With the increase in Microsoft Dynamics 365 storage costs as discussed in our Dynamics 365 Licensing Changes article, moving your attachments out of Dynamics and into Azure is something we would strongly advise.
Luckily we have a few options to assist us with easily moving data out of Dynamics 365 and into Azure Blob Storage
In summary the steps that will need to be followed to setup Azure Blob storage with Dynamics 365 is as follows:
You may already have an azure subscription in place. If so skip this step. If you are not sure go to portal.azure.com and login using your admin account with full access. From here you can either signup or convert your account to a paid subscription.
If you would like us to handle your Azure subscription for you via CSP Licensing let us know and we can take care of everything for you.
If you already have a storage account in Azure, you can use this, or if you do not have one lets go ahead and create a new Storage account. I would recommend Storage V2 and go for the Geo-Redundant option. This will enable you to ensure your data will do safe from natural disasters and any issues in the country hosting the data. You will also be able to use this storage account for and File and Table storage you may require for other projects you have ongoing.
Once this is setup we can create the required Azure Containers (folders) to store the different attachments from Dynamics 365.
Microsoft Labs have a solution available to help handle this process which will need installing into your Dynamics 365 system. The solution is available from the Attachment Management solution on AppSource. This is recommended for Sandbox instances only as Microsoft do not offer support for this, but we have seen many people using in Live with no issues. Microsoft do intend to bring out a new supported version in the near future.
Before your users can successfully utilise the Azure Attachment solution you will need to ensure they have the correct permissions. Either create a new security role to manage this or give permissions on an existing role that everyone has.
You will need to ensure that all users have permission to the following which can be set under the custom entity tab:
Once everything is setup, all new email attachments, and any notes for entities you have configured, will be moved to Azure. However the historic attachments won't be moved. However if you go to the Azure Attachment Storage menu, Reports and Admin will enable you to move a batch of attachments to azure. There is a limitation in that it doesn't move them all in one go, so you will find yourself pressing that button a few times. We do have a workflow we can provide you that easily works around this issue which we would be happy to provide on request.
That's it, your costs will have gone down exponentially, typically our clients end up spending under £1 a month for Azure storage compared to £3.80 up to £100.00's in Dynamics.
If you need any assistance setting this up please give Three Grey Monkeys a shout and we can assist in this process.
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