Officially the best Azure VM for SQL Server

I was just recently going through my backlog of podcasts and came across Data Exposed episode with Microsoft’s Pam Lahoud (@SQLGoddess on Twitter) about SQL Server VMs in Azure. Now, we have it from the official sources that one of the best VM sizes for SQL Server workloads is the Edsv4-series.

Number one!

Incidentally, this is also one of my favorites for running SQL Server, and one that I often end up recommending due to missing monitoring data. Read further to find what exactly makes this VM series so good for many of the SQL Server workloads.

Good memory to CPU ratio

Edsv4-series are memory optimized, giving you 8GB of memory per vCPU core. While this might sound low to compared against on-premises environments, in cloud 8GB per vCPU core is a pretty good ratio. Going beyond that, Edsv4 also has the core constrained versions available for even higher memory to CPU ratio.

Fast storage

Besides memory, SQL Server also loves fast storage. Edsv4 supports Azure Premium Storage, which is what you should be using for any non-production workloads. Also, storage caching is supported, which can improve your IOPS and read throughput. On top of that, there’s also bursting that can help with occasional spikes in the storage usage.

You also get a decent sized local SSD with the machine, that is a very good location to place the TEMPDB files.

Decent CPU

Edsv4-series sizes run on the Intel® Xeon® Platinum 8272CL (Cascade Lake) processors, these are pretty good for SQL Server workloads based on TPC-E benchmark results.

The specs

You can visit the link in the source to get all the details.

Specs for the Azure Edsv4 series VMs in Azure.
Source: Microsoft Docs

The End

I also recommend that you listen/view the original podcast, it has some additional things from Pamela that you shouldn’t miss. It’s worth the 10 minutes that it takes, trust me.

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