NP-series

Applies to: ✔️ Linux VMs ✔️ Windows VMs ✔️ Flexible scale sets ✔️ Uniform scale sets

The NP-series virtual machines are powered by Xilinx U250 FPGAs for accelerating workloads including machine learning inference, video transcoding, and database search & analytics. NP-series VMs are also powered by Intel Xeon 8171M (Skylake) CPUs with all core turbo clock speed of 3.2 GHz.

Premium Storage: Supported
Premium Storage caching: Supported
Live Migration: Not Supported
Memory Preserving Updates: Not Supported
VM Generation Support: Generation 1
Accelerated Networking: Supported
Ephemeral OS Disks: Supported (In preview)

Size vCPU Memory: GiB Temp storage (SSD) GiB FPGA FPGA memory: GiB Max data disks Max NICs/Expected network bandwidth (MBps)
Standard_NP10s 10 168 736 1 64 8 1 / 7500
Standard_NP20s 20 336 1474 2 128 16 2 / 15000
Standard_NP40s 40 672 2948 4 256 32 4 / 30000

Size table definitions

  • Storage capacity is shown in units of GiB or 1024^3 bytes. When you compare disks measured in GB (1000^3 bytes) to disks measured in GiB (1024^3) remember that capacity numbers given in GiB may appear smaller. For example, 1023 GiB = 1098.4 GB.

  • Disk throughput is measured in input/output operations per second (IOPS) and MBps where MBps = 10^6 bytes/sec.

  • Data disks can operate in cached or uncached modes. For cached data disk operation, the host cache mode is set to ReadOnly or ReadWrite. For uncached data disk operation, the host cache mode is set to None.

  • To learn how to get the best storage performance for your VMs, see Virtual machine and disk performance.

  • Expected network bandwidth is the maximum aggregated bandwidth allocated per VM type across all NICs, for all destinations. For more information, see Virtual machine network bandwidth.

    Upper limits aren't guaranteed. Limits offer guidance for selecting the right VM type for the intended application. Actual network performance will depend on several factors including network congestion, application loads, and network settings. For information on optimizing network throughput, see Optimize network throughput for Azure virtual machines. To achieve the expected network performance on Linux or Windows, you may need to select a specific version or optimize your VM. For more information, see Bandwidth/Throughput testing (NTTTCP).

Frequently asked questions

Q: How to request quota for NP VMs?

A: Please follow this page Increase limits by VM series. NP VMs are available in East US, West US2, West Europe and SouthEast Asia.

Q: What version of Vitis should I use?

A: Xilinx recommends Vitis 2020.2, you can also use the Development VM marketplace options (Vitis 2020.2 Development VM for Ubuntu 18.04 and Centos 7.8)

Q: Do I need to use NP VMs to develop my solution?

A: No, you can develop on-premise and deploy to the cloud! Please make sure to follow the attestation documentation to deploy on NP VMs.

Q: Which file returned from attestation should I use when programming my FPGA in an NP VM?

A: Attestation returns two xclbins, design.bit.xclbin and design.azure.xclbin. Please use design.azure.xclbin.

Q: Where should I get all the XRT/Platform files?

A: Please visit Xilinx's Microsoft-Azure site for all files.

Q: What Version of XRT should I use?

A: xrt_202020.2.8.832

Q: What is the target deployment platform?

A: Use the following platforms.

  • xilinx-u250-gen3x16-xdma-platform-2.1-3_all
  • xilinx-u250-gen3x16-xdma-validate_2.1-3005608.1

Q: Which platform should I target for development?

A: xilinx-u250-gen3x16-xdma-2.1-202010-1-dev_1-2954688_all

Q: What are the supported OS (Operating Systems)?

A: Xilinx and Microsoft have validated Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and CentOS 7.8.

Xilinx has created the following marketplace images to simplify the deployment of these VMs.

Xilinx Alveo U250 Deployment VM – Ubuntu18.04

Xilinx Alveo U250 Deployment VM – CentOS7.8

Q: Can I deploy my Own Ubuntu/CentOS VMs and install XRT/Deployment Target Platform?

A: Yes.

Q: If I deploy my own Ubuntu18.04 VM then what are the required packages and steps?

A: Use Kernel 4.1X per Xilinx XRT documentation

Install the following packages.

  • xrt_202020.2.8.832_18.04-amd64-xrt.deb

  • xrt_202020.2.8.832_18.04-amd64-azure.deb

  • xilinx-u250-gen3x16-xdma-platform-2.1-3_all_18.04.deb.tar.gz

  • xilinx-u250-gen3x16-xdma-validate_2.1-3005608.1_all.deb

Q: On Ubuntu, after rebooting my VM I cannot find my FPGA(s):

A: Please verify that your kernel has not been upgraded (uname -a). If so, please downgrade to kernel 4.1X.

Q: If I deploy my own CentOS7.8 VM then what are the required packages and steps?

A: Use Kernel version: 3.10.0-1160.15.2.el7.x86_64

Install the following packages.

  • xrt_202020.2.8.832_7.4.1708-x86_64-xrt.rpm

  • xrt_202020.2.8.832_7.4.1708-x86_64-azure.rpm

  • xilinx-u250-gen3x16-xdma-platform-2.1-3.noarch.rpm.tar.gz

  • xilinx-u250-gen3x16-xdma-validate-2.1-3005608.1.noarch.rpm

Q: When running xbutil validate on CentOS I get this warning: “WARNING: Kernel version 3.10.0-1160.15.2.el7.x86_64 is not officially supported. 4.18.0-193 is the latest supported version.”

A: This can be safely ignored.

Q: What are the differences between OnPrem and NP VMs?

A:
- Regarding XOCL/XCLMGMT:
On Azure NP VMs, only the role endpoint (Device ID 5005), which uses the XOCL driver, is present.

OnPrem FPGA, both the management endpoint (Device ID 5004) and role endpoint (Device ID 5005), which use the XCLMGMT and XOCL drivers respectively, are present.


- Regarding XRT:
On Azure NP VMs, the XDMA 2.1 platform only supports Host_Mem(SB) and DDR data retention features.
To enable Host_Mem(SB) (up to 1Gb RAM): sudo xbutil host_mem --enable --size 1g

To disable Host_Mem(SB): sudo xbutil host_mem --disable

Q: Can I run xbmgmt commands?

A: No, on Azure VMs there is no management support directly from the Azure VM.

Q: Do I need to load a PLP?

A: No, the PLP is loaded automatically for you, so there is no need to load via xbmgmt commands.

Q: Does Azure support different PLPs?

A: Not at this time. We only support the PLP provided in the deployment platform packages.

Q: How can I query the PLP information?

A: Need to run xbutil query and look at the lower portion.

Other sizes and information

Pricing Calculator : Pricing Calculator

For more information on disk types, see What disk types are available in Azure?

Next steps

Learn more about how Azure compute units (ACU) can help you compare compute performance across Azure SKUs.