Change in Azure Pipelines Grant for Private Projects

Vijay Machiraju

Azure Pipelines has been offering free CI/CD to customers since the beginning. This allows people trying out Azure DevOps to use nearly all our features, including Microsoft-hosted agents, without having to pay us anything. We offer 1800 free minutes per month on hosted agents to all projects, and 10 parallel jobs to open source projects.

Earlier this year, we announced a change in the process for getting the free tier in public projects. That change was made to handle the abuse of hosted agent pools and to protect the interests of existing customers. While that effort has been successful in stopping abuse from public projects, it shifted the pattern of usage from public projects to private projects.

To address this new vector, we will be selective about automatically providing the free grant for private projects in new organizations. When you create a new organization, you may not get the free tier of 1800 minutes in private projects. (Note that the logic that determines whether you get that concurrency automatically or need to request it may change over time as we improve our ability to estimate the potential for abuse of newly created organizations.) If you do not get the free tier, you can always request it by filling out this form.

This change does not impact any existing organizations. It only impacts new private projects that you create in new Azure DevOps organizations.

Please note that it takes us 2-3 business days to review and respond to your request. If everything is in order, we enable the free tier directly. If not, we may contact you for additional information. If you do not have the free tier in your organization a week after your request and if you did not hear from us in that timeframe, please follow up with us.

We understand that this is not an ideal customer experience. So, we are working on mechanisms to automatically detect when we can safely grant the free tier to an organization. We are sorry for the inconvenience this will cause for some of our customers.

34 comments

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  • Dw

    I am wondering why Azure pipelines stopped working? I tried creating DevOps projects and pipeline, while running the pipeline I’m getting error as below:
    This agent request is not running because you have reached the maximum number of requests that can run for parallelism type ‘Microsoft-hosted Public’. Current position in queue: 1

    Have you taken the free access? I already dropped an email to “azpipelines-freetier@microsoft.com”, is there any way to speed up the process?

    • E L

      hey, same happened to me. apparently they have taken the free access from existing companies as well.

      • Vijay MachirajuMicrosoft employee

        We do not want to take away the free tier for existing organizations. The only way we can respond faster to these requests and to automatically grant free tier to more organizations is to invest in some form of automation – automation to infer that a new organization is risk-free or to identity mining activity and to shut it down. Unfortunately, anytime we invest in automation, there will also be some false positives. We have an abuse detection algorithm that flags a small percent of existing organizations from time to time. Our false positive rate is tiny. However, when that happens to your organization, the system takes away the parallel jobs. When you send a request to us about this, please clearly indicate that you lost the existing concurrency. While we understand the frustration in these threads, please note that we are investing a lot of bandwidth in this problem. And, there will be some bumps on the road. Our goal is to make Azure Pipelines available to users like you and to prevent them from being abused for mining activities.

  • Christian Moser

    Hi Vijay,

    thanks for the explanation. How long is the normal time to get a response? I have sent the e-mail to the azpipelines-freetier@microsoft.com adress but I am not sure if anyone reads this e-mail.
    I would really like to start using my pipeline to try things out.

    Thanks
    Christian

  • Shahedur Rahman

    Access taken from existing account. Sent email 7 days ago, nothing yet.

  • Gregory Suvalian

    Please update on expected roundtrip time for enabling agents after sending email.

    • Vijay MachirajuMicrosoft employee

      Thanks for the suggestion. I updated the blog post with this information. It takes us 2-3 business days to go through your requests and grant the free tier. If we do not have the required information in the email, then we may follow up with you. If we suspect that the request is not genuine (we do get a few of those as well), then we ignore those emails. The best way for you to ensure that we process your request in those 2-3 business days is to make sure that you include your name, Azure DevOps organization name, and possibly a brief description of your intent. At the end of the day, our goal behind this is to prevent abuse. So, anything you can include in the email to give us that confidence will prevent further delays. Thank you for your patience.

  • Gowtham Tanneeru

    I have sent the request to above mentioned mail id for free tier pipelines access on 26/04/2021, but still I didn’t get access. It’s been a week,no response received from Microsoft. I am student, learning Azure, due to this, I am unable to practice pipelines.

  • Pablo García-Alcaide

    has anyone received a response from microsoft?
    I need it and there is no way