3.5GB of RAM is insufficient for moderate workloads
Despite the best efforts from OSG, Windows Server still consumes a considerable amount of RAM even when stripped-down. Add to that the memory usage by an instance of a local SQL Server (when Azure SQL is inappropriate or too costly) it's easy to hit the 3.5GB memory limit and suffer disk thrashing.
I would like to see the memory allocations doubled at each instance tier level, though you can retain the CPU core count. If doubling is not economically feasible please extend the "Memory Intensive" range to offer a 2-core, 7GB option ($140/month?).
Question: why is memory doled out at strange fractions of gigabytes rather than integer amounts? Why 3.5GB and not 4GB?
David Berg [msft] commented
Please check out the new Ev3 series and other high memory VM sizes: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/sizes-memory. I believe they provide closer to the memory ratio you're looking for. If you need more, then check out our constrained vCPU (even higher memory to core ratios): https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/constrained-vcpu.
For low end performance needs, the B series is usually a better deal than A series. It has up to 4GB/vCPU and very low cost with support for peak application performance (for apps that have variable performance needs).
Guillermo Lovato commented
yeah, if i have some app that requires RAM but not CPU or storage i'm stuck. 3.5GB of RAM is not enough not only for moderate, but for light workloads as best...
RAM on all the general purpose instance sizes is far too low. If you consider A0 which has 0.75GB RAM, After the OS, there is practically nothing left for application use. It's a similar story for A1.
Even Microsoft's own minimum RAM specification for Windows Server 2012 is at least 2 GB with a recommendation of 8 GB. RAM on A0-A3 needs to be seriously increased.
Ideally we should be able to specify our own RAM requirements when creating a VM/Cloud Service.