Today is a great day! The product team has announced the first public preview of Azure Virtual Machine Generation 2.
Can be strange but until today, all the virtual machine on Azure are created in Generation 1 and this is not good for performance and security as well. So why Microsoft use yet this kind of plan? The reason is for retro-compatibility and because there are yet part of datacenter based on legacy operating system.
For information, Microsoft introduced Generation 2 virtual machines for on-premises Hyper-V users with Windows Server 2012 R2; this configuration use the new UEFI-based boot architecture vs. the BIOS-based architecture used by Generation 1 virtual machines. This allows admin to achieve this new limits:
- Build large virtual machines (up to 12TB)
- Provision OS disks sizes that exceed 2TB
- Leverage advanced security capabilities like SecureBoot and Virtual Trusted Platform Module (vTPM)
What’s New and Limits
As you probably know, the Generation 2 is already available on latest version of Windows Server but right now, there are some limitations between cloud and on-premises. In particular:
- No support for Secure Boot
- No support for Shielded VM
- No support for vTPM
- No support for Virtualization-Based Security
- No support for VHDX format
- Support only for Premium Storage
A part the last point, all of these limitations will be fixed in future, in particular the possibility to use the VHDX format to allow users to upload VM directly to Azure without use other solutions like Azure Site Recovery.
The operating system supported are Windows Server 2012 and above with these VM sizes:
- Dsv2 and Dsv3-series
- Ls-series and Lsv2-series
You can create standalone generation 2 virtual machines using the Azure Marketplace images from the Azure Portal or via command line and if you have any comments, questions or any general feedback send an email to Gen2VMvTeam@microsoft.com.