Ability to enable/select features, like VNet support, in APIM tiers
My client has two API management instances, one for production environment and one for staging/testing environment. Each of those instances are deployed into the same internal virtual network as the production and staging/testing AKS cluster respectively. I believe this setup is good for several reasons, one being security. It also means that the setup is taking advantage of the Vnet support of APIM.
After some investigation of irregular spikes in latency and response time in applications consuming data using APIM as their entry point, I could confirm that one of those response time spike occurrences was because of an OS update on one of the VMs in the APIM instance.
After some earlier discussions, the tiers are Development in both environments. My recommendation to the client is of course to upgrade the tier to Premium in the production environment, as that includes SLA and higher grade VMs. But the jump in price to Premium is big, and it can be hard to motivate a jump like that for the client from a business perspective. I like to keep solutions cloud native as far as possible, but I took a brief look at a Self-hosted gateway too but it lacks support for the Developer portal, which was one reason for choosing APIM early on. I feel that the Consumption based tier would probably be the perfect fit for the use case, but VNet support is not included in that tier and it's not possible to enable it.
This made me think that in it would have been good to have a more feature based pricing, similar to how the price per GB in a storage account can increase or decrease based on redundancy options, where one can enable/disable certain features (or select when the resource is created) and where the price per request is adjusted accordingly. Something like this would perhaps be an especially good fit for the Consumption based tier. I think a more feature based pricing model would make it easier to for even more businesses to choose APIM as their gateway, and for existing customers in lower tiers would probably me more inclined to try out/incorporate features in their architectures that they might not have incorporated now.