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Expand data capacity for Business Central

The 80 GB of database storage that comes with a Business Central cloud installation is more than enough for most companies, but not everyone. Some companies have special requirements and therefore need more space. That's why Microsoft is launching a series of initiatives to help these companies.

Expand your database storage capacity

All Dynamics 365 Business Central cloud installations come with 80 GB of database storage, which is more than enough for most companies, but not everyone. Some companies have divergent requirements and therefore unique scenarios and may require even more storage space.

For companies in need of more database storage, Microsoft has introduced a new add-on SKU, which delivers additional storage capacity. In short, this means that in the future you will easily be able to expand your database and gain even more data storage.

More efficient use of database capacity

Although Microsoft is now providing additional storage capacity to businesses that may need it, the goal remains to have most of their Business Central customers running their solutions without the need for additional storage capacity.

To meet the needs of a growing number of customers with standard 80 GB installations, Microsoft has planned the launch of a series of investments that will be rolled out during the upcoming Business Central version launches. These investments aim to streamline the use of database capacity and thus limit the customers' need for additional storage space.

The timetable for these enhancements has not yet been determined, so timing and content may change, but here are some examples of functionality Microsoft has planned:

1. SQL compression

Business Central databases have patterns that generally perform very well with compression and Microsoft are already using SQL compression across other Dynamics 365 cloud services. It is a simple and already known technique that both reduces database capacity and improves performance. The SQL compression enhancement will be rolled out over the coming months, probably already in the 2020 release wave 2. We expected that this improvement alone would significantly reduce the size of database storage.

2. Automated log file management

As the Business Central SaaS databases are used today, the tables used to perform diagnostic logging from both the base application and ISV (Independent Software Vendor) solutions are in many cases among the most comprehensive tables in a given Business Central database. Functionality that can be used to configure and manage a maximum size for these log tables is already planned. The system will automatically deliver cleaning of older items, thus improving performance and reducing storage size.

3. Warning by rapidly growing database

Growing databases are not always due to normal usage. In some cases, this is due to an error condition. Microsoft has scheduled service functionality that will alert the administrator if the database suddenly grows unexpectedly. This functionality is supported by tools designed to identify the tables involved and is the key to identifying and solving problems that result from unexpected and unnecessary use of database space.

4. Lower cost of attachments

When it comes to on-premise installations of Business Central, the preferred method of simplifying data management for many companies is often to attach their files, such as PDFs, images or Excel spreadsheets. For now, Microsoft will exclude binary file storage from the calculation of your database storage, but in a future Business Central release wave update, they have scheduled binary attachments to be moved to a data store at a lower cost.

5. Filing

Another area that has often been an important reason for using database storage is archiving historical data. Microsoft has planned investments that will allow archiving of historical data outside the primary Business Central database while retaining the ability to access and access important and necessary information. This approach will both help system administrators to maintain system performance and manage database storage to meet inventory size requirements.

Migrating from Dynamics NAV to Business Central

If you are a Dynamics NAV user and need to migrate to Business Central, Microsoft provides a tool to help you estimate the size of the database when migrated to Business Central. The tool is currently validated with a few examples and it is expected that it will already be available during this quarter.

Overview of total data usage on the dashboard

The admin dashboard in Business Central will soon give the user a complete overview of the total data storage usage along with details of the top tables filtered by size. This helps Business Central users manage and plan the cost of data storage.

As a customer, please be aware that if you exceed the paid inventory limit, the transaction processing will not be interrupted.

Starting with Release Wave 2 2020, Microsoft has announced plans to block actions taken by administrators that create additional database copies when the paid storage limit is exceeded.

Contact us

If your company needs to add additional storage space to your Dynamics 365 Business Central, or need specific guidance to solve business and system critical challenges, feel free to contact us.


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