Power Automate has 2 new RPA (Robotic Process Automation) offerings:
- Individual Hosted Machines
- Hosted Machine Groups
which enable you to run Power Automate RPA in Azure to more quickly test, scale, and deploy.
Individual Hosted Machines
Currently in preview, these aim to make it quick and easy to test both attended and unattended flows without the need to set up physical machines.
Hosted Machine Group
This provides auto-scaling and auto-provisions additional bots as needed when initial capacity for unattended flow bots isn’t enough. It also provides dynamic load-balancing between different groups, ensuring one isn’t adding more VMs while another has several sitting idle.
Licensing & pricing
To use either of these hosted options, users require:
- Power Automate per user plan w/attended RPA add-on or
- Power Automate per flow plan
as a base license and then you can purchase the Hosted RPA add-on which includes:
- Hosted machine
- Unattended desktop flows
- 5,000 AI Builder credits per month
and costs £162.10 per bot per month.
If you’re using Hosted Machine Groups, you need to assign 1 x Hosted RPA add-on for each bot you want to run in parallel. I’m not currently sure how this works in relation to the auto-scaling feature…do you have to have licenses available for the maximum number of bots you’re willing to run (something you can set as an admin) or is there a “pay in arrears” option where you’re billed monthly?
Furthermore, I imagine there will be additional Azure costs although I’m yet to confirm that.