AMD’s 2nd Generation EPYC processors have gained a strong recognition among cloud computing companies, and today numerous instances are powered by AMD’s latest server CPUs. By contrast, however, the company has not been particularly successful with its datacenter GPUs, so instances powered by EPYC CPUs and Radeon Instinct accelerators are rare. Things are getting better for AMD, though, and this week Microsoft Azure began to offer virtual machines that offer both AMD’s CPUs and GPUs.

An all-AMD affair, Microsoft's new Azure NVv4 Virtual Machines offer 32 cores from AMD 2nd gen EPYC processors paired with AMD's Radeon Instinct MI25 GPU. EPYC at this point is a known quantity as the latest and greatest CPU architecture from AMD, living up to the expectations that come from it. Pairing it with the Radeon Instinct MI25, however, is an unusual choice. The MI25 is from AMD's first generation of Instinct accelerators, and uses the company's 14nm Vega 10 GPU. This is in contrast to the newer MI50/MI60 accelerators, which are based on the newer 7nm Vega GPU, and incorporate some new server-specific features. So the NVv4 instance's GPU offering is admittedly less than AMD's best showing from a performance and power efficiency standpoint.

The virtual machines are meant to run virtual desktops and to be used for a variety of desktop and workstation workloads that take advantage of multi-core CPUs as well as high-performance GPUs. Depending on requirements, the systems offer four resource-balanced configurations, from 1/8th GPU and four CPU cores, to a full GPU with 32 CPU cores. Microsoft notes that for security reasons one VM can only access the GPU resources assigned to them and the secure hardware partitioning blocks unapproved access by other VMs.

These new instances will be available in South Central US, East US, and West Europe regions starting April 1. Microsoft intends to offer more AMD-powered NVv4 VMs in other regions on the coming months.

In addition to the NVv4 VMs, Microsoft Azure offers Dav4, Eav4, HBv2, and Lsv2 instances based on AMD’s EPYC processors.

Related Reading:

Sources: AMD, Microsoft Azure

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Deicidium369 - Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - link

    AMD has ZERO chance of piercing that Ecosystem. Intel with it's CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs and AI (not to mention all the other business units) will have the motivation, the products and the $$$ to knock Nvidia down a peg. Intel coming into the GPU market will mean AMD is #3 out of 3.

    Get over the InfinityFabric - it's a evolved Hyper Transport

    AMD will not make anyone do anything - Both Intel and Nvidia see AMD as a useful patsy - someone tries to talk about monopoly, both can point to AMD and say "they are competition" while understanding that AMD really isn't competition at all. Nvidia doesn't stay up and worry about AMD -- they worry about the 900# Gorilla in that space - who has CPU, GPU, FPGA, AI - a full array of tech for the New Paradigm.

    "and I don't mean PCIe, but better with cache coherence, low latency, bla bla bla technologies.."

    You mean like CXL and GenZ which are based on ..... PCIe5.
  • pamelaajames22 - Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - link

    I have been working from home for 4 years now and I love it. I don't have a boss standing over my shoulder and I make my own hours. The tips below are very informative and anyone currently working from home or planning to in the future could use these.Make 5000 bucks every month... Start doing online computer-based work through our website... ic­ash68.c­­o­­­­M
  • Deicidium369 - Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - link

    LOL - you do realize that Cloud companies will put out whatever is in the market.

    You can "rent" an AMD system, or an Intel system or an ARM system/

    AMD was ADDED to the roster of available machines - it did not REPLACE any
  • ravyne - Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - link

    For virtual desktop, MI25 makes perfect sense at 12.5TFlops of fp32 performance vs. 13.3TFlops fp32 in MI50 -- the big advancement in MI50 was introduction of fast int8 operations for machine learning, and half-rate fp64 for HPC. Neither are all that useful for virtual desktop.
  • Commenter1 - Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - link

    I read the title "Microsoft Now" and thought what is this new thing they're offering? Another bloody product/service called "Now" but no, it was just an overzealous use of capitalization.

    I love the irony of the NV prefix.
  • extide - Thursday, March 19, 2020 - link

    Haha, it's only a little bit ironic that these AMD based instance types are "NVxx" instance types, lol.
  • Rookierookie - Thursday, March 19, 2020 - link

    That's why they say "NV ass".
  • Deicidium369 - Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - link

    That is a little odd - NV is widely recognized as Nvidia.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now