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D-Series: the new Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines with SSDs

Windows Azure

Microsoft has released a new series of virtual machines running on their Azure servers. The D-Series come with up to 112 GB of memory and ~60% faster processors than the A-Series Virtual Machines. And perhaps most importantly, the D-Series come with up to 800 GB in Solid State Drives (SSDs).

The SSDs will store the temporary drive and are most appropriate for workloads that replicate across many instances like Mongo DB, or which can benefit from the higher input-output (I/O) speeds for a temporary cache such as the SQL server’s Buffer Pool Extensions. These disks are, however, not guaranteed to be persistent (one machine to one user). Microsoft warns that in the rare case of physical failure, your data may be lost.

The Buffer Pool Extensions in SQL 2014 use SSDs to improve read latency of database workloads. This is accomplished by a global memory resource that caches data pages for efficient reads. Additionally, and thankfully, enabling the buffer pool extension will not require any code changes.

You can read more about the technical aspects, and how to create your own D Series VM here. You can check out Microsoft’s (bill-by-the-minute) pricing here

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