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InfoQ Homepage News Azure Durable Functions Now Supports Storage Backends Microsoft Netherite and MSSQL

Azure Durable Functions Now Supports Storage Backends Microsoft Netherite and MSSQL

Microsoft recently announced that Azure Durable Functions support for the new storage providers, Netherite and Microsoft SQL Server (MSSQL), is generally available. 

With Azure Durable Functions, developers can write long-running, reliable, event-driven, and stateful logic on the serverless Azure Functions platform. In addition, these functions can have several storage providers, also called "backends," for storing orchestration and entity runtime states. By default, new projects are configured to use the Azure Storage provider; however, a developer can choose another backend, including the now generally available Netherite and MSSQL.

Earlier, the company previewed the storage backends Netherite and MSSQL as new storage options allowing developers to run durable functions at a larger scale, with greater price-performance efficiency and more portability than the default Azure Storage configuration. 

Microsoft Research developed the Netherite storage provider and uses Azure Event Hubs and the FASTER database technology on top of Azure Page Blobs to store state information. It provides better throughput performance achieved by representing states differently than Azure Storage – also visible through HelloCities5 benchmark tests the company conducted.


The MSSQL provider was designed to fulfill enterprise needs, including the ability to decouple from the Azure cloud, and is compatible with both on-premises and cloud-hosted deployments of SQL Server, including Azure SQL Database, Edge devices, and Linux containers. In addition, the Azure Functions Core Tools and the Azure Arc App Service extension have been updated to support automatically configuring Durable Function apps on a Kubernetes cluster with the MSSQL KEDA scaler for elastic scale-out.


Davide Mauri, a principal product manager of Azure SQL DB at Microsoft, posted on LinkedIn:

#AzureSQL and #SQLServer can now be used to support Azure Durable Functions to scale above and beyond , anywhere you want to run them. On #Azure, On-Prem, or even in other clouds. Amazing!

With the availability of several backends, Microsoft recommends the default Azure storage provider for minimal setup and lowest minimum cost, Netherite for maximum throughput, and MSSQL to run anywhere. 

Lastly, more detailed documentation on architecture, scaling, and performance is available on the pages for Netherite and MSSQL.

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