Data Centre


Microsoft: We beat Google, AWS to cloudy GPU VMs in Blighty

Now you can shave a few milliseconds from real-time apps and, er, batch processing

By Andrew Silver


Microsoft has spun up families of virtual machines packed with GPUs and beefy compute muscle for Azure UK customers.

The G, H and N series of VMs, which are aimed at applications from heavy realtime data analytics to AI, are now available in Redmond's UK region. Microsoft believes they will save Brit customers who need G, H or N instances a little bit of latency time compared to connecting to Azure data centers outside Blighty.

The Windows giant enabled, in various corners of the globe, Nvidia-powered series N VMs in December 2016; the beefy series H in September 2016; and RAM-stuffed series G in January 2015. Now its UK server farms, opened in September 2016, are catching up with services available elsewhere.

Of course, Microsoft had to have a dig at Google and AWS, which don't yet have GPU-linked VMs in their UK cloud services. "This means Microsoft is the first hyperscale cloud provider offering VMs that can run graphics-intensive workloads in the UK," Redmond boasted. "It is also the first company to bring graphics processing units to data centres in this country."

While Google and Amazon have UK cloud regions, and offer instances with graphics processors attached in various spots on Earth, neither of them have rolled out high-performance GPU VMs for their Brit zones, yet. ®

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