Definition

Microsoft Azure VM Scale Sets

Microsoft Azure VM Scale Sets are groups of individual virtual machines (VMs) within the Microsoft Azure public cloud that information technology (IT) administrators can configure and manage as a single unit.

Administrators can use Azure VM Scale Sets to deploy complete services, rather than duplicate the same VMs. For example, an Azure VM Scale Set for a Web application service might include Web servers, application servers, database servers, network address translation servers, load balancing and other functionality. With Azure VM Scale Sets, all of those instances can be deployed as a unit, allowing administrators to organize and manage VMs as higher-level services, rather than cobble them together manually. Although Azure VM Scale Sets are usually deployed as a group, administrators can access and interact with individual VMs, if necessary, to monitor and tweak the individual instances.

Azure VM Scale Sets are designed to support large-scale computing services, such as big data processing and customer-facing Web or mobile applications – all of which can benefit from processing tasks that are distributed across multiple virtual machines.

To deploy an Azure VM Scale Set, administrators must define the sets through the Azure console, the Azure command line interface (CLI) or Microsoft PowerShell. Administrators must then configure Azure VM Scale Sets using JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). Configuration parameters include the number of VM instances, Azure logon and account credentials, and network attributes, such as subnets, load balancers, storage resources, network interfaces and IP addresses for public access.

To support scalability, administrators can combine Azure VM Scale Sets with other Azure services, such as Autoscale in Azure Insights. This allows resources to automatically scale up or down as workload demands change. Administrators can specify the VM limit, or define and customize scaling events that are not directly supported by Autoscale.

Azure VM Scale Sets are typically used by IT or cloud administrators.

This was last updated in June 2016

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