Last week, Microsoft announced a new series of virtual machines called the F-Series. There’s quite a bit in this announcement.
One of the things that has wrecked my head in Azure is that the virtual machines had unusual memory sizes:
- 1.75 GB RAM
- 3.5 GB RAM
- 7 GB RAM
- 14 GB RAM
And someone will ask for pricing assistance with a request for machines with 8 GB RAM … OK … do you want 7 GB or 14 GB, because Azure is McDonalds, not a Michelin star restaurant so you get what’s on the menu. not what you fancy.
Other pieces of the sizing fall in line. So for example:
The F2 has:
- 2 cores
- 4 GB RAM (2x cores)
- Up to 4 data disks (2x cores)
As you go up the size chart, the same pattern emerges. A F16 has:
- 16 cores
- 32 GB RAM (2x cores)
- Up to 32 data disks (2x cores)
This should make sizing easier.
Note that the processor is the same 2.4-GHz Intel Xeon E5-2673 v3 (up to 3.1 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0) as in the Dv2-Series, but at a lower price per core.
New Naming Standard
While Microsoft is simplifying the sizing, they have decided to change the naming standard to match the sizes. In the past we had:
- Standard A1
- Standard A2
- Standard A3
- Standard A4
The name was nothing but a label that had no correlation to either the spec or the price – in some cases, there was a drop in price as you moved up the “sizes” (see A4 to A5 or D4 to D11).
The name of the F-Series is tied to the number of cores in the machine. So, an F1 machine has 1 core. An F16 machine has 16 cores.
Before, we showed special features, such as the use of Premium Storage (S is for SSD), by adding a letter to the series of the machine. For example, a D4 virtual machine could be deployed as a DS4 virtual machine.
Starting with the F-Series, any special features are shown by adding a letter to the end of the spec. So, an F4 might be deployed as an F4s.
The F-Series is pretty widely available right now, through Azure V1 and Azure V2. Note that I am seeing a some glitches with the displayed pricing in the Azure Portal (via Open). Please get your direct/Open pricing from the official site.