Azure Functions Hosting

Welcome to our deep dive into Azure Functions hosting plans! In this video, we’ll explore the three main options available: Consumption, Premium, and the newly announced Flex. We’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each plan, helping you determine the best choice for your specific workloads and budget. Whether you’re dealing with small, sporadic tasks or high, predictable workloads, we’ve got the insights you need to make an informed decision. Let’s get started!

I’m going to talk about Azure Functions hosting plans. Typically, you have two main options: Consumption and Premium. Consumption is where you pay just for execution. Every time your Azure function gets called, you pay a fraction of a penny, but there’s no cost when you’re not using them.

So, if you’ve got a really, really small workload, it’s immensely cost-effective. What’s the downside? The downside is that they’re on a shared compute platform, meaning there’s some compute behind that which is being reused by lots of other people. This means it doesn’t run in your network, raising security concerns about how to secure your functions and how to get them to communicate with things in your network. This is a bit of an issue, which is why, up until now, we’ve typically recommended Premium.

Now, Premium—how do you pay for that? You pay per instance. It’s like a farm of services that auto-scales up and down but scales down to one. The minimum you buy is one instance, and the smallest one of those costs you around $130 a month. However, that is dedicated compute, so it’s only running your workload.

If you’re running tasks all the time, this can actually be more cost-effective. But you do have to pay continuously, and there are options for scaling up and making pre-warmed instances. So, if you have high workloads, there’s a lot of good stuff there. But now, we’ve got a third option, and that is Flex, which has just been announced. This is also pay per instance, but it’s like having Premium with the ability to scale down to zero. It is on dedicated compute, but you don’t manage any of that. You just put them on a plan, and the Azure platform will scale to meet your workload.

So, if you’ve got really high workloads, really predictable workloads, and you want to take control of it, Premium is still the way to go. Flex, which has just been announced and will hopefully be generally available soon, is a really good option if you’re concerned about costs. Particularly if you have specific times of day with workloads but maybe nothing overnight or on weekends, this is a great way to reduce your costs because it will scale down to zero when not in use. You might find that it needs a bit of time to ramp up, but it’s definitely worth checking out. So, the main options for hosting your Azure Functions are Consumption, Premium, and Flex.

Talk to us about which is the best for you.

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