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Plan your Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 deployment on Azure [AX 2012]

Updated: August 19, 2014

Applies To: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3

Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services is a cloud-based collaborative workspace that customers and partners can use to manage Microsoft Dynamics AX projects. You’ll use the Cloud hosted environments tool, available on the Lifecycle Services website, to deploy AX 2012 R3 on Azure.

Lifecycle Services is available to customers and partners as part of their support plans. You can access it with your CustomerSource or PartnerSource credentials.

Verify that you can log on to Lifecycle Services

To use Azure, you must purchase a subscription. You can purchase a 6 or 12-month subscription, or a pay-as-you-go subscription. To determine the subscription option that best meets your needs, review the options on the Azure purchase options page. Then follow the instructions on that page to purchase a subscription.

The subscription must be large enough to support the AX 2012 R3 environment that you want to deploy on Azure. The following table lists the types of AX 2012 R3 environments that you can deploy on Azure, and the number of cores required to deploy each environment in its default configuration.

AX 2012 R3 environment

Number of cores required to deploy the environment in its default configuration

Demo

4 cores

Developer/test

40 cores

Retail essentials demo

4 cores

Retail essentials

8 cores

Retail e-commerce

8 cores

Retail mobility

8 cores

If you already have an Azure subscription, note the following:

  • To view the size of your subscription:

    You can view the size of your subscription in the Azure Management Portal. To do so, log on to the Azure Management Portal, and then click Settings > Usage.

  • To increase the size of your subscription:

    To increase the size of your subscription, you’ll need to create a support ticket with the Azure support team. To do so, go to the Azure support options page, and then click Get Support to create the support ticket. When creating the support ticket, be sure to indicate that the ticket is for billing support.

Azure support plans provide technical and billing support for Azure. The Azure support plans offer flexible support options that will allow you to select the right level of support for your Azure deployment. The support options range from support services included with your Azure subscription at no charge to premier support services.

To learn about the available support plans and to purchase a plan, see the Azure support plans page.

The Azure Management Portal provides developers and IT professionals the ability to provision, configure, monitor, and manage their Azure components. It’s important to become familiar with the Management Portal because you’ll use it to:

  • Upload a management certificate. (The management certificate enables Lifecycle Services to deploy AX 2012 R3 environments on Azure on your behalf.)

  • Connect to virtual machines.

  • Monitor the health and status of your AX 2012 R3 environment.

After you purchase an Azure subscription, you can access the Management Portal by clicking here. The following image shows the Management Portal.

Azure Management Portal

To help estimate the cost of your AX 2012 R3 deployment on Azure, use the Azure pricing calculater.

It’s also important to understand the Azure billing process before you deploy AX 2012 R3 on Azure. For an overview of the Azure billing process, links to sample invoices, and information about how to download daily usage data for the current billing period, see Understand your bill.

NoteNote

Keep in mind, you can shut down an AX 2012 R3 environment that has been deployed on Azure when it’s not in use. For example, you may want to shut down an environment on the weekends to reduce costs. When you shut down an environment, the environment still exists; however, the virtual machines in the environment are shut down. You won’t be charged for the virtual machines when they’re not running. For more information, see “How do I shut down an environment?” in the Manage your Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 deployment on Azure article.

Microsoft runs Azure services with common operational practices and features across multiple geographies and jurisdictions. However, it is ultimately up to you to determine if Microsoft services satisfy your regulatory needs.

To help provide you with up-to-date information, the Azure Trust Center provides the following information about security, privacy, and compliance.

  • Security

    The Azure security page provides an overview of the provisions Microsoft is taking to provide a secure environment within geographically dispersed datacenters. Among the extensive list of security-related resources, the Standard Response to Request for Information: Security and Privacy white paper outlines how Azure meets the suggested principals and mapped them to the International Standards Organization (ISO) 27001:2005 and ISO 27002.

  • Privacy

    The Azure privacy page includes links to multiple resources that describe privacy practices of the Azure environment. It includes a link to the Azure Privacy Statement.

  • Compliance

    The Azure compliance page provides resources to help you comply with the specific laws and regulations applicable to your unique industry and use scenario.

