Published: November 20th, 2018

Three new Azure services are now available for Canadian data centres, Microsoft announced last week: M-Series Virtual Machines, NC-V3 Series (GPU series) Virtual Machines and SQL Managed Instances.

“Canadian businesses are starting to truly recognize the value and business impact that comes along with adopting AI and cloud capabilities,” Khalil Alfar, general manager of Azure Cloud and enterprises business division for Microsoft Canada, wrote in a blog post.

Global AI spending is expected to reach $47 billion by 2020 thanks to AI and cloud computing changing the way industries think. Microsoft says the M-Series virtual machines offer the highest vCPU count (from eight to 128 hyper-threaded vCPUs) and largest memory (from 192 GB up to 4 TB) of any VM in the cloud, all powered by Intel Xeon 2.5 GHz E7-8890 v3 processors. Alfar wrote customers who have their data in Azure allows them to leverage Platform-as-a-Service offerings to run SAP workloads.

“With the capabilities and infrastructure to handle large in-memory workloads involving big datasets, companies are already maximizing its high-performance potential by moving SAP HANA applications to the cloud, since M-series VMs are SAP certified for all SAP workloads,” he said. “The move provides cost efficiencies, reduces commercial and technical risks, offers economies of scale, and allows customers greater access to their data.”

Microsoft says organizations still running SQL 2008/R2 can extend their legacy database’s life after the end of support date (July 9, 2019) by moving it to Azure SQL MI.