Ultra SSD Disks in Azure

It was only a month or so ago that I was writing about the new ‘Standard SSD’ offering in Azure, a disk that offers the same reliable availability and improved latency of the Premium SSD disk but kept the same IOPS and throughput as a standard HHD.

Well, with the plethora of announcements coming out of Microsoft Ignite this week is the announcement of ‘Ultra SSD’ even the name sounds impressive, anything with ‘Ultra’ in the name is going to be fast, and fast it is.

The IOPS you can achieve is very impressive; 300 IOPS/GiB, up to a maximum of 160K IOPS per disk but you will need to remember to achieve those kind of IOPS that you need you must ensure that the selected Disk IOPS is less than the VM IOPS.

The disks are designed to work with all Premium SSD enabled Azure Virtual Machines. However, during the preview period, supported VM types will be limited to ES/DS v3 VM instances. Additionally, if you plan to achieve more than 80K IOPS per disk you will need to provision a new VM type that will become available in the near future as part of the Ultra SSD Preview program.

But it’s not all about the IOPS, the throughput is equality impressive. With Ultra SSD Disks, the throughput limit of a single disk is 256 KiB/s for each provisioned IOPS, up to a maximum of 2000 MBps per disk. To make it a little more clear here’s the table from Microsoft:

Disk size (GiB)481632641282565121,024-65,536 (in increments of 1 TiB)
IOPS range100-1,200100-2,400100-4,800100-9,600100-19,200100-38,400100-76,800100-153,600100-160,000
Throughput Cap (MBps)3006001,2002,0002,0002,0002,0002,0002,000

Now for the disappointing news for those not deploying their environments into the US. During the preview Ultra SSD will only be available in the East US 2 Region and only available via code. Portal support and other features such as backup, Azure Site Recovery, Virtual Machine Scale Sets, Azure Disk Encryption, and migration between disk types will all be coming. Obviously it will roll out to other regions soon.

Pricing details can be found here – https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/managed-disks/

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