Benefits of Self-Hosted Azure DevOps Agents


Among the many offerings of Azure DevOps, agents are pivotal. They handle the execution of tasks in a pipeline. Azure provides two types of agents: Microsoft-hosted agents and self-hosted agents. While Microsoft-hosted agents are incredibly convenient, there are compelling reasons to consider self-hosted agents. In this post, we’ll delve into the benefits of self-hosted Azure DevOps agents.

Customizability and Flexibility

Self-hosted agents allow for a level of customizability that isn’t possible with Microsoft-hosted agents. You have the freedom to install specific software, tools, or dependencies required for your builds or deployments. This is especially useful for projects that rely on niche tools or specific versions of software.

Performance Boost

By hosting your agent, you can select the underlying hardware’s specifications, allowing for better performance tailored to your workloads. No more vying for resources in a shared environment. With a dedicated machine, you’ll potentially experience faster build and release times.

Consistent Environment

With Microsoft-hosted agents, you might encounter slight variations between build environments, potentially leading to the infamous “it works on my machine” problem. Self-hosted agents, by virtue of their stability, provide a consistent environment, ensuring reproducibility across all builds and deployments

Optimized Costs with Parallel Jobs

Azure DevOps costs less for parallel jobs on self-hosted agents compared to Microsoft-hosted agents. This pricing model becomes beneficial for organizations that have heavy CI/CD workflows, as they can run simultaneous jobs at a reduced cost. This means scaling your operations without scaling the costs proportionally. Further pricing information can be found here.

Pricing difference between Microsoft-hosted and Self-Hosted parallel jobs.

Enhanced Security

For projects with stringent security requirements, self-hosted agents offer an added layer of protection. All code, data, and processes stay within your network, reducing the potential for data breaches or leaks. You have full control over the security protocols, firewalls, and data access.

Networking Advantages

Self-hosted agents can easily access on-premises resources without the need for complex networking setups like VPNs or gateways. Whether it’s databases, servers, or other internal tools, self-hosted agents seamlessly integrate with your internal network. Additionally self-hosted agents can deploy to Cloud Resources which are utilize private networking.

Azure DevOps is all about giving teams the tools they need to be successful, and self-hosted agents are an embodiment of that philosophy. While Microsoft-hosted agents have their merits and are an excellent choice for many scenarios, the benefits like cost optimization with parallel jobs, flexibility, security, and performance of self-hosted agents are unmatched for specific use cases. If you’re looking to take your CI/CD to the next level, it might be time to consider hosting your agents.


Why Infrashift Solutions?

  • Need seamless Azure integration?
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  • Require robust security measures?
  • Want cutting-edge tech solutions?


Entrust us with your technological needs, and we’ll ensure your IT infrastructure not only meets but exceeds expectations. We’re not just a service provider; we’re your strategic ally in the digital domain.  

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