Azure has Spot Instances to help users cheaply access unused cloud capacity. These Spot Instances are also known as Azure Spot Virtual Machines (VMs). Azure Spot Virtual Machines are highly volatile and commonly used for fault-tolerant workloads.
Using Azure’s Spot pricing model, subscribers can set the maximum price they want to spend on compute capacity. No long-term contract is needed to use Spot VMs. With Azure Spot Instances, cloud users pay up to 90% less than the on-demand model.
Azure users can use Spot Instances on a wide array of Virtual Machines, and you can configure them to run on several disk volumes.
What is Azure Spot Pricing?
Microsoft cloud uses complex mathematical equations when setting the price for Azure Spot Instances. Azure has to assess the demand for compute capacity by examining various factors like availability, pricing history, availability region, and eviction rate.
The Azure portal helps users to view a line graph of pricing history. You can also compare the prices of nearby Azure regions at a glance. You can change the chart to reflect local currency; users can also define the timespan.
Azure Spot pricing is always volatile, but has significant cost-saving capabilities. Even though the Spot pricings are cheap, Azure does not compromise the speed or performance. All Spot Instances give high-performance compute capacity.
How to Use Azure Instances
You can use Azure Instances by deploying a Spot Virtual Machine from the Azure portal, PowerShell, or Azure’s Command Line Interface (CLI). On the Azure portal, you define the name of the Virtual Machine. Then, select the availability region. Note that the demand for Spot capacity varies by region. The Spot-pricing chart helps choose the region with the best price and the lowest eviction rate. When you are setting up in the Azure portal, you have to check the box to use run spot instances.
You can also define eviction type and eviction policies. If you choose a price as an eviction policy, Azure lets you set a maximum price, and the system will stop the Instance when the Spot price exceeds your maximum price.
Azure Spot Instances Uses Cases and Benefits
Microsoft Azure always reallocates excess compute capacity through Spot Instances. But as demand increases, Azure terminates Spot Instances to serve other users using the pay-as-you-go-model. Before using Spot Instances, ensure you do not have mission-critical workloads. Common spot benefits include:
The Spot pricing model is the cheapest way to access the cloud, which helps cloud engineers and lets students, researchers, and project managers test their projects at scale on the cloud. Azure cloud users can use Spot VMs with the free tier and free trial programs.
In addition, Azure lets you configure a maximum price for running your Virtual Machines. If you have a mission-critical workload, you can choose to stop the Instance instead of deleting it. That way, even if the Spot price exceeds your maximum price, you will still have access to your workload.
On-premise environments aren’t fault-tolerant because of power surges, network outages, breaches, and faulty software systems. But the cloud is usually fault-tolerant, which helps it eliminate any causality common with an on-premise environment. Unlike the traditional model, Spot Instances launch and terminate based on demand.
When demand increases, Spot Instance prices may exceed your bid range. Azure will either stop or delete such orders. For this reason, Spot is ideal for running interruptible workloads. Spot Instances do not have a backup, so users have to deploy another compute capacity manually if one Instance fails. Always backup critical workloads on other Instances before deploying them on Spot VMs.
Microsoft cloud has several products, solutions, and offers for their customers. Most of the services on Azure are Spot-eligible. Microsoft Cloud gives you several options for deploying Spot Instances. You can launch VMs on several disk types.
You can use Spot Instances to run several services, including data analytics, Machine learning, speech recognition, batch processing jobs, file backup, and much more. In addition, you can use Spot Virtual Machines on Windows servers, Linux servers, and Uniform scale sets. Azure scale sets allow you to scale production based on demand.
Use Spot VMs for both development and testing purposes. You can use them for development because it is a non-productive workload. So there is no need to spend significant cloud resources on a low output job.
Testing is also critical when evaluating applications' quality, security, and reliability. Azure lets you perform frequent evaluations on your resources through Spot VMs. You can also manage smaller milestones of your cloud lifecycle by deploying Spot Instances.
Spot Virtual Machines have several use-cases. Without proper planning, your workloads may be subject to interruptions. That is why you need to configure Spot Instances in a way that does not disrupt your workloads.
nOps was custom-built to help you in Azure Spot Instance planning. nOps can assess your infrastructure and give you the right recommendations for choosing Spot Instances.
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