Microsoft customers rely on Azure to host mission-critical workloads and services. A substantial percentage use the traditional infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) approach to deploying virtual machines, often orchestrated with Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets or third-party tools.
Customers rely on Azure to provide compute capacity on demand. However, in some situations, customers need more specific assurances:
Business-critical applications—certain business processes can be disrupted even by a temporary interruption.
Disaster recovery (DR)—in the event of a natural disaster, businesses require capacity guarantees to recover and resume operations in a different location.
Special events—sometimes a substantial surge in capacity is expected, obtaining capacity assurance can ensure that business performance remains at the highest levels.
Until now, the only way to obtain a service level agreement (SLA) for Azure Virtual Machines capacity has been to deploy actual virtual machines (VM), whether running or stopped. This can lead to management overhead to keep all VMs up to date and impedes the use of compute capacity for other business purposes, for example when the VMs are not needed for a primary workload.