ORLANDO, Florida – Microsoft continues to increase the speed of virtual machine (VM) connectivity across its Azure public cloud. The latest bump, announced at this week’s Microsoft Ignite event, pushed peak speeds up to 30 Gb/s.

In a blog post, Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice president for Azure Networking at Microsoft, explained that the speed increase is available to all of Microsoft’s physical core VMs on its Dv2, Dv3, Ev2, Ev3, F, and M series instances for Windows and Linux.

Khalidi said that the accelerated networking technology behind the speed increase supports single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) to a VM. This allows it to bypass the host from the data path, which lowers latency, jitter, and CPU utilization. It also moves some of the software-defined networking (SDN) stack into hardware, which provides end-user applications with access to more compute cycles and reduces load on the VM.

The increased speeds are in general availability for all public Windows regions, with Linux support expanded to 20 regions. Embedded vendor support is included with Azure Marketplace Ubuntu, SUSE Enterprise Linux Server, and CentOS images. Additional vendor support is expected.

The speed increase comes on the heels of Microsoft earlier this year rolling out 25 Gb/s support for VMs.

A10 Networks on Board

Microsoft is using data plane development kit (DPDK) technology to provide direct access to network hardware. Khalidi said Microsoft has been working specifically with A10 Networks to support the faster speed in a production environment.

Leah McLean, senior manager of strategic alliance partner marketing at A10, explained the company’s purpose was to increase accessibility, speed, and scalability of its vThunder product.

“Typically, an organization has implemented one type of cloud environment: private, public or hybrid,” McLean wrote in a blog post. “The challenge is the compute and network processing power needed to manage your applications, especially in a public cloud environment.”

The vThunder software appliance is designed to support application deployments running on a hypervisor or in the cloud. Hypervisors supported include VMware, Microsoft and KVM, with cloud support for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

“Now it’s up to the network virtual appliance vendors to port their appliances on Microsoft’s accelerated networking,” McLean said. She added that the A10 product was in a production environment in Azure, with plans for general availability “at a later date.”

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