Using Autoscale with Power BI Premium

Power BI Premium offers scale and performance for Power BI content in your organization. Power BI Premium offers improvements such as enhanced performance, greater scale, improved metrics. In addition, Premium enables customers to automatically add compute capacity to avoid slowdowns under heavy use, using Autoscale.

Screenshot of the Power BI Admin portal screen showing P1 capacity settings.

Autoscale uses an Azure subscription to automatically use more v-cores (virtual CPU cores) when the computing load on your Power BI Premium subscription would otherwise be slowed by its capacity. This article describes the steps necessary to get Autoscale working for your Power BI Premium subscription. Autoscale only works with Power BI Premium.

To enable Autoscale, the following steps need to be completed:

  1. Configure an Azure subscription to use with Autoscale.

  2. Enable Autoscale in the Power BI Admin portal

The following sections describe the steps in detail.

Note

  • Autoscale isn’t available for Microsoft 365 Government Community Cloud (GCC), due to the use of the commercial Azure cloud.
  • Power BI Embedded doesn't provide an out-of-the-box vertical Autoscale feature. To learn about alternative Autoscale options for Power BI Embedded, see Autoscaling in Power BI Embedded.

Configure an Azure subscription to use with Autoscale

To select and configure an Azure subscription to work with Autoscale, you need to have contributor rights for the selected Azure subscription. Any user with Account admin rights for the Azure subscription can add a user as a contributor. In addition, you must be an admin for the Power BI tenant to enable Autoscale.

To select an Azure subscription to work with Autoscale, take the following steps:

  1. Sign on to the Azure portal and in the search box type and select Subscriptions.

    Screenshot of the Azure portal showing the word subscriptions in the search box.

  2. From the Subscriptions page, select the subscription you want to work with Autoscale.

    Screenshot of the Azure portal showing a subscription name highlighted.

  3. From the Settings selections for your selected subscription, select Resource groups.

    Screenshot of the Azure portal showing the subscription pane. Resource groups is highlighted in the settings section.

  4. Select Create to create a resource group to use with Autoscale.

    Screenshot of the Azure portal showing the resource group pane. Create is highlighted.

  5. Name your resource group and select Review + create. The following image shows an example resource group named powerBIPremiumAutoscaleCores. You can name your resource group whatever you want. Make a note of the name of the subscription, and the name of your resource group. You'll need to select it from a list when you configure Autoscale in the Power BI Admin portal.

    Screenshot of the create a resource group page. The resource group text field and the review plus create button are highlighted.

  6. Azure validates the information. After the validation process completes successfully, select Create. You receive a notification in the upper-right corner of the Azure portal when the action completes.

    Screenshot of the create a resource group page after it passes the Azure validation test. The create button is highlighted.

Enable Autoscale in the Power BI Admin portal

After you've selected the Azure subscription to use with Autoscale, and created a resource group as described in the previous section, you're ready to enable Autoscale and associate it with the resource group you created. The person configuring Autoscale must be at least a contributor for the Azure subscription to successfully complete these steps. You can learn more about assigning a user to a contributor role for an Azure subscription.

Note

After creating the subscription and enabling Autoscale in the admin portal, a Microsoft.PowerBIDedicated/autoScaleVCores resource is created. Make sure that you don't have any Azure policies that prevent Power BI Premium from provisioning, updating or deleting the Microsoft.PowerBIDedicated/autoScaleVCores resource.

The following steps show you how to enable and associate Autoscale with the resource group.

  1. Open the Power BI Admin portal and select Capacity settings from the left pane. Information about your Power BI Premium capacity appears.

    Screenshot of the Power BI Admin portal showing capacity settings. Autoscale off and the manage Autoscale button are highlighted.

  2. Select Manage Autoscale to enable and configure Autoscale. The Autoscale settings pane appears. Select Enable Autoscale.

    Screenshot of selecting the Autoscale settings page. The enable Autoscale check box is highlighted.

  3. Select the Azure subscription to use with Autoscale. Only subscriptions available to the current user are displayed, which is why you must be at least a contributor for the subscription. Once your subscription is selected, choose the Resource group you created in the previous section, from the list of resource groups available to the subscription. Assign the maximum number of v-cores to use for Autoscale, and then select Save.

    Screenshot of the Autoscale settings page showing subscription, resource group and Autoscale max settings..

  4. Power BI applies your changes, then closes the pane and returns the view to Capacity settings with the settings you applied. The following image shows the maximum v-cores configured for Autoscale.

    Screenshot of the capacity settings screen after Autoscale is set to on and configured.

The following short video shows how quickly you can configure Autoscale for Power BI Premium Gen2:

Animation that shows how to configure Autoscale for Premium Generation 2.

Disable Autoscale

To disable Autoscale, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Power BI Admin portal and select Capacity settings.

  2. Select the capacity you want to disable Autoscale for.

  3. Select Manage Autoscale

  4. Clear the Enable Autoscale checkbox.

Next steps