Configure workloads in a Premium capacity

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This article describes enabling and configuring workloads for Power BI Premium capacities. By default, capacities support only the workload associated with running Power BI queries. You can also enable and configure additional workloads for AI (Cognitive Services), Dataflows, and Paginated reports.

Default memory settings

Query workloads are optimized for and limited by resources determined by your Premium capacity SKU. Premium capacities also support additional workloads that can use your capacity's resources. Default memory values for these workloads are based on the capacity nodes available for your SKU. Max memory settings are not cumulative. Memory up to the max value specified is dynamically allocated for AI and dataflows, but is statically allocated for paginated reports.

Microsoft Office SKUs for software as a service (SaaS) scenarios

EM2 EM3 P1 P2 P3
AI N/A N/A 20% default; 20% minimum 20% default; 10% minimum 20% default; 5% minimum
Dataflows N/A 20% default; 12% minimum 20% default; 5% minimum 20% default; 3% minimum 20% default; 2% minimum
Paginated reports N/A N/A 20% default; 10% minimum 20% default; 5% minimum 20% default; 2.5% minimum

Microsoft Azure SKUs for platform as a service (PaaS) scenarios

A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6
AI N/A 20% default; 100% minimum 20% default; 50% minimum 20% default; 20% minimum 20% default; 10% minimum 20% default; 5% minimum
Dataflows 40% default; 40% minimum 24% default; 24% minimum 20% default; 12% minimum 20% default; 5% minimum 20% default; 3% minimum 20% default; 2% minimum
Paginated reports N/A N/A N/A 20% default; 10% minimum 20% default; 5% minimum 20% default; 2.5% minimum

Workload settings

AI (Preview)

In addition to the Max Memory setting, the AI workload has an additional setting, Allow usage from Power BI Desktop. The default is Off. This setting is reserved for future use and may not appear in all tenants.

Datasets (Preview)

By default, the Datasets workload is enabled and cannot be disabled. This workload contains an additional setting, XMLA Endpoint. The default is 1, meaning enabled. This setting specifies connections from client applications honor the security group membership set at the workspace and app levels. To learn more, see Connect to datasets with client applications and tools.

Dataflows

In addition to the Max Memory setting, the Dataflows workload has an additional setting, Container size. This setting enables you to optimize dataflow workload performance for processing more complex, compute-heavy dataflows.

When refreshing a dataflow, the dataflow workload spawns a container for each entity in the dataflow. Each container can take memory up to the volume in specified in the Container size setting. The default for all SKUs is 700 MB. You might want to change this setting if:

  • Dataflows take too long to refresh, or dataflow refresh fails on a timeout.
  • Dataflow entities include computation steps, for example, a join.

It's recommend you use the Power BI Premium Capacity Metrics app to analyze Dataflow workload performance.

In some cases, increasing container size may not improve performance. For example, if the dataflow is getting data only from a source without performing significant calculations, changing container size probably won’t help. Increasing container size might help if it will enable the Dataflow workload to allocate more memory for entity refresh operations. By having more memory allocated, it can reduce the time it takes to refresh heavily computed entities.

The Container Size value can’t exceed the maximum memory for the Dataflows workload. For example, a P1 capacity has 25GB of memory. If the Dataflow workload Max Memory (%) is set to 20%, Container Size (MB) cannot exceed 5000. In all cases, the Container Size cannot exceed the Max Memory, even if you set a higher value.

Paginated reports (Preview)

Paginated reports allow custom code to be run when rendering a report. For example, dynamically changing text color based on content, which can take additional memory. Power BI Premium runs paginated reports in a contained space within the capacity. The Max Memory specified is used whether or not the workload is active. If changing the Max Memory setting from default, make sure you set it low enough that it doesn't negatively affect other workloads.

In some cases, the Paginated Reports workload can become unavailable. In this case, the workload shows an error state in the Admin portal, and users see timeouts for report rendering. To mitigate this issue, disable the workload and then enable it again.

Configure workloads

Maximize your capacity's available resources by enabling workloads only if they will be used. Change memory settings only when you have determined default settings are not meeting your capacity resource requirements.

To configure workloads in the Power BI admin portal

  1. In Capacity settings > PREMIUM CAPACITIES, select a capacity.

  2. Under MORE OPTIONS, expand Workloads.

  3. Enable one or more workloads, and set a value for Max Memory.

    Enable workloads

  4. Click Apply.

REST API

Workloads can be enabled and assigned to a capacity by using the Capacities REST APIs.

Monitoring workloads

The Power BI Premium Capacity Metrics app provides dataset, dataflows, and paginated reports metrics to monitor workloads enabled for your capacities.

Next steps

Optimizing Power BI Premium capacities
Self-service data prep in Power BI with Dataflows
What are paginated reports in Power BI Premium?

More questions? Ask the Power BI Community