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Scott Guthrie
Scott Guthrie

SAN FRANCISCO – Businesses that want to handle high-performance workloads in the cloud will soon have a new tool at their disposal, thanks to Microsoft Azure. At the company’s cloud event in San Francisco today, executive Scott Guthrie unveiled a host of new services designed to help companies get the most out of the cloud, and to make Microsoft stronger against Google, Amazon and other rivals.

Guthrie, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President for Cloud and Enterprise, first unveiled a new set of “G series” compute instances designed to handle heavy data workloads with high performance. The new instances can sport up to 32 CPU cores driven by Intel’s Haswell series Xeon processors, with up to 450 GB of RAM. Each G series instance can also be provisioned with up to 6.5 terabytes of local solid-state storage.

Mark Russinovich
Mark Russinovich

“One of the principles of cloud scale is scale out not up, but yet we see a lot of existing applications and a lot of applications that are making heavy use of data, that benefit from scaling up to an extent,” Azure Chief Technical Officer Mark Russinovich told GeekWire in an interview. “One of the attributes of one of these VM sizes is having huge amounts of RAM and huge amounts of SSD that all serve as cache for that data, which is typically pulled from someplace else and then deeply processed over.”

Going along with that is Microsoft’s new Premium Storage service, which offers up to 32 terabytes of storage per virtual machine, with support for more than 50,000 Input/Output operations per second. All of the data stored can be accessed with less less than a millisecond of read latency.

In addition to the new tools in the cloud, the company also launched the new Cloud Platform System: a new hardware device that brings Azure’s tools into an enterprise environment and makes it easier for IT departments to integrate the systems they already have in place on-premise with Microsoft’s cloud. The CPS is being built by Dell.

The CPS will be available for purchase on November 3.

Finally, Microsoft will be starting up two new regions in Australia next week, bringing its total number of supported regions to 19, twice as many as Amazon supports with Amazon Web Services.

Related: Live from Microsoft’s cloud event in San Francisco

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