• Azure VMs with Ampere Altra ARM-based processors offer up to 50% better price-performance.
  • Azure will benefit its customers from the new VMs’ improvements in scalability, performance, and operational efficiency.

Microsoft announced that Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) will now be able to run on ARM (Advanced RISC Machines)-based processors. The tech giant affirmed that with this, ARM, CPUs, especially those developed by Ampere Computing, will power multiple VMs, including open-source databases, gaming servers, web servers, media servers, etc.

ARM CPUs are actively being involved by Microsoft within its ecosystem. So far, the Azure VM platform has worked with all popular Linux distributors as operating systems for VMs and is now ready to welcome ARM Architecture from the hardware side.

The Windows OS supplier announced the availability of a “Preview” version of ARM support on Azure VMs. Ampere said that to start with, the preview will be available in the West US 2, West Central US, and West Europe Azure regions.

Last year, Ampere Computing, a start-up that works for server-grade processors, announced that it had partnered with American company Microsoft and Chinese tech giant Tencent Holding as major customers.

“We are now supporting Arm on Azure as well. This has been a long journey to bring up Ampere on Azure with Windows as the Root Host OS! we are also supporting Windows 11 Arm VMs in preview for developers!” tweeted Hari Pulapaka, the Director of PM for Azure Host OS and the Windows OS platform. “FYI, all Windows developers who have been asking for VM support in Azure, it’s here now.”

“Ampere on Azure with Windows as the Root Host OS” is proof that Windows will be the base OS that will work on ARM CPUs from Ampere Computing. However, the VMs presently in preview support Ubuntu, CentOS, and Windows 11 Professional and Enterprise Edition on ARM. Furthermore, the Ampere Altra ARM CPUs for Azure should soon support several additional OS, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Debian, AlmaLinux, and Flatcar.

Microsoft pointed out that Azure VMs, with Ampere Altra Arm-based processors, will offer up to 50% better price-performance than x86-based VMs for scale-out workloads.

The new VMs connects well with 64 vCPUs, and have the flexibility to opt for VM sizes with 2GiB, 4GiB, and 8GiB per vCPU memory configurations. They come with a capacity of up to 40 Gbps networking.

Subscribers will also be able to use high-performance local SSD storage. The Dpsv5 and Epsv5 Azure VM-series will run on Ampere Altra Arm-based processors operating at up to 3.0GHz.