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Azure virtual machines to get Arm support, promising better value than x86 VMs

Microsoft Azure Hero 4
Microsoft Azure Hero 4 (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Azure Virtual Machines now have preview support for Ampere Altra Arm-based processors.
  • Microsoft stated that Azure VMs using Arm deliver "up to 50 percent better price-performance than comparable x86-based VMs."
  • Preview support is currently available for VMs running Canonical Ubuntu Linux, CentOS, and Windows 11 Professional and Enterprise Edition on Arm.

Microsoft recently added preview support for Azure virtual machines using Arm-based processors. The new virtual machines use Altra Arm-based processors and should deliver better value than existing VMs on the market. Microsoft explained (opens in new tab) in its post announcing preview support that Arm-based VMs should get up to 50% better price-performance than x86-based virtual machines. Ampere also shared a blog post on the news.

"We see companies using Arm based architectures as a way of reducing both cost and energy consumption," said Canonical Vice President of Public Cloud Alexander Gallagher. "It's a huge step forward for those looking to develop with Linux on Azure and we are pleased to partner with Microsoft to offer Ubuntu images."

The director of PM for Azure Host OS and the Windows OS platform, Hari Pulapaka, took to Twitter to discuss the news.

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At the moment, preview support is available for virtual machines running Canonical Ubuntu Linux, CentOS, and Windows 11 Professional and Enterprise Edition on Arm. Other operating systems, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Debian, AlmaLinux, and Flatcar, will work with the VMs in the future.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

2 Comments
  • So, is my Azure Virtual Machine running on an ARM based processor, or am I able to set up an Arm virtualized machine on Azure?
  • If you have an Arm VM, it's (likely) running on Arm architecture. Running an Arm VM on x86 architecture requires emulation of the hardware before creating the VM, which is not performant at all