Cloud Computing: Azure Virtual Machines Overview
Azure Virtual Machines (VM) is one of several types of on-demand, scalable computing resources that Azure offers. An Azure VM gives you the flexibility of virtualization without having to buy and maintain the physical hardware that runs it. However, you still need to maintain the VM by performing tasks, such as configuring, patching, and installing the software that runs on it.
Azure virtual machines can be used in various ways. Some examples are:
• Development and test – Azure VMs offer a quick and easy way to create a computer with specific configurations required to code and test an application.
• Applications in the cloud – Because demand for your application can fluctuate, it might make economic sense to run it on a VM in Azure. You pay for extra VMs when you need them and shut them down when you don’t.
• Extended datacenter – Virtual machines in an Azure virtual network can easily be connected to your organization’s network.
The number of VMs that your application uses can scale up and out to whatever is required to meet your needs.
What do I need to think about before creating a VM?
There is always a multitude of design considerations when you build out an application infrastructure in Azure. These aspects of a VM are important to think about before you start:
A virtual machine has a name assigned to it and it has a computer name configured as part of the operating system. The name of a VM can be up to 15 characters. If you use Azure to create the operating system disk, the computer name and the virtual machine name are the same. If you upload and use your own image that contains a previously configured operating system and use it to create a virtual machine, the names can be different.
All resources created in Azure are distributed across multiple geographical regions around the world. Usually, the region is called location when you create a VM. For a VM, the location specifies where the virtual hard disks are stored.
The size of the VM that you use is determined by the workload that you want to run. The size that you choose then determines factors such as processing power, memory, and storage capacity. Azure offers a wide variety of sizes to support many types of uses.
Azure charges an hourly price based on the VM’s size and operating system. For partial hours, Azure charges only for the minutes used. Storage is priced and charged separately.
Operating system disks and images
Virtual machines use virtual hard disks (VHDs) to store their operating system (OS) and data. VHDs are also used for the images you can choose from to install an OS.
Azure VM provides many marketplace images to use with various versions and types of Windows Server operating systems. Marketplace images are identified by image publisher, offer, sku, and version.
If you would like to learn more about Azure Virtual Machines, feel free to reply to this email or give us a call.