Upgrade Guidance

This section of the documentation provides detailed instructions for Service Providers currently running hosted 4.0, and wanting to upgrade their environment to a hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.

The recommended strategy is to install CRM 2011 using a new instance of SQL Server and new hardware for the CRM 2011 roles. An in-place upgrade of CRM is not recommended, as the hosted platform is serving a high number of users across many tenant organizations. Managing the customer expectations along with meeting service level agreements could be at risk during an in-place upgrade.

The CRM 2011 environment should be installed into the domain hosting the CRM 4.0 environment. Tenant organizations may then be upgraded from the CRM 4.0 deployment to the CRM 2011 deployment in a scheduled manner, to minimize distribution to the customer as well as the support desk.

The CRM 2011 solution should be designed to meet your current and future needs. Take into consideration the new roles, design points, and changes to the IFD implementation.

The new CRM 2011 environment should be designed and deployed using the guidance from the earlier chapters in this document. Once built, the new CRM 2011 deployment should be thoroughly tested.

When the platform is fully functional and ready for production users, you should begin to upgrade (or migrate) them from the CRM 4.0 deployment to the CRM 2011 deployment. This upgrade will consist of backing up their current CRM organization database, restoring it in the CRM 2011 deployment, and then importing the database using the CRM 2011 tools. During this import, the database will be upgraded for CRM 2011.


  • Minimize disruption of production users during the upgrade period.
  • Tenant organizations can be upgraded individually or in bulk.
  • Tenant organizations can be rolled back to CRM 4.0 if upgrade fails.
  • Minimize end-user configuration changes.
  • Minimize impact to the operations team.


    The following considerations should be made prior to upgrading the environment and tenant organizations to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.

  • New hardware will be required for the CRM 2011 systems.
  • CRM 2011 includes ability to separate further deployment roles. Given this, you should reevaluate your existing solution and usage, and design the CRM 2011 environment to suit the current and future needs.
  • Automated provisioning solutions may not integrate with CRM 2011, and should be fully tested in a lab prior to upgrading to a production environment.
  • Existing CRM 4.0 systems will not be modified during the upgrade.
  • The IFD solution has significantly changed and now relies upon a Secure Token Solution, such as Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) 2.0.
  • The public-facing domain of the CRM 2011 deployment should match the domain used in the CRM 4.0 deployment, to minimize end user client configuration changes.
  • A separate public IP should be used for the new CRM 2011 environment.
  • Tenant organization DNS records should be updated after the CRM organization has been upgraded to the CRM 2011 deployment. Lowering the Time To Live (TTL) value for the host records (and allowing the new value to propagate) will help minimize client connectivity failures.
  • CRM 4.0 and CRM 2011 cannot be deployed on the same instance of SQL Server. If you intend to leverage the same hardware for the database, you must install a new instance of SQL Server.
  • Only the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 for Outlook with Update Rollup 7 or later is compatible with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Server. Tenant users should upgrade their client application prior to their CRM organization upgrade.
  • Review the Tips for a successful upgrade, and evaluate existing CRM organizations for any issues.
  • Review the Upgrade issues and considerations to review known issues that may occur following the upgrade.


    A Hosted 4.0 platform must be fully deployed and functioning properly.


    It is highly recommended that the upgrade solution and scenarios be fully tested in a lab environment prior to implementing it in production. The lab environment should mirror the production environment as closely as possible with respect to the hardware, software, topology, network implementation, and organization data and configuration.

    For additional information about upgrading from 4.0, see The server upgrade process.