D13 has 8 CPUs, 56-GB RAM, and 400-GB SSDs; and the D14 has 16 CPUs, 112-GB RAM, and 800-GB SSDs.

Both the general-purpose and high-memory series appear designed to appeal to customers with short-term, CPU-intensive tasks, including analytics and applications consuming big data.

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