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The new service will help developers increase efficiency while maintaining a lid on their Azure operating costs

Microsoft are introducing a new platform-managed automatic scaling feature in Azure App Services. Customers can enable the service through either the Azure CLI or ARM templates. The auto-scale function will automatically scale out the number of running app instances as the request count increases. It will also scale things down again when demand subsides.

Important to note: developers can slap limits and minimums on the service. This ensures that they can avoid bottlenecks while also avoiding excess costs.

Gaurav Seth, a Microsoft Partner Director of Program Management, Developer Platforms and Languages, previewed the new service in a blog post. He begins by describing the current auto-scaling features Azure offers. “These existing scaling workflows work well,” he says. “But you may want to instead have the App Service platform automatically scale your web app without the hassle of defining auto-scaling rules & schedules.”

Giving developers more control over their scaling needs

The App Service platform will automatically scale out the number of running instances of an application to keep up with the flow of incoming HTTP requests, Seth says. It will then automatically scale in the application by reducing the number of running instances when incoming request traffic slows down.

Developers can define per web app scaling, according to Seth. They can also control the minimum number of running instances per web app. They can then further decide the maximum number of instances that an underlying app service plan can scale out to.

“A web app is connected to backend data sources like databases or legacy systems which may not be able to scale as fast as the web app,” Seth explains. “Automatic scaling allows you to set the maximum number of instances your app service plan can scale to. This helps avoid scenarios where a backend is a bottleneck to scaling and is overwhelmed by the web app.”