Getting started with Azure Cosmos DB Serverless

Getting started with Azure Cosmos DB Serverless

In this article, we will learn how to create a serverless instance of Azure Cosmos DB as well as understand its applicability in use-cases. What is serverless on Azure Cosmos DB? Getting started with Azure Cosmos DB Serverless.

In this article, we will learn how to create a serverless instance of Azure Cosmos DB as well as understand its applicability in use-cases.


Azure Cosmos DB is a multi-model, fully managed, hyper-scale NoSQL database offering the Azure data stack. There are a variety of applications of Cosmos DB and the default capacity mode is provisioned throughput where an administrator configures a fixed capacity of read units (RUs), and the cost of consumption remains fixed as per the allocation. In today’s era of elastic and flexible workloads, there are many use-cases where the workloads are volatile, a fixed capacity provisioning approach may not be efficient in terms of scale as well as cost. In these types of scenarios, the need is to have a provisioning approach where the capacity is scaled on-demand and the cost is as per the use. This mode of provisioning is generally available from many database services in a serverless model, where there is no need to create a fixed capacity instance, and instead, the instance capacity scales are per the workload. Azure Cosmos DB has introduced an option to create a serverless instance in preview mode (as of the draft of this article). Let’s go ahead and quickly create a serverless instance of Azure Cosmos DB.

Creating Serverless Instance of Azure Cosmos DB

It is assumed that you have an Azure account with privileges to use Azure Cosmos DB. Log in to the Azure portal, open the Cosmos DB service option which would open the dashboard page. Click on the New button to start the creation of a new Cosmos DB account, and it would open a wizard as shown below.

We need to provide the basic details on this page like the name of the subscription and the resource group in which we intend to create the new account. In the instance details section, we need to provide the name of the account, which will be the name of the instance. Azure Cosmos DB provides a variety of APIs that can be used to create an account. For now, we would select the Core (SQL) API. If we desire to work with Notebooks, we can keep it enabled else there is an option to disable it as well.

Basic Details

Scroll down and you would be able to find more options to configure. Select the region where the account is to be created. In the Capacity mode, the default value would be “Provisioned throughput”. This is the configuration that decides whether we would create a serverless instance or a provisioned throughput instance. To learn about the difference between the two in detail, click on the link below and it would navigate to the page that lists all the details.

azure azure cosmos db serverless

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