Microsoft Dynamics AX, CRM, and Azure: So, Are You Available?
An IT professional meets a cloud services provider at a party and asks, "So, you're available? How available?" It sounds like a cheesy pickup line, but with today's vague and sometimes complicated SLAs (service level agreements), it is exactly the question you should be asking about your online services.
With regard to their cloud-based solutions, Microsoft has clarified their SLA calculations with the March 2016 release of the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Level Agreement for Microsoft Online Services. The document details product-by-product applicable terms, the formula that is leveraged to calculate availability of the service, the uptime percentages, as well as the service credit that a customer has the right to claim in the event that the service is not available. (It is important to note that these credits are only available for customers who have purchased services via a volume license agreement. Customers who purchased open licenses or Office 365 small business solutions are credited in the form of service time as opposed to service fees.)
While some mission-critical applications call for high availability, a certain amount of downtime may be perfectly acceptable for some applications. The key is calculating the downtime in practical hours and minutes so that you understand exactly what the SLA covers. So, exactly how available are some of the more popular online services from Microsoft?
The New Microsoft Dynamics AX
The New Microsoft Dynamics AX, formerly known as AX 7, is currently provided as an online-only solution. (Other versions, such as Dynamics AX 2012, would be hosted in a chosen cloud environment and fall under a different SLA category such as Azure's Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Virtual Machines.) For the new AX, downtime ...
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