Microsoft added an intelligent traffic manager to its serverless computing plans with the unveiling of its Azure Event Grid routing service.
The Azure Event Grid is designed to assist in the development of event-based applications and the creation of serverless workflows. Events include any function used in the preparation or running of an application.
The platform adds the ability to manage routing of events running in a severless computing application from any source to any destination. Management options include filtering that allows a user to designate the travel path of specific resource pads. Those sources include ones outside of Azure and can be from application level events.
Management is through a unified interface that includes policy enforcement with built-in support for Azure Automation to react to virtual machine (VM) creations or infrastructure changes.
Microsoft provided a graphic showing where Azure Event Grid fits in between a source and destination:
Support for initiating services is currently limited to a handful of platforms. Those include Azure Blob Storage, Azure Resource Manager, Application Topics, Event Hubs, Azure Functions, Azure Automation, Logic Apps, and WebHook Endpoints.
Microsoft is working to add support for more event sources and destinations, including its Azure Active Directory, API (application programming interface) Management, and IoT (Internet of Things) Hub.
To goose uptake, Microsoft is offering up to 100,000 Azure Event Grid usages per month for free. Pricing ticks up just slightly from there to $0.30 per million operations during a preview period. Once outside of the preview and into general availability, pricing doubles to $0.60 per million operations.
Corey Sanders, director of compute for Azure at Microsoft, explained in a blog post that the platform joins the company’s previously launched Azure Functions serverless compute engine and Azure Logic Apps workflow orchestration engine.
Azure Functions was launched last year as an alternative to Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Lambda platform. Both allow users to reduce operating costs by running applications without having to rent an entire server.
Microsoft at that time launched a production version of its Azure Service Fabric, which is a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that allows for stateful microservices. Azure Event Grid runs on top of Azure Service Fabric.
Microsoft’s Azure product was recently touted by 451 Research as offering cost-competitive pricing for certain serverless computing scenarios. Serverless computing architectures are viewed as a variation on containers, and are designed to reduce the amount of overhead associated with offering services in the cloud.