Azure adds new constrained vCPUs, capable virtual machines to reduce software licensing costs without impacting performance

Azure offers various VM sizes for which you can constrain the VM vCPU count to reduce the cost of software licensing, while maintaining the same memory, storage, and I/O bandwidth.

This may be crucial for some database workloads like SQL Server or Oracle that require high memory, storage, and I/O bandwidth, but not a high core count since many database workloads are not CPU-intensive.

So, by deploying the latest Azure Virtual Machines, you can further increase the efficiency of your cloud infrastructure.

The vCPU count can be constrained to one half or one quarter of the original VM size. These new VM sizes have a suffix that specifies the number of active vCPUs to make them easier for you to identify.

The Esv4, Edsv4, and Easv4 memory optimized Azure VM series now offer new constrained vCPU VM sizes.

For example, the current VM size ‘’E8s_v4’’ comes with 8 vCPUs, 64 GB RAM, 16 disks and 12,800 IOPs. The new VM sizes ‘’E8-4s_v4’’ and ‘’E8-2s_v4’’ comes with 4 and 2 active vCPUs respectively, while maintaining the rest of the specs of the ‘’E8s_v4’’ for memory, storage, and I/O bandwidth.

The licensing fees charged for SQL Server or Oracle are constrained to the new vCPU count, and other products should be charged based on the new vCPU count. This results in a 50% to 75% increase in the ratio of the VM specs to active (billable) vCPUs. These new VM sizes allow customer workloads to use the same memory, storage, and I/O bandwidth while optimizing their software licensing cost. Currently, the compute cost, which includes OS licensing, remains the same one as the original size.