New Azure VMs and Marketplace lead Microsoft's push for the cloud

Satya Nadella on stage in San Francisco

Microsoft hit hard at competitors like Amazon and Google with a slew of announcements centered on enterprise and the cloud during an event in San Francisco today.

CEO Satya Nadella and Executive VP, Cloud and Enterprise Scott Guthrie were on hand to deliver the news, which focused heavily on Azure and the company's claim it makes the "most complete cloud" of anyone in the game.

Microsoft unveiled new Azure G-series virtual machines, the largest VMs available in the public cloud, according to the Surface Pro 3 maker. The machines are powered by Intel Xeon processors and boast the company's new Azure Premium Storage, amounting to up to 32GB of storage for each machine plus 50,000 IOPS per VM. Read latency is less than 1ms, Guthrie said.

Guthrie said the G-series offer three times the memory of a Google Compute machine, and backed by 450GB of RAM and 6.5 TB local SSD, the G-series is something for businesses to consider.


And more may do just that; Microsoft boasted that by the end of the year, Azure will be operational in 19 regions around the globe, making Microsoft the most ubiquitous public cloud provider.

To the cloud ... system

Also on the docket was the new Microsoft Cloud Platform System. Now customers will have Azure, Windows Server and Microsoft System Center brought together in one "Azure-consistent cloud in a box," as described by the firm

"Bring Azure to your datacenter, fully integrated hardware and software and adopt the cloud with even greater control," as Guthrie put it.

Backed by hardware from Dell, the CPS will deliver Azure learnings through an on-site appliance. It's headed out the door on November 3.

Azure Marketplace

Guthrie also introduced the Azure Marketplace, a collection of VMs, apps and services accessible to anyone, using any device, OS or programming language.

He was keen to point out the new Azure Marketplace will help accelerate ISVs and startups connecting with enterprises. One theory circulating around why Microsoft returned to San Francisco after its Windows 10 reveal was that it wanted to pitch itself to the area's startup community. It seems there was some validity to the thought after all.

Two partners walking through the new Marketplace's doors are Cloudera, an enterprise analytics and data management firm, and CoreOS, a container-based Linux OS. CoreOS will be available to all Azure customers, and Azure customers can deploy CoreOS images starting Monday.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.