Licensing the various components of the AX 2012 R3 virtual machine environment is an important consideration. For deployments on Azure, you will want to evaluate the special licensing terms specific to Azure and the impact that these terms have on the overall suitability of the solution.

Licensing requirements vary based on the type of AX 2012 R3 virtual machine environment that you deploy on Azure. The following table provides more information.

AX 2012 R3 environment

Licensing requirements

Demo

Retail essentials demo

The software that is included in the virtual machine environment is time-bound and licensed according to the terms in the Software License Terms.

Developer/test

Retail essentials

Retail e-commerce

Retail mobility

All software included in the virtual machine environment must be properly licensed. Please investigate your licensing needs thoroughly with your partner and your Microsoft representative. You will need to investigate the terms for each piece of software that is included in the virtual machine environment. For the complete list of software that is included in the virtual machine environment, review the Software License Terms.

When reviewing the licensing terms and requirements, you need to pay special attention to any terms that apply specifically to deploying on Azure, as well as terms that apply to your intended use. For example, Microsoft Office has terms that are specific to Azure; but those terms vary depending on whether you deploy Office for development or test purposes, or whether you deploy Office for production purposes.

Some resources to help you get started are linked to below. Most of the resources that are linked to below contain links to in-depth information for several products and scenarios; however, you may need to review additional information, as well. This information is provided to help guide your authorized use of products you license; it is not your agreement. Your use of products licensed under your volume license agreement is governed by the terms and conditions of that agreement. In the case of any conflict between information linked here and your agreement, the terms and conditions of your agreement control.

  • Virtual machines licensing FAQ

    Common questions regarding licensing on Azure virtual machines are answered on this page.

  • Microsoft Product Use Rights and Product List

    Learn more about Microsoft Volume Licensing product licensing models, programs, scenarios, and terms and conditions to help you make effective business decisions and maximize the value of your IT purchases on this page.

  • License Mobility through Software Assurance on Azure program

    License Mobility through Software Assurance gives Microsoft volume licensing customers the flexibility to deploy eligible server applications with active Software Assurance on Azure. With this Software Assurance benefit, there is no need to purchase new licenses and no associated mobility fees. This enables you to easily deploy existing licenses on the Azure cloud platform. For more information, see this page.

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX volume licensing buyer’s guide

    For an overview of key licensing options with Microsoft Dynamics AX, see this page.

You’ll use the Cloud hosted environments tool in Lifecycle Services to deploy AX 2012 R3 environments on Azure.

When you use the Cloud hosted environments tool, you’ll need to select the type of AX 2012 R3 environment that you want to deploy, such as a demo or developer/test environment. Based on your selection, the Cloud hosted environments tool provisions the appropriate number of virtual machines on Azure. These virtual machines have AX 2012 R3 components (and all of their prerequisites) already installed on them.

The following sections describe the AX 2012 R3 environments that you can deploy on Azure.

NoteNote

The virtual machines included in these environments are single-instance virtual machines. Single-instance virtual machines are not covered by an Azure Service Level Agreement.

If you choose to deploy this environment, the Cloud hosted environments tool deploys one virtual machine on Azure. This virtual machine has Windows Server—and the software that you’ll need to demo AX 2012 R3—already installed on it.

The following table lists details about the demo environment.

Number of virtual machines

Description

Size and name

Software installed

1

Demo machine

Size: Memory-intensive (A6: 4 cores, 28 GB memory)

Name: DEMO-<GUID>

  • Windows Server 2012 R2, including:

    • Active Directory

    • Domain Name Services (DNS)

    • Internet Information Services (IIS)

    • Remote Desktop Services

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 components:

    • Database Engine Services

    • Reporting Services

    • Analysis Services

    • Management Studio

    • Developer tools

  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013

  • Microsoft Office 2013

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 components:

    • Databases

    • Server components:

      • Application Object Server (AOS)

      • Web server components:

        • Enterprise Portal (EP)

        • Enterprise Search

        • Help Server

    • Business intelligence components:

      • Reporting Services extensions

      • Analysis Services configuration

    • Management Reporter components:

