What Exactly are Proximity Placement Groups in Azure?

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What Exactly are Proximity Placement Groups in Azure?

In this blog post, you’ll learn all about Azure Proximity Groups, why they are necessary and how to use them.

What are Azure Proximity Placement Groups?

Microsoft defines Azure Proximity Placement groups as an Azure Virtual Machine logical grouping capability that you can use to decrease the inter-VM network latency associated with your applications (Microsoft announcement blog post). But what does that actually mean?

When you look at VM placement in Azure and the reduction of latency between VMs, you can place VMs in the same region and the same Availability Zone. With that, they are in the same group of physical datacenters. To be honest, with the growing Azure footprint, these datacenters can still be a few kilometers away from each other.

That may impact the latency of your application and especially application with a need for latency within the nanosecond ranges will be highly impacted. Such applications can be for example banking applications for low latency trading or financial stock operations.

Proximity Placement Groups bring together as near as possible to achieve the lowest latency possible. Following scenarios are eligible for Proximity Placement Groups:

  • Low latency between stand-alone VMs.
  • Low Latency between VMs in a single availability set or a virtual machine scale set.
  • Low latency between stand-alone VMs, VMs in multiple Availability Sets, or multiple scale sets. You can have multiple compute resources in a single placement group to bring together a multi-tiered application.
  • Low latency between multiple application tiers using different hardware types. For example, running the backend using M-series in an availability set and the front end on a D-series instance, in a scale set, in a single proximity placement group.

All VMs must be in a single VNet like shown in the drawing below:

Virtual Network Scale Set and Availability Set

I wouldn`t suggest single VMs for production workloads on Azure. Always use a cluster within an Availability Set or a VM Scale Set.

How does that look like in an Azure Datacenter environment?

The following drawing shows the placement of a VM without Proximity Groups:

Placement of a VM without Proximity Groups

With Proximity Groups for a single VM, it could look like the following:

Proximity Groups for a single VM

When you use availability sets for your VMs, the distribution can look like the following.

Distribution availability sets for VMs

With that said, let’s learn how to set up a Proximity Placement Group.

How to set up a Proximity Placement Group

To set up a Proximity Placement Group is pretty easy.

Look for Proximity Placement Groups in the Portal:Proximity Placement Groups in the Portal

Add a new group:

Create a new Proximity Placement Group

Select Subscription, Resource Group, Region and the name and create the group:

Proximity Placement Group Settings

When you now create a VM you can select the Proximity Placement Group in the advanced tap:

Proximity Placement Group advanced settings

 

There is also the option to use PowerShell to deploy Proximity Groups.

Conclusion

The information in this blog post explains Proximity Groups and the ways to use them but if you’re stuck or if there’s something you need further explanation about, let me know in the comments below and I’ll get back to you!

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7 thoughts on "What Exactly are Proximity Placement Groups in Azure?"

  • Pankaj says:

    PPG can span between multiple VNets ? in lab I could able to deploy multiple VMs with a PPG spanning 2 VNets

    VM11
    Virtual machine
    Running
    RG1
    East US
    Marketplace

    Pay-As-You-Go
    10.1.0.4
    PPG

    VM22
    Virtual machine
    Running
    RG1
    East US
    Marketplace

    Pay-As-You-Go
    11.1.0.4
    PPG

    VM3
    Virtual machine
    Running
    RG1
    East US
    Marketplace

    Pay-As-You-Go
    10.30.0.4
    PPG

    • Zoran says:

      Hi Pankaj,
      I assume that this is supported as I cannot find any restrictions in the documentation which indicate that it is not. Assuming that your Azure IaaS VM has multiple network interfaces, then they should be able to use different virtual subnets. Using the proximity placement group feature just means that these VMs are located within the same physical datacenter, but it should not impact their standard functionality.

      Thanks,
      Symon Perriman
      Altaro Editor

  • Brian Morgan says:

    Thanks for the information with pictures to clearly show the configurations

  • Nicholas Orros says:

    Incorrect. The documentation stated in the above pic, the text is half there but you can read it…
    “PPG allow you to group Azure Resources physically closer together in the same REGION”

    This is a HUGE point, and I just saw an pre-exam question from JustCerts on it.
    Where they are kind of 50/50 on the explanation to the question/answer.

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