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Environment Planning – Standard Cloud Offering

Standard Cloud Offering & Additional Environments


The standard cloud offer includes two environments:

  • Tier 2 environment – Standard User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
  • Production environment

When your Lifecycle Services (LCS) project is created the two environments are accessible from LCS

  • Tier-2 environment: Standard Acceptance Testing – One Standard Acceptance Testing (UAT) instance is provided for the duration of the subscription. This instance is a non-production multi-box instance that customers can use for UAT, integration testing, and training. Additional sandbox/staging instances can be purchased separately as an optional add-on.

Production environment – One production instance is provided per tenant. The production multi-box instance includes disaster recovery and high availability. It will be provisioned when the implementation approaches the Operate phase, after the required activities in the Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS) methodology and a successful go-live assessment are completed. Additionally, some file storage and database storage are included in the offer:

  • File storage: Every customer receives a certain amount of file/Azure blob cloud storage for files and binary data. Additional file/blob storage can be purchased.
  • Database storage: Every subscription includes a certain amount of Azure SQL Database storage per customer at no additional charge. Additional storage capacity is provided at no charge as an organization increases the number of user and device service licenses. 
Environment Types

The environment landscape can be categorised into the following environment types:

  • Standard – This environment is included in the standard offer and is managed by Microsoft in a Microsoft subscription. Standard environments include the production environment and a Tier-2 Standard Acceptance Test environment.
  • Add-on – The add-on environments are in a Microsoft-managed subscription that the customer has purchased in addition to the standard offer. For example, an add-on environment might be an additional Tier-4 environment for performance testing.
  • Cloud-hosted – Cloud-hosted environments are additional environments that are managed by the customer or partner in a customer or partner Microsoft Azure subscription. A cloud-hosted environment can include a Tier-1 demo or development environment.
  • Environment image – Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) – These additional Tier-1 environments are hosted on-premises by using a virtual hard disk (VHD) that can be downloaded from LCS
Tier-1 vs Tier-2 and higher
Tier-1Tier-2 and Higher
Single-box environmentMulti-box environment
All components are installed on the same server. These components include Application Object Server (AOS), the database, Dynamics 365 Commerce, and Management Reporter.Components are installed on multiple servers.
Microsoft SQL Server is usedAzure SQL database is used
The architecture differs from the architecture of the production environment to maximize efficiency and cost of the development team.The architecture is the same as the architecture of the production environment, even though this type of environment has a different sizing and isn’t enabled for disaster recovery.
The environment can be cloud-hosted, or it can be deployed as an environment image (VHD).The environment can be deployed only as a standard environment or an add-on environment. It can’t be cloud-hosted.
The environment isn’t suitable for UAT or performance testing.The environment is suitable for UAT and performance testing.
Additional Environments

Additional environments can be purchased as add-ons, or they can be deployed as cloud-hosted environments. The following illustration shows a sample overview of standard and additional environments, based on the complexity of the implementation.