Microsoft’s Azure VM product line ushered in the Ampere ARM CPU option and other advantages such as cost

On Monday, Microsoft announced an update to the Azure VM service, bringing ampere ARM CPU-based options to customers. Screenshots shared by Hari Pulapaka on Twitter show that the processor, developed specifically for Ampere Computing, is now capable of supporting many types of virtual machines, including web servers, open-source databases, and game and media servers.

In recent years, the tech giant has been actively incorporating ARM CPUs into its ecosystem. Previously, Microsoft had provided support for Azure Virtual Machines across virtually all major Linux distributions.

Now, the company is pushing the arm architecture hardware adoption even further, but initially only offers preview experiences in a few Azure regions, including West US 2, West Central US, and West Europe.



Ampere Computing, a startup focused on server ARM processors, announced last year that its main contracted customers include Microsoft in the United States and Tencent in China.

Earlier on Tuesday, Hari Pulapaka, Azure host operating system and project director for windows OS platforms, confirmed the release of the preview version on Twitter.

It is reported that Windows will become the underlying managed operating system running on Ampere Computing’s ARM CPU.

However, in addition to Windows 11 Pro/Enterprise, the current Azure VM Preview also supports Linux distributions such as Ubuntu and CentOS on ARM.

Over time, Ampere Altra ARM CPUs with Azure is expected to support more OSes such as Red Hat Enterprise Edition (RHEL), SUSE Enterprise Server Edition, Debian, AlmaLinux, and Flatcar.

It is worth mentioning that in terms of scale-out workloads, Microsoft claims that Azure VMs based on Ampere Altra ARM processors have a 50% better price/performance ratio than comparable x86 virtual machines.

Customers can configure up to 64 virtual CPU cores and have the flexibility to choose the memory size per vCPU (2 / 4 / 8GB), network bandwidth up to 40 Gbps, and high-performance local SSD storage.

The Dpsv5 and Epsv5 Azure VM series product lines will also run on ampere Altra ARM processor platforms clocked up to 3.0 GHz.