Resource governance with application groups

Azure Event Hubs enables you to govern event streaming workloads of client applications that connect to Event Hubs. You can create logical groups known as application groups where each group is a collection of client applications, and then apply quota and access management policies for an application group (group of client applications).


Application groups are available only in premium and dedicated tiers.

Application groups

An application group is a collection of one or more client applications that interact with the Event Hubs data plane. Each application group can be scoped to a single Event Hubs namespace or event hubs (entity) within a namespace and should use a uniquely identifying condition such as the security context - shared access signatures (SAS) or Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) application ID - of the client application.

Event Hubs currently supports using security contexts for creating application groups. Therefore, each application group must have a unique SAS policy or Azure AD application ID associated with them. If preferred, you can use security context at event hub level to use an application group with a specific event hub within a namespace.

Application groups are logical entities that are created at the namespace level. Therefore, client applications interacting with event hubs don't need to be aware of the existence of an application group. Event Hubs can associate any client application to an application group by using the identifying condition.

As illustrated below, you can create application groups based on the security context that each client application uses. Therefore, application groups can span across multiple client applications using the same security context.

Image showing capturing of Event Hubs data into Azure Storage or Azure Data Lake Storage.

Application groups have no direct association with a consumer group. Depending on the application group identifier such as security context, one consumer group can have one or more application groups associated with it or one application group can span across multiple consumer groups.

These are the key attributes of an application group:

Parameter Description
name Unique name of an application group.
clientAppGroupIdentifier Associate an application group with a uniquely identifying condition (i.e security context such as SAS policy or Azure AD application ID).
policies List of policies, such as throttling policies that control event streaming between client applications and the Event Hubs namespace
isEnabled Determine whether the client applications of an application group can access Event Hubs namespaces or not.

Application group policies

Each application group can contain zero or more policies that control the data plane access of the client applications that are part of the application group. Application groups currently support throttling policies.

Throttling policies

You can have throttling policies specified using different ingress and egress metrics. Application groups support using the following metrics to throttle ingress or egress workloads of client applications.

Parameter Description
IncomingBytes Publisher throughput in bytes per second.
OutgoingBytes Consumer throughput in bytes per second.
IncomingMessages Number of events published per second.
OutgoingMessages Number of events consumed per second.

When policies for application groups are applied, the client application workload may slow down or encounter server busy exceptions.

Throttling policy - threshold Limits

The following table shows minimum threshold limits that you can set for different metric ID in throttling policy:

Metric ID Minimum limit
IncomingByte 1 KB
OutgoingByte 1 KB
IncomingMessage 1
Outgoing message 1


Limits set on the throttling policy's threshold value would take precedence over any value set for Kafka topic properties. For example, IncomingBytes would have higher priority over message.max.bytes.
Application group throttling is expected to throttle consistent higher than permitted traffic scenarios (spanning across few minutes).Quick bursts in traffic for few seconds might not experience throttling via Application Groups. Looking at permitted throughput over the time horizon of few minutes is recommended approach to validate throttling.

Protocol support and error codes

Application group supports throttling operations happening via following protocols – AMQP, Kafka and HTTP. The following table provides you the expected error codes returned by application groups:

Protocol Operation Error code Error message
AMQP Send 50004 SubCode:50013, Application group is throttled with application group ID & policy name
HTTP Send 503 Subcode: 50013. Application group is throttled with application group ID and policy name
Kafka Send PolicyViolation Broker: policy violation

Due to restrictions at protocol level, error messages aren't supported during receive operation. When application groups are throttling on receive operations, you would experience sluggish consumption of messages at consumer side.

Disabling application groups

Application group is enabled by default and that means all the client applications can access Event Hubs namespace for publishing and consuming events by adhering to the application group policies.

When an application group is disabled, the client will still be able to connect to the event hub, but the authorization will fail and then the client connection gets closed. Therefore, you'll see lots of successful open and close connections, with same number of authorization failures in diagnostic logs.

Next steps

For instructions on how to create and manage application groups, see Resource governance for client applications using Azure portal