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Monday, September 21, 2009

Dynamics AX 2009, Virtualization - When and Why?

With the release of Dynamics AX 2009, Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V virtualization platform from Microsoft, virtualization possibilites exist in a support, certified fashion.

Dynamics AX 2009 is certified for Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V:
Dynamics AX 2009 - System Requirements

From that link.:
"Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 is certified on Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V Virtualization, and will support other virtualization solutions participating in the Server Virtualization Validation Program, consistent with the guidelines listed for all Microsoft software as part of Knowledge Base article 897615.

To use Hyper-V in a production environment, you must download the update for Windows Server 2008 described in Knowledge Base article 950050. The Beta version of Hyper-V, included by default with Windows Server 2008, is not supported."

So now that Dynamics AX 2009 is certified to be virtualized on Windows Server 2008 R2 and the Hyper-V platform, when would you do this, and why?

Well, just like most all other instances of virtualization, the first when would be development and testing enviornments. Having VM images you can bring up for testing, is a great way to save on setup and config time. Creating a VAP, or Virtual Appliance image of Dynamics AX 2009 is a great thing to do. Doing so, means you can quickly have an instance of Dynamics AX, configured with your license, Vertical Add-on's, customizations, and company setup, ready for development and testing.

The why of this is pretty easy to see. There is great benefit in doing this, and getting the most out of your invest from a hardware perspective.

Moving forward into production, there is also a place for Virtualization with Dynamics AX 2009 roles. As you can see in the above diagram though, SQL Server is listed at a different layer, below the Virtualized Platform.

This is a production level point that needs to be really understood. SQL Server, in a production environment, should be on it's own hardware, performance tuned and ready for use.

The rest of the roles can be virtualized, like AOS, Batch Server AOS, SSRS / SSAS, Integration Services, etc.

So this can really open the door, for getting the most out of a customer hardware investment, and not just in the development space anymore.

On the VAP subject line, there is actually a great article about this, that is focused on SQL Server VAP's. However than can easily be applied to Dynamics AX 2009 VAP's.

Check them out here.:
Part 1
Part 2

That's all for now, check back soon!

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