Visual Studio Online “General Availability”

Brian Harry

Today is a monumental day for VS Online.  It’s the culmination of a long journey from a glimmer of an idea to prototype, private preview, limited preview, public preview, “go-live” and now, finally General Availability.  VS Online is ready and open for business. I’ve written a fair amount about the transition in the service release notes getting posted today so I don’t want to repeat all of that.  Read them and if you have questions, please feel free to ask. I want to take a few minutes to reflect on something else.  It’s been really amazing to watch the growth of the service over the past couple of years.  You can look at growth in a lot of different ways but one dimension to think about this in is in terms of the hardware behind it.  Of course, it’s all hardware in Azure so acquiring it and managing it is pretty easy but it’s still an interesting indication of the growth of the service. When we first released the private preview, what was then called TFPreview was a very modest footprint of 5 Azure “medium” roles (3 app tiers and 2 job agents).  We only had that many for redundancy – they actually ran at less than 10% CPU utilization. Month after month, the service has grown and grown, in the number of customers, in the depth of usage, in new services, etc. VS Online is now 212 machines (not counting Application Insights) and most of them are now large or extra large VMs, and are running “warm”.  The breakdown looks like this…

  • 21 application tiers
  • 16 job agents
  • 175 build/load test VMs (with the ability to create more when needed)

I left out Application Insights because it would really skew the numbers.  It’s a very different service that deals with massive amounts of data and lots of compute over it to digest it down to useful information and metrics.  Application Insights alone is 379 machines – mostly small and medium roles today. I don’t think a week goes by where additional capacity isn’t allocated somewhere in the system.  The growth rate is phenomenal and continues to accelerate.  Managing a system like this as it continues to grow has provided good lessons in how important automation and good DevOps practices are. We’ve got a ton of stuff planned for the next several months so stay tuned as we continue to make the service better.  As always, we appreciate any feedback you have.



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