Virtual Machine Scale Sets – What are they for anyways?
Today we’re going to talk a little bit about Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets. What they do for us and why we would want to deploy VMs using scale sets. I’ve encountered a few situations where a business has deployed multiple systems to try and handle the growth of their systems during peak demand times — such as coming up to a software or product launch there might be many more engineers or developers logging into systems and running data processes or simulations that create the increased demand.
What I’ve been seeing is that in some cases the business has chosen to create 20 or more isolated systems to allow the smaller teams to work in isolation from each other, but then they spend a month trying to bring everything together with the various teams. There’s a better way to handle most instances of a challenge like this; now of course it may not apply in every case as a technology solution should be built to fit your business needs – but let’s try to be logical and work smarter not harder here.
First, let’s talk about what the scale set can do for us.
- Create hundreds or thousands of virtual machines in a few minutes, in one single action
- Load balancing and autoscaling are integrated into scale sets
- Deploy virtual machines at scale
- Quickly scale your compute, processing, and big data applications
- Attach additional data disks or other requirements
- Supports Windows and Linux images
- Deploy across availability zones to add protection against datacenter failures
Using scale sets you can spend less time deploying and managing your infrastructure and more time focused on the application and data. The hyperscale workload model is supported: virtual machine scale sets are elastic and designed to support scale-out workloads—including stateless web front ends, container orchestration, and microservices clusters. Azure Kubernetes Service and Azure Service Fabric run on Virtual Machine Scale Sets. This can help a business to remove limitations on their systems and automate the scaling both out and in (up and down). This allows for both scalability and cost control on the systems.
Azure virtual machine scale sets can help solve some typical, but big, business challenges by automating the scaling, load balancing, availability, and reducing the hands-on management needed to handle these services.