Microsoft Introduces Auto-Scaling for App Service • The Register


Microsoft has deployed a preview of Azure App Service Automatic Scaling, a handy tool, assuming Azure has not yet reached capacity.

The autoscaling feature is designed to remove all the pesky rules and schedules from existing Azure systems. Auto scale functionality in favor of something managed by the platform itself.

When enabled through the Azure CLI or ARM models, the feature automatically increases the number of running app instances as the number of requests increases and shrinks again when demand decreases. Developers can impose limits and minimums on the service; the latter being useful to deal with bottlenecks, while the former is essential to avoid a crush bill.

Once configured, Automatic Scaling takes precedence over existing Autoscale rules and schedules. Microsoft also recommends that you turn off health checks for web applications for which the feature has been enabled.

“Health check requests can cause unnecessary fluctuations in HTTP traffic,” the company explained. Too bad because Checkup is a useful way to see if your application layers unexpectedly.

A cynic might suggest that Microsoft could use such a tool for its own notoriously flawed cloud efforts.

As for cost, billing is per second and preview works with Premium Pv2 and Pv3 SKUs. It’s also only for Azure App Service for Windows and Linux, and surprisingly Microsoft has so far resisted the urge to tinker with the Azure portal user interface; the preview configuration should be done through Azure CLI or an ARM template.

Although Autoscale has been around for a long time in the Azure world, defining metrics and load schedules can be difficult, although full control over how and when to scale will undoubtedly remain a preference for prudent administrators.

Microsoft’s cloud rival AWS also offers a variety of scaling options, including the vaguely creepy sound. Predictive scaling, which uses machine learning models to predict a customer’s traffic and resource requirements. ®


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