Microsoft is throwing its weight behind Arm-based cloud computing, unveiling Ampere Altra Arm virtual machines (VMs) on its Azure platform.
Microsoft Azure is currently the second-largest cloud provider, behind AWS. While the cloud industry has largely been powered by x86 processors, such as Intel and AMD, Arm-based options are becoming increasingly popular. Microsoft clearly sees the potential benefits for its customers.
“Microsoft is announcing the general availability of the latest Azure Virtual Machines featuring the Ampere Altra Arm–based processor,” writes Paul Nash, Vice President, Azure Compute Platform. “The new virtual machines will be generally available on September 1, and customers can now launch them in 10 Azure regions and multiple availability zones around the world. In addition, the Arm-based virtual machines can be included in Kubernetes clusters managed using Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). This ability has been in preview and will be generally available over the coming weeks in all the regions that offer the new virtual machines.”
Nash also touted Microsoft’s 20-year history working with the Arm architecture and its partnership with Ampere in particular.
“Ampere’s Cloud Native Processors are uniquely designed to meet both the high performance and power efficiency needs of the cloud. Through our strong partnership with Microsoft, Ampere Altra processors are now generally available as Azure Virtual Machines, bringing new cloud-focused processor technology to end users so that they can deploy the next generation of innovative cloud applications at scale, and do so in a sustainable manner.”—Jeff Wittich, Chief Product Officer, Ampere
Several Linux distributions are available on the new VMs, including Canonical Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Enterprise Linux, CentOS, and Debian, with planned support for Alma Linux and Rocky Linux.