The Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services team is happy to announce the immediate availability of the March release of Lifecycle Services.
- Several new features have been introduced to Cloud-hosted environments to support customers that want to go live with AX 2012 R3 on Azure with a deployment that achieves the Azure SLA, possesses high-availability characteristics in the core AX tiers (AD, SQL, AOS, CLI, and RDS), and acts predictably in expected deployment scenarios. The new features include:
- Support for Azure Premium Storage
- Support for mix and match A/D/G series virtual machines (VMs)
- Static IP addresses
- G-series VMs are now available
- The High availability topology is available in public preview
- Visual improvements have been made to the Methodology toolset.
- We now ship updates on weekends instead of during business days.
- LCS Solutions have been released in private preview. LCS solutions enable partners to create custom content and solutions for AX 2012 R3. If you are interested in creating a solution, learning more, or joining the private beta, please fill out the form here: https://aka.ms/LCSSolution.
- Business Process Modeler now allows exporting to an excel format that can be imported into Task Recorder. To use this feature, you must download this hotfix to Task Recorder:
- Cloud-powered support provides a public preview that allows users to manage incidents for several customers from a new tile on the homepage.
- The preview of the System diagnostics AX Crash and hang analysis tool helps you find known solutions for AOS crashes or hangs based on the information found in AX dump files.
CLOUD HOSTED ENVIRONMENT DETAILS
Azure Premium Storage
Microsoft Dynamics AX is, at its core, a database-driven product. Customers and partners must dedicate high-end hardware for on-premises environments. Premium Storage from Azure offers more predictable database performance on a hardware infrastructure that is on par with what is found in on-premises environments. For production deployments of significant size, we recommend that you use Premium Storage.
To date, Azure Premium Storage is in public preview in 3 data centers. Premium Storage is available only for the Azure DS-series VMs. DS-series VMs will be available through LCS deployment when a customer’s Azure subscription has been opted-in to the Azure Premium Storage Preview, and the customer has selected the High Availability deployment. To get access to the Azure Premium Storage preview, start here: http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/preview/.
For more information, see http://azure.microsoft.com/blog/2014/12/11/introducing-premium-storage-high-performance-storage-for-azure-virtual-machine-workloads/.
General availability of Premium Storage will be announced soon.
Mix and match A/D/G series VMs
For our supported multi-box topologies, each application, data, and AD tier has different processing needs. Previously, all tiers had to be in the same Azure VM SKU family for the deployment to succeed. With this release, we provide isolation that allows a customer or partner to use the VM size that is most appropriate for each task.
Static IP addresses
Previously, Cloud-hosted environments lacked static IP addresses. When VMs were restarted, new IP addresses were assigned, and as a result, DNS settings becoming invalid. Because of this issue, we did not shut down the SQL and RDS tiers when an environment was stopped.
By setting all IP addresses to be static, we ensure that customers no longer have issues with stop/start. Stopping an environment will now shut down all tiers. We do not expect stop/start to be used on High Availability topologies that are actually used in production, but we do anticipate that the feature will be used when customers want to test a High Availability topology running up to their eventual production deployment.
G-series VMs available through LCS deployment
Azure G-series VMs are now available when deploying AX on Azure Cloud-hosted environments.