Dynamics 365 . Dynamics CRM . On Premise
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Daniel Burla

The Must Know Of Transition to Dynamics 365 on Premise

There comes a time when new things must replace the old. This is exactly what is happening to Dynamics CRM as it is gradually fading out and being replaced by Dynamics 365. Dynamics 365 is the latest offering from Microsoft which offers the best of CRM and ERP solutions in a single package.

One of the advantages of Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the option to deploy either in Microsoft’s cloud or in a private on-premises or partner-hosted cloud. It is, therefore, possible to upgrade your on-premise deployment of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015/2016 to Microsoft Dynamics 365.

How can Dynamics 365 be installed?

The focus of this article is to enlighten and help you understand what needs to be done to successfully carry out an upgrade to Dynamics 365 in an on-premise environment.

You can achieve this by downloading and installing the December 2016 update for Dynamics 365 on a CRM server running Dynamics CRM 2016. This means that Dynamics 365 can be installed as a service pack update without following a full organization upgrade.

However, if you are presently running an earlier version of Dynamics CRM like 2011, 2013 or 2015, you have to first upgrade to Dynamics CRM 2016 to upgrade to Dynamics 365.
Dynamics 365 Dashboard

What are the migration methods available?

There are three options for upgrade:
  • Migrate using  a new instance of SQL Server

You may decide to opt for an entirely fresh deployment of Dynamics CRM using a new instance of SQL Server. It is the safest and recommended option by Microsoft as it offers the least downtime since users can continue to use the old CRM while deploying the new one.

  • Migrate by using the same instance of SQL Server

During this upgrade, a new Dynamics CRM deployment is carried out on a new computer while using an already existing SQL Server. Since the current configuration and default organization databases are updated during the upgrade, if an error occurs while upgrading, you will need to roll back to the previous version.

  • In-place upgrade

This entails deploying a newer version on an older version of CRM, while the existing system configuration and organization databases are upgraded. However, this is the most dangerous method as it may result in the entire loss of your existing CRM deployment if a problem is encountered during the upgrade.

What are the prerequisites for an upgrade?

When planning an upgrade to Dynamics 365 from Dynamics CRM 2016, here are a few things you need to ensure:

1. Backup your CRM Database

The first thing to do when planning an upgrade is to run a full backup of your Microsoft Dynamics CRM Databases to be able to restore your CRM environment in case of upgrade fails.

2. Hardware Requirements

To best decide on the hardware requirements to use, certain input areas must be identified. These include the following:

  1. Number of users that will make use of the Dynamics 365 deployment
  2. Size of the existing database
  3. Integration with other third party software.

The table below shows the recommended Hardware requirement for a Dynamics 365 server running a full server mode based on 320 users.

Dynamics 365 Recommended Hardware Requirements
Server Type CPU Memory Hard Disk
Dynamics 365 Server(Full mode) Quad-core x64 architecture 2 GHz CPU or higher such as AMD Opteron or Intel Xeon systems 8 GB or more

40GB  or more

Note that running Dynamics 365 on a computer, without using recommended requirements can cause performance issue on the server

3. Software Requirements

The software requirements for Dynamics 365 include:

Supported Operating Systems
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 x64 Datacenter / Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 x64 Datacenter / Standard
Supported SQL Server

The following SQL Server Editions are supported with the recommendation that the latest Windows updates are applied:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Enterprise x64
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Business Intelligence x64
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Standard x64
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise x64 SP1
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Business Intelligence x64 SP1
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Standard x64 SP1
Supported SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)

The following SQL Server Reporting Services are supported with the recommendation that the latest Windows updates are applied:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Enterprise x64
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Business Intelligence x64
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Standard x64
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise x64 SP1
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Business Intelligence x64 SP1
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Standard x64 SP1
Active Directory Modes
  • Windows Server 2008 Modes
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Modes
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
Internet Information Services (IIS)
  • IIS 8.5
  • IIS 8.0

4. Licensing

It is necessary to obtain the Dynamics 365 product key before upgrading your CRM server as you will be required to insert it during the upgrade.

5.Work with a test environment

The best practice when planning a deployment or upgrade is to setup a test environment to test out all critical items before the actual upgrade on the production environment. To achieve this, you need to:

  • Develop a test plan, ensuring all necessary processes, functional and compatibility are tested
  • Your testing environment should be a mirror of your production environment and inclusive of all processes and functionalities
  • Testing should be done as both a system administrator and as a standard user to spot out any issues

As the support for Dynamics 4.0 and Dynamics 2011 is ending, the support for other versions will draw to a close too shortly. Thus, it’s time to take the leap and upgrade to Dynamics 365 to enjoy the full benefits of new exciting features, improved performance, and better support for integration.

Resell Dynamics 365

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Daniel Burla

About Daniel Burla

A versatile IT Business and Technical Analyst with 10+ years participating in IT projects of the main business solutions in the market (SAP, Oracle and Dynamics 365). That allows me to confidently provide innovative advice on complex issues, articulating options and solutions regardless the chosen platform.

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