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Since I published this piece Microsoft have made significant improvements to HTTP scaling on Azure Functions and the below is out of date. Please see this post for a revised comparison.
Following the analysis I published on Azure Functions and the latency in scaling HTTP triggered functions the Microsoft development team got in touch to discuss my findings and provide some information about the future which they were happy for me to share.
Essentially the team are already at work making improvements in this area. Understandably they were unable to commit to timescales or make specific claims as to how significant those improvements but my sense is we’re looking at a handful of months and so, hopefully, half one of this year. They are going to get in touch with me once something is available and I’ll rerun my tests.
I must admit I’m slightly sceptical as to if they’ll be able to match the scaling capability of AWS Lambda (and to be clear they did not make any such claim), which is what I’d like to see, as that looks to me as if it would require a radical uprooting of the Functions runtime model rather than an evolution but ultimately I’m just a random, slightly informed, punter. Hopefully they can at least get close enough that Azure Functions can be used in more latency critical and spiky scenarios.
I’d like to thank @jeffhollan and the team for the call – as a predominantly Azure and .NET developer it’s both helpful and encouraging to be able to have these kinds of dialogues around the platform so critical to our success.
In the interim I’m still finding I can use HTTP functions – I just have to be mindful of their current limitations – and have some upcoming blog posts on patterns that make use of them.