Microsoft to simplify Azure migration with bigger VM drives

Enterprises can now migrate virtual machines whose OS drives size exceed 127GB

Microsoft has increased by a factor of eight the maximum size of OS drives that can run on its Azure cloud, hoping to get enterprises to migrate more workloads.

Microsoft is methodically launching new services and adding features to Azure to make the platform more competitive and a better fit for different applications. Until now, virtual machines on Azure had a maximum OS drive size of 127GB, a problem for enterprises that wanted to move existing on-site virtual machines that for some reason were bigger than that.

With the new 1023GB limit, migrating virtual machines where apps and data residing on the OS drive exceed the previous ceiling becomes more straightforward, Microsoft's Guy Bowerman, senior program manager, Azure Compute Runtime, said in a blog post.

The change is most applicable when Azure is used as a infrastucture-as-a-service platform. Instead of having to reconfigure the OS drive to use less storage, the virtual machine it runs in can now be moved to Azure in one step.

The change applies to both Windows and Linux virtual machines. All public regions have been updated and the Chinese and Government versions of Azure will also follow suit soon.

A reason for the 127GB limit was to discourage the use of the OS drive for performance intensive production workloads, according to Bowerman. Disk caching is optimized for OS performance, but for applications with persistent data requirements users can get better throughput with an attached data drive, he said.

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