Microsoft expands use of its Azure M-series virtual machines

Lindsay James
Lindsay James
By Lindsay James on 03 September 2018
Microsoft expands use of its Azure M-series virtual machines

Microsoft has expanded the use of its Azure M-series virtual machines (VMs), which can handle very large workloads that involve a lot of information. Companies using the powerful cloud service in the UK will now benefit from increased protection for their data and applications.

As a result, information stored in one of Microsoft’s UK data regions – UK West or UK South – can be easily and securely replicated in the other region for disaster recovery measures, offering businesses uninterrupted access to their work when the technology firm updates a data centre.

“Many SAP customers are adopting the cloud for their mission-critical ERP applications, and making the M-series virtual machines available in the UK West region adds extra peace of mind for customers that their data is protected and always there when they need it,” said Mark Smith, senior director of Azure and Artificial Intelligence at Microsoft UK. “These VMs offer unrivalled power and speed for in-memory applications such as SAP HANA, helping companies compete in a digital-first world”

Azure’s M-series VMs are being used in the UK by companies including energy and services firm Centrica. Elsewhere, they are being used by train company Trenitalia to analyse information in real-time, the city of Cape Town to run an emergency policing solution, and fleet management firm ARI to let customers track and report on every detail of its operation. Many businesses use M-Series VMs for large SAP enterprise resource planning systems using SQL server and Oracle databases, and SAP HANA with more recent SAP applications versions.

The M-series supports up to 128 virtual central processing units (vCPU) and between one and four tebibytes (TB) of memory – a tebibyte is equal to 1,024 gigabytes – on a single VM. Seven of the different M-Series VM types can run SAP HANA configurations, including the M128 VM, which allows the build-out of scale-out HANA configurations of up to 30TB.

Network bandwidth of up to 30 gigabytes per second on M-Series VMs makes it easy to move large amounts of data between the VMs or build out scale-out SAP HANA database configurations.

The M-Series VMs are the only ones offered by any public cloud in the UK with up to 4TB, enabling workloads like SAP HANA and SQL Server In-Memory OLTP.

Last year, Microsoft expanded its partnership with enterprise software company SAP to help companies move to the cloud and digitally transform their business. The agreement allows firms to take advantage of the security and intelligence embedded in Azure while benefitting from the application management and product expertise that SAP provides.

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