Microsoft today announced the preview launch of Azure Dedicated Host, a new cloud service that will allow you to run your virtual machines on single-tenant physical services. That means you’re not sharing any resources on that server with anybody else and you’ll get full control over everything that’s running on that machine.
Previously, Azure already offered isolated Virtual Machine sizes for two very large virtual machine types. Those are still available, but their use cases are comparably limited to these new hosts, which offer far more flexibility.
With this move, Microsoft is following in the footsteps of AWS, which also offers Dedicated Hosts with very similar capabilities. Google Cloud, too, offers what it calls ‘sole-tenant nodes.’
Azure Dedicated Host will support Windows, Linux and SQL Server virtual machines and pricing is per host, independent of the number of virtual machines you end up running on them. You can currently opt for machines with up to 144 physical cores and prices start at $4.039 per hour.
To do this, Microsoft is offering two different processors to power these machines. Type 1 is based on the 2.3 GHz Intel Xeon E5-2673 v4 with up to 3.5 gigahertz of clock speed, while Type 2 features the Intel Xeon® Platinum 8168 with single-core clock speeds of up to 3.7 gigahertz. The available memory ranges from 32GiB to 448GiB. You can find more details here.
As Microsoft notes, these new dedicated hosts can help companies reach their compliance requirements for physical security, data integrity and monitoring. The dedicated hosts still share the same underlying infrastructure as any other host in the Azure data centers, but users have full control over any maintenance window that could impact their servers.
These dedicated hosts can also be grouped into larger host groups in a given Azure region, allowing you to build clusters of your own physical servers inside the Azure data center. Since you’re actually renting a physical machine, any hardware issue on that machine will impact the virtual machines you are running on them, so chances are you’ll want to have multiple dedicated hosts for your failover strategy anyway.