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Deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 on Azure using Lifecycle Services [AX 2012]

Updated: August 14, 2014

Applies To: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 can be deployed on Microsoft Azure virtual machines. This article introduces you to Azure and explains how to deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 environments on Azure by using the Cloud hosted environments tool in Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services.

Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables you to quickly build, deploy, and manage applications across a global network of datacenters that are managed by Microsoft.

Azure enables cloud computing. Cloud computing is the delivery of computing capabilities as a service. Cloud computing makes it easy to access IT resources such as computers, networking, and storage. As with any utility, you generally only pay for what you use with cloud computing. By using cloud services, you can harness the power of massive datacenters without having to build, manage, or maintain costly, complex IT building blocks. With the cloud, much of the complexity of IT is abstracted away, letting you focus on the infrastructure, data, and application development that really matter to your business.

You can deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 on Azure. When you do, you may realize the following benefits:

  • Reduce costs

    Since you don’t have to build out or manage infrastructure with Azure, IT costs may be greatly reduced.

  • Save time

    An on-premises Microsoft Dynamics AX environment may take weeks to plan, acquire necessary hardware, and deploy. By using the Cloud hosted environments tool in Lifecycle Services, you can deploy a Microsoft Dynamics AX environment on Azure in hours.

  • Gain flexibility

    The cloud enables you to easily scale up (or scale down) to meet the changing needs of your business.

Azure offers three types of services: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

Type of service

Use to

Description

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Consume

You use a web browser to use applications that are hosted in the cloud.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Build

You don’t manage or control the network servers or operating system. PaaS is more developer-oriented. It allows you to focus on the business logic of applications and quickly move applications from concept to launch.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

Host

You have control over your virtual machines and the network configuration, but you don’t have to worry about hardware.

When you deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX on Azure, you will be using the IaaS offering. This means that Azure provides the virtual machines, storage, and networking capabilities. You must manage and secure the operating systems, applications, and data installed on the virtual machines.

Azure services model

To deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX on Azure, you can use Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services. Lifecycle Services is a cloud-based collaborative workspace that customers and partners can use to manage Microsoft Dynamics AX projects. The Cloud hosted environments tool, available on the Lifecycle Services website, helps you deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX environments on Azure.

When you use the Cloud hosted environments tool to deploy, you’ll need to select the Microsoft Dynamics AX environment that you want to deploy on Azure. Currently, you can deploy the following types of Microsoft Dynamics AX environments:

  • Demo

    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 and sample data that you’ll need to demo Microsoft Dynamics AX—already installed on it.

  • Developer/test

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

  • Retail essentials demo

    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 and sample data 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 Microsoft Dynamics AX.

  • Retail essentials

    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 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 Microsoft Dynamics AX.

    This environment is for development and testing purposes.

  • Retail e-commerce

    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 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 Microsoft Dynamics AX.

    This environment is for development and testing purposes.

  • Retail mobility

    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 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.

NoteNote

Additional Microsoft Dynamics AX environments, such as a production environment and a disaster recovery environment, are planned to be released in the future, as announced at the Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2014 event.

For more information about the virtual machines, and the software installed on each virtual machine in these environments, see Plan your Microsoft Dynamics AX deployment on Azure (June). The following diagram shows the architecture for the developer/test environment.

Microsoft Dynamics AX on Azure

The process for deploying Microsoft Dynamics AX on Azure is complex and should be completed by system implementers who have experience with:

  • Licensing requirements

    You’ll need to provide license information for the software included in a Microsoft Dynamics AX environment. This documentation will point you to resources to help you complete this task, but will not provide a step-by-step procedure for completing this task.

  • Networks and domains

    To enable users in your corporate network to easily access the virtual machines on Azure, you’ll need to create a site-to-site VPN connection. This documentation will point you to resources to help you create the VPN connection, but will not provide a step-by-step procedure for completing this task.

To deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX on Azure, see the TechNet articles that are listed in the following table.

Task

Details

More information

Plan your deployment

Plan your deployment

Before you can deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX on Azure, there are several things you must consider and decisions you must make. For example, you must consider licensing requirements, purchase an Azure subscription, and select the type of Microsoft Dynamics AX environment that you will deploy on Azure. You may choose to deploy one of the following types of Microsoft Dynamics AX environments:

  • Demo

  • Developer/test

  • Retail essentials demo

  • Retail essentials

  • Retail e-commerce

  • Retail mobility

NoteNote

Additional Microsoft Dynamics AX environments, such as a production environment and a disaster recovery environment, are planned to be released in the future, as announced at the Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2014 event.

Plan your Microsoft Dynamics AX deployment on Azure

Deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX on Azure

Deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX on Azure

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 in Lifecycle Services to deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX on Azure.

Deploy a Microsoft Dynamics AX demo environment on Azure

Deploy a Microsoft Dynamics AX developer/test environment on Azure

Deploy a Microsoft Dynamics AX Retail essentials demo environment on Azure

Deploy a Microsoft Dynamics AX Retail essentials environment on Azure

Deploy a Microsoft Dynamics AX Retail e-commerce environment on Azure

Deploy a Microsoft Dynamics AX Retail mobility environment on Azure

Set up the Azure environment

Manage your Microsoft Dynamics AX environment on Azure

To help you manage your Microsoft Dynamics AX environment on Azure, see the tips and tricks in the associated article.

Manage your Microsoft Dynamics AX deployment on Azure

Troubleshoot issues that may occur

Troubleshoot issues that may occur

If you need to contact Microsoft with licensing questions or technical issues, you must first determine which support team to contact: the Azure support team or the Microsoft Dynamics AX support team. The associated article explains when and how to contact each support team.

Troubleshoot your Microsoft Dynamics AX deployment on Azure


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