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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks

Azure Web Job vs Worker Role

As part of my learning, I keep looking out for info presented through tables & comparison charts as they summarize lengthy topics & are useful to review what I learn. I post them with the tag ComparisonChart to revisit occasionally.

A comparison of the two ways Microsoft Azure provides to host background tasks:

Worker Role Web Job
Hosting Self-Hosted – Hosted on a dedicated virtual machine. Web App hosted – hosted within a Web App container.
Coupling Decoupled from front-ends and middle tiers. Coupled with Web App which is possibly hosting a web front end or middle tier.
Scalability Independently scalable. Scalable along with the Web App hosting it.
Remote Access Supports remoting into the host VM. Does not support remoting.
Deployment Complicated deployment. Simple deployment.
Configurability High. Low.
Triggers All triggers have to be programmatically introduced. Supports on-demand, scheduled and continuous triggers.
Management Logging and diagnostics need to be coded in Natively support detailed logging and diagnostics
Debugging Difficult to attach Visual Studio debugger. Easily attachable to Visual Studio debugger.
Pricing Comparatively more expensive. Comparatively cheaper.
Excepting handling Unexpected shutdowns have to be programmatically handled. Supports graceful shutdown.
Tenancy Natively single-tenant. Supports shared (multi-tenant) deployment.

The following scenarios are where Web Jobs can be a perfect fit:

  • Polling RSS feeds
  • Sending SMS notifications
  • Asynchronous logging
  • Archiving

Following are the scenarios where a Worker Role may be a better fit than a Web Job:

  • Locked down environment which requires strong security boundaries to be set up before executing the task. Banks and other financial institutions usually have such requirements.
  • Legacy workloads using COM components which require registration during start up.
  • Completely decoupled task layer where the background tasks need to be scaled independently.

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