Microsoft announced a new SSD option for their IaaS virtual machines – Standard SSD. Microsoft have offered two disk options for a long time now; standard SSD a great option for storage needs of very low cost, infrequent access but would not be recommended for production environments. The second option was their premium SSD which was designed for I/O intensive, production workloads that required very low latency and very high IOPS performance. This third option combines the benefits of both – a reliable availability and improved latency while combining it with a cheaper price point than the premium storage disks. The new Standard SSD keeps the same max IOPS and throughput as the standard HHD offering 500 IOPS and 60MBPS (compared to the 7,500 IOPS and 250 MBPS for the premium disk) but they have been designed to provide much better performance. Of course they support all of the managed disk features and LRS we’ve come to know and love in Azure.
So when should they be used? As mentioned it would not at all be recommended for using the standard HHD disk for any production workload and instead Microsoft would recommend this disk type for backup or very infrequent access data storage. The new standard SSD would be well suited to Dev/Test environments, web servers, and none IOPS heavy applications.
So how big are they and how much will they cost? Disk sizes will start at E10 (128 GiB – ) and go all the way up to E50 (4TiB) with pricing (for West Europe) being £4.35 through to £109.14 (more info in pricing here).
These disk options bring Azure more inline with AWS who have offered a couple of different SSD and HDD options for a while (their General Purpose SSD (likened to the new standard SSD), the Provisioned IOPS SSD (likened to the Premium SSD) and the Throughput Optimised HHD (Linked to the standard HHD).
These are a great addition to IaaS in Azure offering customers the very resizable price point and flexibility to build highly available and responsive VMs.
Microsoft’s announcement can be found here.