      • Management Reporter server components

      • Management Reporter Report Designer

    • Client components:

      • Client

      • Office add-ins

      • Remote Desktop Services integration

    • Developer tools:

      • Debugger

      • Visual Studio Tools

      • Trace Parser

    • Integration components:

      • Web services on IIS

      • .NET Business Connector

    • Management utilities

    • Retail components:

      • Retail POS

      • Retail Headquarters

      • Commerce Data Exchange components:

        • Synch Service

        • Real-time Service

        • Async Server

        • Async Client

      • Retail Channel Configuration Utility

      • Retail SDK

      • Retail online channel

      • Retail Server

      • Retail Mass Deployment Toolkit

      • Retail channel database

    • RapidStart Connector

    • Data Import/Export Framework components:

      • Data Import/Export Framework (DIXF) service

      • AOS component

      • Client component

    • Warehouse Mobile Devices Portal

    • Connector for Microsoft Dynamics

If you choose to deploy this environment, the Cloud hosted environments tool deploys five virtual machines on Azure by default. These virtual machines have Windows Server—and the software that you’ll need for AX 2012 R3 development and testing purposes—already installed on them.

The following table lists details about the default developer/test environment. When you deploy the environment, you can add additional virtual machines to the environment, or change the size of the virtual machines.

Number of virtual machines

Description

Size and name

Software installed

1

Domain controller

Size: Extra-large (A4: 8 cores, 14 GB memory)

Name: AD-<GUID>

  • Windows Server 2012 R2, including:

    • Active Directory

    • Domain Name Services (DNS)

1

AOS server

Size: Extra-large (A4: 8 cores, 14 GB memory)

Name: AOS-<GUID>

  • Windows Server 2012 R2, including:

    • Internet Information Services (IIS)

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010

  • Microsoft Project Server

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 components:

    • Management Studio

    • Native Client

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 components:

    • Server components:

      • Application Object Server (AOS)

    • Client components:

      • Client

      • Office add-ins

      • Remote Desktop Services integration

    • Integration components:

      • Web services on IIS

      • .NET Business Connector

    • Management utilities

    • Retail components:

      • Retail Headquarters

      • Commerce Data Exchange components:

        • Synch Service

        • Real-time Service

        • Async Server

    • RapidStart Connector

    • Data Import/Export Framework components:

      • Data Import/Export Framework (DIXF) service

      • AOS component

1

Database server/BI server

Size: Extra-large (A4: 8 cores, 14 GB memory)

Name: SQL-<GUID>

  • Windows Server 2012 R2

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 components:

    • Database Engine Services

    • Reporting Services

    • Analysis Services

    • Management Studio

    NoteNote

    Power View is not supported.

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 components:

    • Databases

    • Business intelligence components:

      • Reporting Services extensions

      • Analysis Services configuration

1

Web server

Size: Extra-large (A4: 8 cores, 14 GB memory)

Name: EP-<GUID>

  • Windows Server 2012 R2, including:

    • Internet Information Services (IIS)

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 components:

    • Full-text Search

  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 components:

    • Server components:

      • Web server components:

        • Enterprise Portal (EP)

        • Enterprise Search

        • Help Server

    • Management Reporter components:

      • Management Reporter server components

    • Retail components:

      • Commerce Data Exchange components:

        • Async Client

      • Retail Server

      • Retail Online Channel

      • Retail Channel Database

      • Retail Channel Configuration Utility

      • Retail Hardware Station

    • Warehouse Mobile Devices Portal

    • Connector for Microsoft Dynamics

1

Client computer

Size: Extra-large (A4: 8 cores, 14 GB memory)

Name: CLI-<GUID>

  • Windows Server 2012 R2

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 components:

    • Developer tools

  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Client Components SDK

  • Microsoft Project client

  • Microsoft Word 2013

  • Microsoft Excel 2013

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 components:

    • Management Reporter components:

      • Management Reporter Report Designer

    • Client components:

      • Client

      • Office add-ins

      • Remote Desktop Services integration

    • Developer tools:

      • Debugger

      • Visual Studio Tools

      • Trace Parser

    • Management utilities

    • Retail components:

      • Retail POS

    • Data Import/Export Framework components:

      • Client component

If you choose to deploy this environment, the Cloud hosted environments tool deploys one virtual machine on Azure by default. This virtual machine has Windows Server—and the software that you’ll need to demo Retail essentials—already installed on it. This environment provides a simplified, streamlined user experience that is optimized for organizations that use only the Retail management functions of AX 2012 R3.

