This week, we announced two new VM sizes for Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines: A8 and A9. These sizes feature faster processors, more virtual cores for higher compute power, and larger amounts of memory. These instances include an additional 40Gbit/s backend network that provides remote direct memory access (RDMA) technology for maximum efficiency of parallel MPI applications. This combination of features make these instances optimal for running compute and network intensive applications, including engineering design and simulation, genome research, or video encoding. For more information, go here. This blog post will help you start using these new virtual machine sizes.