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December 5, 2017updated 13 Jul 2022 4:01am

Microsoft Azure VMs to be powered by AMD EPYC processors

The AMD hardware supports 128 lanes of PCIe connections per processor.

By CBR Staff Writer

Building on its Project Olympus design from 2016, Microsoft Azure is the first global cloud provider to deploy AMD EPYC for its revamped high-performance server and datacentre CPUs. Alongside this, the cloud computing arm of the Silicon Valley giant will preview its latest L-Series of Virtual Machines with improved processing power thanks to the high-core count and connectivity support under the tech deal.

Microsoft Azure VMs to be powered by AMD EPYC processors

The Lv2-Series instances run on the AMD EPYC 7551 processor, featuring a base core frequency of 2.2 GHz and a maximum single-core turbo frequency of 3.0 GHz. The speed improvements do not end there, as the hardware supports 128 lanes of PCIe connections per processor. Because of this, AMD said it provides over a third more connectivity than available two-socket products to directly address more NVMe drives than ever.

Corey Sanders, director of compute, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Corp, said, “We’re welcoming AMD’s new EPYC processor to Microsoft Azure with the next generation of our L-Series Virtual Machines. The new Lv2-Series are High I/O, dense storage offerings which make EPYC perfect for Azure customers’ demanding workloads.

“We’ve enjoyed a deep collaboration with AMD on our next generation open source cloud hardware design called Microsoft’s Project Olympus. We think Project Olympus will be the basis for future innovation between Microsoft and AMD, and we look forward to adding more instance types in the future benefiting from the core density, memory bandwidth and I/O capabilities of AMD EPYC processors.”

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In this release, Microsoft Azure is emphasising its range of hardware sizes available. This strategy stands in contrast to competitor Oracle, a firm which aims to capitalise on flexible and open source IT infrastructure solutions. For instance, the Oracle VirtualBox runs on Solaris, Mac and Linux as well as Windows, though its scope is smaller than the Lv2-Series, targeted as it is toward server, desktop and embedded use.

The Lv2 VMs will be sold in eight and ranging to 64 vCPU sizes, with the largest size featuring direct access to 4TB of memory. By default, these sizes will support Azure premium storage disks as well as enable accelerated networking for the highest throughput of any cloud, according to Microsoft Azure.

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