I was lately in many conversations around the IO performance of the disk drives on top of Windows Azure (especially if running disk intensive applications or servers, like SQL Server). As Windows Azure provides storage on the standardized set of commodity hard drives (if you want to scale-up and out like we do in our datacenters that is the only viable approach) different approaches might be used to increase the default IO operations per second throughput. One of the recommended ways is to use the striped volumes spanning multiple disks and that can bring you up to 2124 IOps as it was recorded in this blog post. Number of disk you can attach to a Virtual Machine is growing along with the size of the virtual machine.
In general you can observe that Virtual Machines give you a lot of flexibility with configuration and although you are running the environment in the public cloud, you can still use all the knowledge and experience from your on-premise world… which is another reason to try the cloud as well!