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Deploying Microsoft Dynamics NAV on Azure: Performance best practices for four architectures

by Stefano Demiliani
Chief Technical Officer & Solution Architect--EID NAVLAB,

When talking about deploying Microsoft Dynamics NAV for a customer, nowadays you have four options available for your architecture.

NAV deployment options

  1. On-Premises: You manage everything, from hardware to software. This is the most common way to deploy Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
  2. IaaS: You hand over the infrastructure management to someone else, in this case, the Azure cloud, and you need to manage the database, and the server setup. In terms of Azure, this is NAV deployed by using VMs.
  3. PaaS: Here, the database layer is managed by someone else, and you have to think only about data, and application layers. In terms of Azure, this is NAV deployed by using Azure SQL Database.
  4. SaaS: Infrastructure and applications are managed by someone else. You activate a service and you're ready to go. This is the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central service model.

In this article, we will focus on IaaS and PaaS, how to deploy Dynamics NAV on Azure, and the best practices for a successful implementation.

Dynamics NAV on Azure Virtual Machines

When you want to deploy Dynamics NAV on Azure in an IaaS model, automatically you think of Azure Virtual Machines (VMs). Azure VMs provide on-demand, high-scale, secure, virtualized infrastructure using Windows Server.

When you plan to create a solution architecture with Dynamics NAV deployed on Azure VMs, you have essentially two main topologies:

  • Option 1: NAV Service Tier and SQL Server on the same Azure VM
  • Option 2: NAV Service Tier and SQL Server ...

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About Stefano Demiliani

Stefano Demiliani is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Business Solutions, a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD) and a long-time expert on other Microsoft-related technologies.

He has a Master's degree in Computer Engineering from Politecnico of Turin. He works as a Chief Technical Officer and Solution Architect for EID NAVLAB (

His main activity is architecting and developing enterprise solutions based on the entire stack of Microsoft technologies (Microsoft Dynamics NAV/Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Azure cloud services and distributed .NET applications).

He works as a full-time NAV consultant (15+ years of international Microsoft Dynamics NAV projects) and he is available for architecting solutions based on Microsoft's ERP, as well as for NAV database tuning and optimization (performance and locking management) and for architecting cloud solutions and applications.

He's the author of various Microsoft-related books for Packt Publishing and he has one of the most visited blogs on Microsoft-related technologies (

His most recent books include: