Boost Your Azure Performance with Azure Boost Preview

Hello Guys,

If you’re seeking to enhance your Azure network and storage capabilities, or if you’re keen on leveraging the most recent advancements in Azure infrastructure, the Azure Boost Preview could be of interest to you. This novel system transfers virtualization tasks from the hypervisor and host operating system to specialized hardware and software.

Azure Boost is a breakthrough innovation that enables Azure customers participating in the preview to achieve a 200 Gbps networking throughput and a leading remote storage throughput up to 10 GBps and 400K IOPS, enabling the fastest storage workloads available today. Azure Boost allows preview users to achieve this performance through access to experimental SKUs.

Azure Boost also improves security by adding another layer of logical isolation between the VMs and the host infrastructure, and reduces the maintenance impact for future Azure software and hardware upgrades. By separating hypervisor and host OS functions from the host infrastructure, Azure Boost can deliver more consistent and reliable performance at scale.

Azure Boost has been providing benefits to millions of existing Azure VMs in production today, such as enabling the exceptional remote storage performance of the Ebsv5 VM series and networking throughput and latency improvements for the entire Ev5 and Dv5 VM series. Azure Boost will continue to innovate and provide benefits for Azure infrastructure users going forward.

To take part in the Azure Boost Preview, you need to request access and integrate some critical components of Azure Boost into your current VM solutions. One of these components is the Microsoft Azure Network Adapter (MANA), a custom network adapter designed for optimal networking performance on Azure. MANA provides a stable and forward compatible device driver interface for Linux and Windows operating systems, ensuring a smooth transition to future hardware changes and performance enhancements.

Another component is the Microsoft Azure Storage Adapter (MASA), a custom storage adapter that enables high-performance remote storage access on Azure. MASA leverages the Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) technology to provide low-latency and high-throughput data transfers between VMs and storage devices. MASA also supports NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) protocol, which is an industry standard for accessing remote NVMe devices.

If you are using the Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK), a set of libraries and drivers for fast packet processing, you also need to update your DPDK applications to use MANA instead of the legacy network interface. DPDK is widely used by networking-related Azure partners and developers, such as firewall, load balancer, VPN, and SD-WAN vendors. By using MANA with DPDK, you can achieve better performance, scalability, and compatibility on Azure.

Azure Boost Preview is a great opportunity for Azure customers and partners with high-performance network and storage needs to experience the future of Azure firsthand. To learn more about Azure Boost, read our blog post or watch our video. To request access to the preview, fill out this form. We look forward to hearing your feedback and seeing your results with Azure Boost.

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