Pssst! Wanna rent a cheap, off-the-books, third-gen Xeon Scalable? No SLA attached? We know a cloud that can help

A cloud called Azure, which appears to be previewing a Chipzilla special

Microsoft has started a preview of Intel’s third-generation Xeon Scalable processors in its Azure cloud.

Unusually, Microsoft has named the exact silicon powering the preview: the Xeon Platinum 8370C from the Ice Lake family.

That device isn’t listed among Intel’s product list, so we only have Microsoft’s scanty specs to go with. Redmond says the CPUs run “all-core Turbo clock speed of 3.5GHz” and offer Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 and Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 512.

A couple of Ice Lake Xeon Platinum models can reach 3.5GHz, and one hits 3.7GHz. But based on party numbers it looks like Intel has cut a chip just for Microsoft, which is not unusual but always intriguing.

The new silicon powers new Dv5 and Ev5 instances, which Microsoft says improve on the price and performance of its current Dv4 and Ev4-series VMs.

The new Dv5-series VMs “offer a balance of memory to vCPU performance with increased scalability, up to 96 vCPUs, and 384 GiB of RAM.” Applications such as VDI, e-commerce, web front-ends and CRM are suggested as appropriate uses.

The new Ev5-series also scale to 96 vCPUs but can reach 672 GiB of RAM. Microsoft suggests them as suitable for analytics or financial transactions.

The NSA logo over a US flag

NSA helps out Microsoft with critical Exchange Server vulnerability disclosures in an April shower of patches


The preview offers “price points … significantly discounted compared to future general availability prices”, with all four D-series instances and two of the four E-series available now. The other E-series land in May.

Only Azure’s East US 2 region hosts the new CPU, but Microsoft promises availability “will be expanded to other regions over time.”

Preview billing only offers pay-as-you-go pricing.

Microsoft’s announcement also states: “Spot Virtual Machines and Reserved Virtual Machine Instance pricing will not be available during the preview. Prices will vary by region.”

If you fancy the preview, Microsoft is accepting applications here, but warns users that applications that use personal or regulated data are not welcome and the usual SLAs do not apply. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading
  • Big Tech loves talking up privacy – while trying to kill privacy legislation
    Study claims Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft work to derail data rules

    Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft often support privacy in public statements, but behind the scenes they've been working through some common organizations to weaken or kill privacy legislation in US states.

    That's according to a report this week from news non-profit The Markup, which said the corporations hire lobbyists from the same few groups and law firms to defang or drown state privacy bills.

    The report examined 31 states when state legislatures were considering privacy legislation and identified 445 lobbyists and lobbying firms working on behalf of Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, along with industry groups like TechNet and the State Privacy and Security Coalition.

    Continue reading
  • SEC probes Musk for not properly disclosing Twitter stake
    Meanwhile, social network's board rejects resignation of one its directors

    America's financial watchdog is investigating whether Elon Musk adequately disclosed his purchase of Twitter shares last month, just as his bid to take over the social media company hangs in the balance. 

    A letter [PDF] from the SEC addressed to the tech billionaire said he "[did] not appear" to have filed the proper form detailing his 9.2 percent stake in Twitter "required 10 days from the date of acquisition," and asked him to provide more information. Musk's shares made him one of Twitter's largest shareholders. The letter is dated April 4, and was shared this week by the regulator.

    Musk quickly moved to try and buy the whole company outright in a deal initially worth over $44 billion. Musk sold a chunk of his shares in Tesla worth $8.4 billion and bagged another $7.14 billion from investors to help finance the $21 billion he promised to put forward for the deal. The remaining $25.5 billion bill was secured via debt financing by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others. But the takeover is not going smoothly.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022