Working with Azure Virtual Machine (VM) - my experience
Three months ago I started working with Azure VM for my Power BI work.
I'll share some of my own experience, and would like to hear from others, too.
My home PC has 16 GB and for several of my large models it's not enough.
I wanted something with lots of memory and good CPU.
I also don't need the VM 24/7, but only when I change something in one of my large models, so I wanted a flexible payment per hour.
I tried "Virtual Desktop" and it was very complicated to set up, so I gave up.
Then I tried a VM - I think it was Data Science machine d8 v3 / d8s v3 and e4-2ds, but it was slow... and expensive i think (not sure).
Then I tried the one I am still using now (for 3 months now) - Standard B16ms (16 vcpus, 64 GiB memory).
It is fast, plenty of memory. I pay per hour appx. $0.8. I do my work, publish .pbix to the service and switch it off.
I connect via RDP remote desktop, very convenient, directly from Azure portal. There is an option to also connect via browser - even for iPads (though I haven't tried it)
I installed there VPN connectionss to connect to my clients data from the PBI Desktop - works fine.
I do not have Gateways installed there, the Gateways are installed on my clients' servers.
But you can install there anything you want including Gateways (but you'll need to keep it alive 24/7 then)
I use unmanaged disks (I don't remeber why, but I changed from managed to unmanaged - maybe I made a mistake).
This is my only fixed cost (in addition to VM cost per usage). I pay $0.72 each day for this storage. It's $22 a month.
(*** Update *** I just switched to managed Premium SSD disk and shrank it to 32GB (from 128), so it is $5.81 a month only now)
Maybe there is a way to pay the storage also only per hour that VM was on, but I don't have time to explore it further...
This disk is only needed for programs installed on the VM - Windows, Power BI, Excel and others.
All my work files and .pbix models I keep in my OneDrive that I just synced to VM and also to my home PC, so I can work on them from any station.
So this is my setup. I don't understand that much in hardware, I just played around untill I found something that works for me.
If you want to play around - there is a $200 budget you receive to play with for a month. You can try everything with it. You can see daily cost summary so you know what costs what. I would love to hear more experiences - what setup do you use for your work scenario?