Azure now has two virtual machines running on AMD’s newest 4th generation EPYC processors.

Major competitors like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google frequently attempt to outperform the competition in the cloud computing sector. Amazon introduced the Hpc6a high performance computing (HPC) instance earlier this year for its Elastic Computer Cloud (EC2) platform. These instances were noted to provide 65% better price performance in comparison to other high-performing AWS EC2 instances available at the time and are powered by AMD’s 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processors.

The HX-series and HBv4-series are two new, next-generation Azure virtual machines that Microsoft has unveiled today, shortly after AMD announced its 4th generation EPYC processors. In addition to the very newest technologies, like those mentioned above, the former also includes AMD EPYC processors from even further into the future, known as “Genoa X,” which are scheduled for an expected H1 GA release next year.

The new VMs also have the following features to reduce costs and increase performance:

  • DDR5 memory bandwidth of 800 GB/s (STREAM TRIAD).
  • First on the public cloud, NVIDIA Quantum-2 CX7 InfiniBand at 400 Gb/s.
  • Azure Accelerated Networking at 80 Gbps.
  • Storage bandwidth of 12 GB/s (read) and 7 GB/s (write) is provided by PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSDs.

According to Microsoft’s testing in several areas, the HBv4 and HX perform at least two times better than the HBv3 series and four to five times better than “four-year-old” server technology. Workloads such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD), finite element analysis, frontend and backend electronic design automation (EDA), rendering, molecular dynamics, computational geoscience, weather simulation, AI inference, and financial risk analysis have been noted as being optimised for the new series.

The VM primarily targets larger versions that employ 3, 4, and 5nm standard processes for the HX-series. HX VMs will feature up to 60 GB of RAM per core, which is three times as much RAM as customers have previously seen in H-series VMs. Both of the new series will make use of the 400 Gigabit NVIDIA Quantum-2 InfiniBand for the first time in Azure.

When the Genoa X processors are introduced, Microsoft has stated that the HBv4 VMs would be modified to use them, along with the addition of 3D V-cache. Anyone interested in delving deeper into the technical details surrounding the most recent releases can do so here.

Christopher Woodill

About ME

Enterprise technology leader for the past 15+ years…certified PMP, Six Sigma Black Belt and TOGAF Enterprise Architect. I collaborate with companies to help align their strategic objectives with concrete implementable technology strategies. I am Vice President, Enterprise Solutions for Klick Health.

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