Cloud deployment for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

In order to deploy Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations in the cloud, the user must understand the environment and subscription that he is deploying to, who can perform which tasks, and the data and customizations that he needs to manage. It is recommended to sign up for the Full Microsoft FastTrack for Dynamics 365 to help speed deployment and implementation – it’s a program that provides training and consulting to help customers realize business value faster. If customer chooses to use the Essentials FastTrack program instead, he will be using the Implementation Project Methodology in Lifecycle Services (LCS) to help him manage the implementation project.

Customer lifecycle:

Microsoft assumes that all customers will follow a lifecycle similar to the following for all cloud deployments, and therefore need different environment topologies at each phase.

  1. Evaluate
  2. Develop customizations, if needed
  3. Install and test customizations and partner solutions on a tier-1 sandbox (Development or test environment)
  4. Test customizations, partner solutions and data configuration on a tier-2 sandbox environment
  5. Deploy customizations and data configurations to a production environment with high availability


Customer or Partner subscription: The customer or partner brings their own Azure subscription and deploys Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations environments to it, for evaluation and development purposes only. The customer or partner pays for the resources deployed to their Azure subscription based on the Azure price list.

Microsoft subscription: The customer purchases Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations licenses which will then allow them to deploy environments to an Azure subscription which is managed by Microsoft, therefore, the customer has no separate Azure billing.

Deployment topologies:

With each Enterprise offer, three environments are included by default:

  • One Tier-1 sandbox which is a development or build environment.
  • One Tier-2 sandbox (multi-box environment) for user acceptance testing (UAT).
  • One production environment with High Availability (HA). This environment is managed and operated by Microsoft.

Additional environments may be purchased as add-ons.

Mapping of lifecycle to the available environments:


Lifecycle phaseEnvironmentSubscription
Evaluation and analysisDemo, one-boxCustomer or partner subscription.
CustomizeDev/build, one-boxMicrosoft subscription, partner/customer subscription, or local VM
User acceptance testing (UAT)Tier-2 sandbox, multi-box environmentMicrosoft subscription
Go liveProduction, High Availability multi-box environmentMicrosoft subscription


Features of the Finance and Operations production instance:

1. Security and compliance:

Dynamics 365 for Operations is PA-DSS 3.1 certified which means that all communications between components are secured out-of-the-box.

All Dynamics 365 for Operations front-end virtual machines in Microsoft Azure are configured during deployment to only accept TLS 1.2.

2. Remote Desktop:

a. Microsoft managed environment:

Customers are now required to complete additional setup to connect to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations virtual machines (VMs) through Microsoft Remote Desktop (RDP). They must explicitly enable access (whitelist) from your organization’s IP address space.

b. Partner / Customer managed environment:

By default, Remote Desktop is enabled for all non-Microsoft managed environments. It is recommended that customers restrict access to any environments that belong to their subscriptions.

c. Windows Remoting (WinRM):

Windows Remoting (WinRM) is disabled on all environments. Although customer can enable WinRM on environments that belong to his subscriptions through Azure Portal, it is strongly recommended that customer should not do this.

3. Availability:

The guaranteed uptime for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations is 99.5%. Planned downtime occurs once a month and lasts no longer than eight hours. Because the work completed during the downtime doesn’t always take eight hours, the support team will always communicate the estimated amount of time that your environments will be down.

4. Service availability:

Finance and Operations can be deployed into different Microsoft Azure datacenters using Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS). Azure is generally available in datacenters and geographical locations around the world. With Finance and Operations, customers can specify the region or datacenter where their customer data will be stored. Microsoft may replicate data to other regions for data durability, but they will not replicate or move customer data outside the geographical location.



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