So far, we have been talking to you about the software itself so for this week, we are going to focus on a more technical topic. The update of the server specifications for Dynamics NAV 2015. It is important because it pushes you to review your hardware, server configuration and user authentication strategies.
This chapter outlines the current infrastructure requirements for Dynamics NAV and profiles your various options for upgrading your hardware or moving to the cloud.
There are two major areas to review. Reviewing will allow you to determine the infrastructure that is best scaled to meet the needs of your upgraded NA V solution:
1. If you are moving from Dynamics NAV 5 or earlier, what is the impact of NAV’s three-tier architecture? And,
2. Do you want to continue managing your hardware and infrastructure platform on premise?
Server Hardware: From Two-Tier to Three-Tier Architecture
NAV 2013 and 2015 are both built on a three-tier architecture. Thanks to this advantage, it allows you to quickly add a large number of additional users due to the new middle layer. Your current infrastructure may be inadequate to run the newest version effectively. Refer to the table below for an overview of system requirements for a Dynamics NAV server and comparing them against your current resources.
With this architecture, in which the data and data manipulation layers are put on their own servers, the application logic is put on its own server, and the presentation and presentation logic are put on the client. The new three-tier architecture is multi-threaded so that it can handle more than one process at a time. This architecture overcomes the intrinsic limitations of the two-tier architecture.
System Requirements for a MS Dynamics NAV Server
Note: These are minimum requirements from Microsoft. Most customers should go through an infrastructure sizing exercise to determine the appropriate server resource to run their NAV solution.
Current Platform Analysis
The first thing that we recommend you to do is to review your on-premise hardware resources. This step is important to determine what your business wants to do, either continue to maintain your own servers, switches and other components.
You should start this process by asking:
- What is the age and capability of your current hardware?
- What is the strength of your technology department staff in knowledge and support of your hardware and software systems?
- What is your company’s philosophy for cloud migration and IT infrastructure overall?
You might want to continue to host your solution internally if you have a strong technology team that is well-versed in maintaining a Dynamics NAV infrastructure.
You might want to move to an infrastructure platform hosted with your Microsoft Partner or another data center provider if the review show you that you have some gaps or weaknesses, or if cost-savings is an important factor.
Implementing virtualization on your servers is another way to increase your infrastructure capability without buying new servers. Virtualization also provides better administration tools for server management.
Carefully review the list of additional hardware which will be needed to support your upgrade. Compare the total costs with converting your NAV system to a hosting partner or one of the cloud provider variations now possible due to advances in technology, networking and reduced hosting costs.
Consider Infrastructure as a Service
If you want to take advantage of all the Cloud based software benefits, you might want to consider hosting your NAV solution on cloud infrastructure. It will give your business a number of advantages which did not exist only a few years ago. Infrastructure as a Service offers significant cost and efficiency advantages over running on-premise datacenters.
Your business team and internal staff will likely not have to manage:
- The equipment – servers, routers, network devices, etc.
- Server software
- Operating systems
- Security for all of the equipment and software
- Or, Backups of the software and data
And, there is no difference in user experience with the front end client interface. Your business users will not be able to tell if the software is installed in your company offices or at a data center miles away as long as your network connectivity and bandwidth is robust.
If you would like additional information about the cost, extensibility, network bandwidth requirements and scalability of moving to the cloud you can contact us directly, we would be happy to guide you through this upgrade.