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We have a number of Windows Server virtual machines that we use for .NET and Java development and QA. I find Azure attractive for the obvious reasons but mainly for the opportunity to reduce non-productive hours spent on environmental maintenance.

Functionally, after cleaning up system id issues with some of the apps (licensing, et al.) all is fine, but the performance is somewhat lacking:
Our system takes about 2 minutes to build its solution when running on either Hyper-V or ESXi, but the Azure A3 machine is taking up to 12 minutes to perform the same build.
The resource Monitor shows that most of the time the machine is in IO wait reading the disk.

Is there something I should be doing differently or should I expect better performance from local machines in all cases?

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2 Answers 2

Azure is a shared service. You should expect random performance variations based on the load on the hypervisor you're running on (which you have absolutely no control over), and a literally infinite array of other factors (which you also have no control over).

If performance (and consistency) is critical host your own environment, on your own hardware.

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We moved our entire production environment to Azure about 6 months ago. We have a build server that runs several builds daily and based on the duration of individual build tasks from build to build I can tell you that "performance" is fairly consistent. I can also confirm your findings that processes that don't utilize multiple cores (e.g. running unit tests) run about 6x slower on an Azure VM compared to a local development PC.

In short, when you're running processes on a single core your local machine will always outperform an Azure VM. I think Azure is better suited for handling tasks that involve multiple cores (e.g. a database or web server), because you can easily scale up/down cores as needed.

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