The Microsoft Azure public cloud is announcing today the introduction of new types of virtual machines (VMs) on which companies can run applications. The new GS-Series of VMs, which are slices of servers in Microsoft’s data centers, includes storage with especially high disk throughput.

In addition, Microsoft is also announcing today a new wave of price cuts for its existing D-Series and DS-Series VMs backed by fast solid state drives. Both of these types of VMs first became available last year. Their prices will be decreasing by as much as 27 percent. This isn’t very surprising, given that two years ago Microsoft committed to keeping its cloud prices in line with those of the top public cloud, Amazon Web Services.

Now Microsoft’s focus is on providing storage performance that can beat out its public cloud competitors, including Amazon and Google Cloud Platform.

“Powered by the Intel Xeon E5 v3 family processors, the GS-series can have up to 64TB of storage, provide 80,000 IOPs (storage I/Os per second) and deliver 2,000 MB/s of storage throughput,” Microsoft said in a blog post on today’s news.

Databases and data warehouses can be a good fit for these new VMs, Microsoft noted.

Adding to the menu of VMs to choose from is just one way these and other clouds compete. New services, and new geographical locations for data centers, and, of course, price cuts, are other typical methods with which they strive to outdo one another. Azure has added several features in recent months. Today it’s pulling the lever for new VMs and price cuts.

Here are the specifications for the new GS-Series VMs:

Microsoft Azure's new GS-Series specs.

Above: Microsoft Azure’s new GS-Series specs.

Image Credit: Screenshot

They’re available in only three Azure regions around the world: East US 2, West US, and West Europe.

Microsoft today is also introducing a new tier of its Azure Service Bus service called Azure Service Bus Premium Messaging, as well as new diagnostic capabilities for VMs. See the Azure blog for more detail on these new features and the new GS-Series VMs.