Microsoft recently announced some pretty significant – and exciting! – licensing changes related to storage allotments and fees, as well as additional sandbox and production instances. In today’s post, we’ll walk you through these changes and how they might positively impact your organization.

licensing

Since the inception of Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s licensing model allowed for increasing storage allotments for Dynamics 365 Online in chunks – an additional 10 GB for every 20 full-access users – and charging for each additional GB of database storage needed. Additionally, they charged a fee for each additional production or non-production instance. Well, that’s all about to change…

Starting April 1st, Microsoft is evolving how they allocate, categorize, and charge for additional storage and instances in Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition and PowerApps.

Storage

When it comes to storage for Dynamics 365, Microsoft is going to be splitting what’s currently known as “Database Storage” into three separate buckets – Database capacity, File capacity, and Log capacity – and categorizing it under the Common Data Service (CDS), which is the underlying service for Dynamics 365.

  • Database capacity consists of metadata.
  • File capacity refers to attachments.
  • Log capacity refers to log files that are created in the system.

Currently, customers are entitled to 10 GB of storage by default and receive an additional 10 GB of storage for every 20 full-access users. Additional database storage can be purchased for $5/GB/month.

In the future, users will get 10 GB of database capacity, 20 GB of file capacity, and 2 GB of log capacity by default and receive incremental capacity for each full access user added: 250 MB of database capacity, 2 GB of file, and no additional log capacity per full access user. Additional storage can be purchased at $40/GB/month for database, $2/GB/month for file and $10/GB/month of log capacity, on an as-needed basis.

Today Evolved Structure
Storage Database File Log
Default 10 GB database storage 10 GB 20 GB 2 GB
Entitlement 5 GB/20 full-access users 250 MB/full-access user 2 GB/full-access user None
Additional storage cost $5/GB/month $40/GB/month $2/GB/month $10/GB/month

A few things to be aware of:

  • Pay close attention to the term “full user.” If your organization is Team Member license-heavy, there may be implications for your storage allotment.
  • Rest assured, there is a simple method for tracking storage bucket usage. Microsoft will provide a report that shows usage, both overall and by instance. Starting April 1st, this report can be accessed through the Power Platform admin center, under the Analytics area.

Additional Instances

The other thing that’s changing in April is how additional sandbox and production instances are handled. In the past, customers wanting additional Dynamics 365 instances had to pay per additional instance – $150/month for a sandbox instance and $500/month for a production instance. However, with this evolved model, you are now able to have as many instances as you’d like – production or sandbox – as long as you have the capacity (at least 1 GB must be free to spin up a new instance). There is no need to purchase additional instances. This is huge!

Current Customers

Current customers have two choices: convert to the evolved model any time after April 1st or stay on the current model until the next renewal. However, there is no model mixing – in other words, each organization as a whole must either stay on the current model or switch to the new model. Note that customers not purchasing additional storage or instances will not be affected.

Benefits

There are some amazing benefits to this new model of storage and licensing:

  • Customers will now have visibility (via the report in the Power Platform admin center) into precisely what is using up their data – file storage, log storage, or database storage.
  • There’s no longer a need to purchase additional instances of Dynamics 365, as long as the capacity is there for an additional environment – this can save customers a lot of money!
  • Additional storage is incremented by full-access user you license, not by blocks of 20 users. In the past, if you had 19 users, you still only received the 10 GB default storage. Now, your storage will be incremented for each full-access user that’s added.

As you can see, these are pretty significant changes. Changes to things like licensing, storage, and user allotments often fly under the radar, but in this case, these are exciting and potentially very impactful.

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Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

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Joe D365

Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.