What is Power BI Premium Gen2? - Power BI (2023)

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Power BI Premium Generation 2, referred to as Premium Gen2, is the second generation of Power BI Premium. Premium Gen2 provides additional enhancements to Power BI, and a comprehensive portfolio of Premium features.

The following table lists some of the Premium Gen2 enhancements.

Purchase Premium for individuals in your organizationSee Power BI Premium Per User (PPU).
Improved metricsCapacity performance depends only on the amount of CPU usage. Metrics can be easily understood using the Power BI Premium Capacity Utilization and Metrics app.
AutoscaleAn optional feature that prevents slowdowns caused by throttling on overloaded capacities. When enabled, if the load on the capacity exceeds the capacity limits, autoscale automatically adds one v-core at a time for 24-hour periods. Additional v-cores are charged to your Azure subscription on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Capacities and SKUs

Capacity is a dedicated set of resources reserved for exclusive use. It offers dependable, consistent performance for your content.

Each capacity offers a selection of SKUs, and each SKU provides different resource tiers for memory and computing power. The type of SKU you require, depends on the type of solution you wish to deploy.

The table below describes the resources and limits of each SKU.

CapacityDatasetDataflowExport API
Capacity SKUsV-coresMax memory (GB)1, 2, 3DirectQuery/Live connection (per second)1, 2Max memory per query (GB)1, 2Model refresh parallelism2Dataflow parallel tasks5Max concurrent pages6

1 The Power BI Premium Utilization and Metrics app doesn't currently expose these metrics.

2 These limits only apply to the dataset workload per capacity.

(Video) Introducing Power BI Premium Gen2 Preview (Dec 2020)

3 The Max memory (GB) column under the Dataset header represents an upper bound for the dataset size. However, an amount of memory must be reserved for operations such as refreshes and queries on the dataset. The maximum dataset size permitted on a capacity might be smaller than the numbers in this column. For more information, see Memory allocation.

4 These SKUs aren't available in all regions. To request using these SKUs in regions where they're not available, contact your Microsoft account manager.

5 Learn more about parallel tasks in dataflows.

6 See Export Power BI report to file for more information about Power BI interactive (not paginated) reports.

Subscriptions and licensing

Power BI Premium Gen2 is a tenant-level Microsoft 365 subscription, available in two SKU (Stock-Keeping Unit) families.

UseEnterprise features and embeddingOrganizational embedding (embed for your organization)
CommitmentMonthly or yearlyYearly
Additional informationIncludes a license to install Power BI Report Server on-premisesEM1 and EM2 SKUs are available only through volume licensing plans. You can't purchase them directly.


Power BI Premium subscriptions are purchased by administrators in the Microsoft 365 admin center. Specifically, only global administrators or billing administrators can purchase SKUs. When purchased, the tenant receives a corresponding number of v-cores to assign to capacities, known as v-core pooling. For example, purchasing a P3 SKU provides the tenant with 32 v-cores. To learn more, see How to purchase Power BI Premium.


Workspaces reside within capacities. Each Power BI user has a personal workspace known as My Workspace. Additional workspaces known as workspaces can be created to enable collaboration. By default, workspaces, including personal workspaces, are created in the shared capacity. When you have Premium capacities, both My Workspaces and workspaces can be assigned to Premium capacities.

Capacity administrators automatically have their My workspaces assigned to Premium capacities.

Dataset memory allocation

With Premium Gen2 and Embedded Gen2, there's a limit on the memory available for each dataset based on the SKU. For example, in a Premium Gen2 P1 capacity, any dataset that exceeds 25 GB in memory usage would result in failures. You can find the dataset memory upper limits for each SKU, in the Max memory per dataset column of the Capacities and SKUs table.

(Video) Introducing Power BI Premium Gen 2

Dataset operations such as queries are subject to individual memory limits. To illustrate the restriction, consider a dataset with an in-memory footprint of 1 GB, and a user initiating an on-demand refresh while interacting with a report based on the same dataset. Three separate actions determine the amount of memory attributed to the original dataset, which may be larger than two times the dataset size. The total amount of memory used by one Power BI item can't exceed the SKU's Max memory per dataset allocation.

  • Loading the dataset - The first action is loading the dataset into the memory.

  • Refreshing the dataset - The second action is refreshing the dataset after it's loaded into the memory. The refresh operation will cause the memory used by the dataset to double. The required memory doubles because the original copy of data is still available for active queries, while another copy is being processed by the refresh. Once the refresh transaction commits, the memory footprint will reduce.

