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Planning hardware infrastructure [AX 2012]

Updated: February 1, 2013

Applies To: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Feature Pack, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

This topic describes key factors that you must consider when you plan the hardware infrastructure for Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Decisions about appropriate hardware depend upon several factors. The following list describes some key factors:

  1. Evaluate and document the existing infrastructure. Your documentation must include the following information:

    • Network bandwidth

    • The storage system that is used

    • The operating system that is used

    • Databases that are used

    • Servers that are used

    • Current processes for disaster recovery, availability, and scalability

    • Existing applications that must be integrated with Microsoft Dynamics AX

  2. Define and document the following information:

    • Uses of the system: The components and modules of Microsoft Dynamics AX that you plan to deploy

    • The number of transactions over a period of time, and the total number of transactions during peak business hours

    • The number of active or concurrent users over a period of time, and the total number of active or concurrent users during peak business hours

    • The external user access that is required

    • The web access that is required

    • The required availability

    • The projected growth rate

    • The number of sites and the number of users who connect through a wide area network (WAN)

    • Integration requirements: Do any applications have to be integrated with Microsoft Dynamics AX, and what is the workload that is generated by these applications? Are these real-time transactions, or can they be batched?

  3. When you have the information from steps 1 and 2, you can start to determine how to structure the system. The following key decisions must be made:

    • Can any server components for Microsoft Dynamics AX be combined on a single computer? If server components can be combined, which components do you want to combine?

    • What is your deployment plan for high availability and scalability for Microsoft Dynamics AX components?

    • What is your backup and recovery strategy?

The total average number of transactions that are processed per work hour is a key indicator of the hardware and software requirements. Use the transactional volume to plan your hardware and software components, such as the following components:

  • The database server infrastructure, such as the type and number of drives

  • The number of Application Object Server (AOS) clusters

  • The number of AOS instances in a cluster

  • The number of batch servers

  • Network capacity

In Microsoft Dynamics AX, a transaction is defined as the processing of a single line item. For example, a sales order that has 100 line items is considered 100 transactions.

Estimate the number of transactions that are required for each module that you plan to use, and the number of any corresponding transactions that may be triggered by these changes. Determine whether there are any integration points to internal or external applications. For example, a large volume of transactions may come from Microsoft BizTalk Server. This volume of transactions must be factored into your infrastructure and topology planning.

Determine whether these are real-time transactions, or whether they can be batched and processed during off-peak hours. Microsoft Dynamics AX is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) product that provides real-time updates throughout all modules as information is changed. However, Microsoft Dynamics AX also provides a batch system for scheduled processing.

The total number of concurrent users is another indicator of the size of the Application Object Server (AOS) system that is required for appropriate response times and throughput. Although other criteria are also used to plan the capacity of AOS instances or server clusters, the number of concurrent users is an important factor.

Concurrent users are defined as Microsoft Dynamics AX rich clients, web clients, mobile clients, or third-party applications that require that some processing occur in the Microsoft Dynamics AX system. The number of concurrent users also affects network bandwidth and latency.

Determine the number of users who access Microsoft Dynamics AX by using the rich client, web client, or mobile client. Users who access Microsoft Dynamics AX by using the rich client must meet minimum network requirements. If those requirements are not met, consider deploying Windows Server Terminal Services.

The core components of a Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation are a Windows client, AOS, and a database server. Additional components include Enterprise Portal for Microsoft Dynamics AX, workflow, reporting, analytics, Help server, and web services that are based on Internet Information Services (IIS). Determine the workload that is generated for each component, and the resource requirements for an appropriate deployment that has acceptable response times and throughput.

For example, if users access Microsoft Dynamics AX over a WAN by using the Windows client, you must deploy Terminal Services. Similarly, users who access role-based home pages create workload for Enterprise Portal. Users who access reports create workload for the report server for Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, the report server database, and the Microsoft Dynamics AX database.


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