The following table lists details about the default Retail essentials demo environment. When you deploy the environment, you can add additional virtual machines to the environment, or change the size of the virtual machines.

Number of virtual machines

Description

Size and name

Software installed

1

Retail essentials demo machine

Size: Memory-intensive (A6: 4 cores, 28 GB memory)

Name: DEMO-<GUID>

  • Windows Server 2012 R2

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 components:

    • Database Engine Services

    • Management Studio

    • Developer tools

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 components:

    • Databases

    • Server components:

      • Application Object Server (AOS)

    • Client components:

      • Client

    • Integration components:

      • .NET Business Connector

    • Retail components:

      • Retail Headquarters

      • Commerce Data Exchange components:

        • Real-time Service

        • Async Server

        • Async Client

      • Retail channel database

If you choose to deploy this environment, the Cloud hosted environments tool deploys one virtual machine on Azure by default. This virtual machine has Windows Server—and the software that you’ll need for Retail essentials—already installed on it. This environment provides a simplified, streamlined user experience that is optimized for organizations that use only the Retail management functions of AX 2012 R3.

This environment is for development and testing purposes.

The following table lists details about the default Retail essentials environment. When you deploy the environment, you can add additional virtual machines to the environment, or change the size of the virtual machines.

Number of virtual machines

Description

Size and name

Software installed

1

Retail essentials server

Size: Extra-large (A4: 8 cores, 14 GB memory)

Name: ESSEN-<GUID>

  • Windows Server 2012 R2

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 components:

    • Database Engine Services

    • Management Studio

    • Developer tools

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 components:

    • Databases

    • Server components:

      • Application Object Server (AOS)

    • Client components:

      • Client

    • Integration components:

      • .NET Business Connector

    • Retail components:

      • Retail Headquarters

      • Commerce Data Exchange components:

        • Real-time Service

        • Async Server

        • Async Client

      • Retail channel database

If you choose to deploy this environment, the Cloud hosted environments tool deploys one virtual machine on Azure by default. This virtual machine has Windows Server—and the software that you’ll need for Retail e-commerce—already installed on it. This environment enables you to deploy, manage, and customize an online sales channel that is fully integrated with AX 2012 R3.

This environment is for development and testing purposes.

The following table lists details about the default Retail e-commerce environment. When you deploy the environment, you can add additional virtual machines to the environment, or change the size of the virtual machines.

Number of virtual machines

Description

Size and name

Software installed

1

Retail e-commerce server

Size: Extra-large (A4: 8 cores, 14 GB memory)

Name: E-COM-<GUID>

  • Windows Server 2012 R2

  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 components:

    • Retail components:

      • Commerce Data Exchange components:

        • Async Client

      • Retail online channel

      • Retail channel database

If you choose to deploy this environment, the Cloud hosted environments tool deploys one virtual machine on Azure by default. This virtual machine has Windows Server—and the software that you’ll need for Retail mobility—already installed on it. This environment enables sales staff to process sales transactions, enter customer orders, and perform daily operations and inventory management with mobile devices anywhere in the store.

This environment is for development and testing purposes.

The following table lists details about the default Retail mobility environment. When you deploy the environment, you can add additional virtual machines to the environment, or change the size of the virtual machines.

Number of virtual machines

Description

Size and name

Software installed

1

Retail server

Size: Extra-large (A4: 8 cores, 14 GB memory)

Name: MOBIL-<GUID>

  • Windows Server 2012 R2

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 components:

    • Retail components:

      • Commerce Data Exchange components:

        • Async Client

      • Retail Server

      • Retail channel database


Announcements: To see known issues and recent fixes, use Issue search in Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS).
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