  • Interacting with the report - The third action is caused by the user's interaction with the report. During the dataset refresh, report interactions will execute DAX queries. Each DAX query consumes a certain amount of temporary memory required to produce the results. Each query may consume a different amount of memory. The memory used to query the dataset is added to the memory needed to load the dataset, and refresh it.


Premium Gen2 and Embedded Gen 2 don't require cumulative memory limits, and therefore concurrent dataset refreshes don't contribute to resource constraints. However, refreshing individual datasets is governed by existing capacity memory and CPU limits, and the model refresh parallelism limit for the SKU, as described in Capacities and SKUs.

You can schedule and run as many refreshes as required at any given time, and the Power BI service will run those refreshes at the time scheduled as a best effort.


When monitoring Premium Gen2 and Embedded Gen2, you only need to take into consideration one aspect: how much CPU your capacity requires to serve the load at any moment. To monitor your capacity, use the Power BI Premium Capacity Utilization and Metrics app.

To install the app, see Install the Gen2 metrics app. You can learn how to use the app in the article Use the Gen2 metrics app.

Here's what happens when you exceed your CPU limit per the SKU size you purchased:

(Video) Power BI Premium Gen2 updates (January 2022)

  • Premium Gen2 - If enabled, autoscale kicks in. If autoscale isn't enabled, your capacity throttles its interactive operations.

  • Embedded Gen2 - Your capacity throttles its interactive operations. To autoscale in Embedded Gen2, see Autoscaling in Embedded Gen2.

Paginated reports

When using Premium Gen2 and Embedded Gen2, Power BI paginated reports benefit from the architectural and engineering improvements reflected in Premium Gen2.

  • Memory - There's no memory management for Paginated reports.

  • SKU availability - Paginated reports running on Premium Gen2 can run reports across all available embedded and Premium SKUs, including the EM1-EM3 and A1-A3 SKUs. Billing is calculated per CPU hour, across a 24-hour period.

  • Enhanced security and code isolation - Code isolation occurs at a per-user level, rather than at a per-capacity level.

Considerations and limitations

The following known limitations currently apply to Premium Gen2.

  • Rendering visuals - There's a 225-second limitation for rendering Power BI visuals. Visuals that take longer to render, will be timed-out and won't display.

  • Throttling - Throttling can occur in Power BI Premium capacities. Concurrency limits are applied per session. An error message will appear when too many operations are being processed concurrently. To mitigate throttling, you can use autoscale. When autoscale is enabled, if CPU consumption exceeds the additional limits, throttling will still take place.

    (Video) Everything Power BI premium gen 2

  • Client library version - Client applications and tools that connect to and work with datasets on Premium Gen2 capacities through the XMLA endpoint require Analysis Services client libraries. Most client applications and tools install the most recent client libraries with regular updates, so manually installing the client libraries isn't usually necessary. Regardless of the client application or tool version, the following minimum client library versions are required.

    Client LibraryVersion

    In some cases, manually installing the most recent client libraries may be necessary to reduce potential connection and operation errors. To learn more about verifying existing installed client library versions and manually installing the most recent versions, see Analysis Services client libraries.

Next steps

Power BI Premium Per User

Managing Premium Gen2 capacities

Power BI Embedded Generation 2


What is premium Gen2? ›

Power BI Premium Gen2 is a tenant-level Microsoft 365 subscription, available in two SKU (Stock-Keeping Unit) families.

What is the difference between Power BI and Power BI premium? ›

Power BI Pro licenses add content sharing and collaborative features through Workspaces for a monthly cost of $9.99 per user. Power BI Premium licenses unlock the full feature set, including advanced AI insights and paginated reports, for $20 per user.

What is Power BI premium? ›

By displaying your capacity's CPU usage levels, the Power BI Premium Utilization and Metrics app helps you understand how your capacity is performing. To provide a simple way of measuring your capacity's performance, the app reports CPU usage for the number of v-cores your capacity has.

How do I upgrade to Power BI Gen 2? ›

Self-migration to Premium Generation 2

You simply need to enable Premium Gen2 in the Power BI admin portal. Migrating doesn't interrupt your Power BI service and doesn't involve any additional costs. The change typically completes within a minute.

What does gen2 mean? ›

(1) (GENeration 2) The second version of a product.


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