Since 1 year already, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations (formerly known as Microsoft Dynamics AX "7") is available as a service, an SaaS offering in the Microsoft Azure Cloud. The innovative ERP system was developed following a "Cloud first" strategy.
In addition to this "Cloud" model, two further deployment options have been announced:
- "Cloud and edge" – a hybrid model
- "Local business data" – an on premises solution, for operation in a data center of the customer or a customer’s partner
"Cloud" model – Software as a Service
Deployment of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations in the Microsoft Azure Cloud is the option recommended by Microsoft. This option is preferred by many existing and potential customers – one reason being that this way of operating Dynamics is in line with Microsoft’s "Cloud first" product development strategy; additional reasons being:
- No invest in building data center capacities and a technical support organization
- High flexibility and scalability
- Guaranteed availability and high-end hosting
- Clear responsibilities
- Embedded intelligence and full integration of many innovations
"Cloud and Edge" model – Hybrid approach
On the AX User Group conference in Tampa, Sri Srinivasan, General Manager for Dynamics 365 Enterprise Apps, presented a hybrid deployment model.
The base thought of this model is, "Transact locally, scale globally":
- The transactions are carried out in a local installation and are synchronized into the cloud.
- The innovative features of the cloud systems are seamlessly presented to the local user.
With this approach, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations is operated in the Microsoft Azure data centers and supplemented by local installations.
This way, this model unifies the advantages of the cloud with several advantages of an on premises installation:
- "Systems of Record": Local data centers can smoooth out problems with unstable connectivity and also guarantee the software’s regulatory compliance in many countries.
- "Systems of Intelligence": Microsoft Azure data centers enable the usage of innovative tools in the areas of Machine Learning, Cortana Intelligence, IoT and enhanced analytics.
In addition, the Azure Cloud covers scaling and disaster recovery and ensures central and shared processes, data and configurations.
The Retail component of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations is already following this hybrid approach, the areas of production and inventory will be supported from summer 2017 onwards in a hybrid model.
For further details, see this blog post: "Best of both worlds".
"Local business data" – Operation on premises
With this blog post "The right cloud option for your business" Microsoft now announced the availabilty of an on-premises deployment option, from summer 2017 onwards.
In this model, all business data is kept exclusively in the customer’s data center, no business data is sent into the cloud, all business processes are executed locally. If customers want to use some innovative cloud tools in the realm of Cortana Intelligence and Power BI, the data can be synchronized into the cloud – but this is purely optional.
Technically, the "Local business data" model is quite similar to the hybrid model – but without any synchronization of the data into the cloud. This results in several innovations (like embedded Power BI, aggregated views or Azure Machine Learning) being not available.
The only point of contact with the cloud is the connection from Dynamics 365 for Operations with LifeCycle Services, which are used for administration, updates and diagnostics of the environments.
The "Local business data" Model guarantees complete data sovereignity. It is of special interest for all customers that have already up-and-running data centers, analyses, support-teams and support-processes.
Overview and summary
The 3 models in an overview:
In all deployment options, the system persuades us with its innovative web browser user interface, with its vast process coverage and with its embedment in the Microsoft application offering.
The listed deployment options simply offer a wide range of selections for the customer and a high level of flexibility, for now and for future times.
Whatever the current organizational or technical situation, a fitting deployment model is available – for each IT strategy and covering different regulatory requirements! Contact us for questions!