As I revised for the MB2-715 exam (Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Online Deployment) I am creating blog posts detailing all aspects of my revision. I hope these posts will aid anyone who is also revising for this exam. In this posts I will look at storage management.
We do get a decent amount of storage for “free” but storage space can be a major factor in larger installations. Understanding how much storage you’ll get, how to monitor it and options to extend is therefore an important topic. However the word “storage” only appears once in the skills measured statement! Below you can see that under manage instances a reference to storage is included.
The storage limit is applied to all instances, meaning storage is linked to the subscription not that instance. The result being that storage is shared between your production and sandbox instances. You should note though that any preview instances do not contribute to the overall storage.
By default you get 10Gb of storage with a Dynamics 365 tenant. For each additional 20 full licenses an additional 5Gb is added. A full license is one of the plan or app licenses. Meaning team member licenses do not add to storage. There is a theoretical / technical cap on the amount of additional storage, this is 30 TB.
You can also purchase addition storage on a per Gb basis for a monthly fee. You can do this in the Office 365 Admin Center. Under purchased services you will find a section called “Add-on subscriptions”. In here you can purchase an additional database storage subscription.
When you approach the storage limit, notification emails are sent to administrators when the limit is reached and also at a threshold of 80% If the storage limit happens to be reached new records cannot be created until data is removed or additional storage purchased. (However, it seems this restriction is not immediately applied. I have found that you can go slightly over the limit. Contractually you should not exceed the limit but a degree of pragmatic fair usage does seem to apply.)
You view storage in the Dynamics 365 admin center.
View storage in Office 365
To view your storage usage overall and per instance, load the CRM admin center in office 365. Here you use the “Service Health” option to view the total storage and amount used per instance. In my opinion this is the best place to view storage as you can see the total picture across all instances.
View Resources in Dynamics 365 Web Application
In the web application of Dynamics 365 online we do also have a “resources in use” option. This states you can see details of your organizations use of storage. Open Dynamics 365, and then in settings / administration you will find the resources in user option.
The resources in use option says it will give details of storage used across instances and some additional information such as the number of custom entities being used. However, in my experience, it doesn’t quite do that! You do see the number of custom entities used and you do get linked to view the number of users licenses in use. (Those links simply load the Office 365 Admin Center.)
Note: Dynamics 365 has a limit of 300 custom entities. This is useful to know. Below you can see that my resources in use option shows the number of custom entities in my system.
In my opening I explained that when the storage limit is reached you might need to purchase additional storage or reduce the amount being used. I have already explained that additional storage is granted as the license count increases or when you purchase add-on storage on a per Gb basis. But what methods are available to us for storage reduction?
Obviously before you consider reducing storage you should always ensure that associated data isn’t needed.
Some common items to delete might include old bulk emails, emails with large attachments and notes with attachments. Plus any records for system jobs that are no longer needed, these maybe records of succeeded workflows.
To find and remove notes or emails with large attachments you may simply decide to use advanced find to locate the suspect records. Below you can see an advanced find that looks for emails with attachments greater than 1,000 bytes.
System jobs (and other entities) will contain many more records. For these a bulk deletion job maybe useful.
You will find the bulk record deletion option in settings / data management. Bulk deletion jobs can be created and run on an ad-hoc basis but their key benefit is they can be scheduled to run at regular instances. Maybe each week you might want to delete details of all system jobs older than 1 month etc.
It may also be useful to use the bulk record deletion job to remove historic data. Such as, does the organization need to keep details of leads that were disqualified more than 2 years ago? These kind of rules can be applied but I would advise caution when deleting “user” data like this. As once it’s gone, it’s gone!
If you have auditing enabled you may also benefit from deleing audit logs. You will find an option to manage audit logs in the auditing area of settings.
I hope this post has given you the information you might need to be aware of for storage management.