Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Deploying Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 on Azure - Introduction

Today is the BIG DAY! Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 has been released!

PartnerSource: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Product Release Download page
Microsoft Download Center: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 What's New


With that said, I wanted to move forward and start to look at some really cool stuff you can do with Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 and the Web Client. Now that I've had a chance to deploy the Web Client on a number of sandboxes here in my test lab and pretty much have all the on-premise deployment down, it's time to show you one more cool stuff: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 and Web Client deployment on Microsoft Azure platform.

Windows Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. You can build applications using any language, tool or framework. And you can integrate your public cloud applications with your existing IT environment. The overall goal of Windows Azure is to provide a scalable PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) to subscribers.

Examples and SDKs are available in the Developer Center at

http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/overview/.

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Azure Deployment

A Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 deployment on Microsoft Azure focuses on 4 main aspects (assuming you have already completed all the sign up and subscription process):

  1. Provisioning a virtual network, which can be optionally integrated to your local network.
  2. Provision an Active Directory Domain Controller to manage the virtual network environment. (optional depending on whether you integrate the virtual network to your local network or not)
  3. Provisioning the different virtual machines to support the IIS web server, Web Client, and Web Management Console applications; the various services (Session Central, Session Service, Tenant Services, and the GP Web Services) if deploying each service on separate servers; and the session hosts virtual machines to host the Microsoft Dynamics GP runtime client.
  4. Provisioning a Microsoft SQL Server 2012 virtual machine and storage to host the various company and system databases and deploy a Reports Server.

NOTE: SQL Server 2012 will need to be reconfigured to support SQL authentication. The standard galleries provided on the Azure platform are configured by default to support Windows authentication. SQL Azure is currently not supported with Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 on Windows Azure.

A simple Azure deployment environment is shown in the above picture.

Once the environment has been provisioned, the Microsoft Dynamics GP installation process is fairly comparable to that of an on-premise installation. The installation process will start by installing Microsoft Dynamics GP desktop client on the web client server (or on the SQL Server) and running GP Utilities to set up the databases. The installation is done via Remote Desktop Client which is used for management of the environment only.

Up next is the installation of the web client and web management console applications on the IIS web server. An endpoint will need to be created using the Azure Management Portal for Internet access to the virtual machines. Upon completing the deployment of the Azure environment, access to GP is achieved via Internet Explorer from outside the Azure virtual network.

This is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. In the next few days, I will be whipping out the credit card to setup an Azure subscription and walk through all the different provisioning steps and the Web Client installation process. I will detail all of these in a series of articles to come.

Special thanks to Daryl Anderson, Senior Program Manager and Aaron Donat, Senior Escalation Engineer at Microsoft for their input and editorial contribution to this article

Downloads

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 and Windows Azure (D109GPandAzure.pptx)

Resources

To read more about Microsoft plans for the Dynamics applications and Azure, click on the following link over at MSDynamicsWorld:

Microsoft Shares Updated Azure Plans for Dynamics NAV 2013, GP 2013, AX

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/

5 comments:

Beat BUCHER said...

Hi Mariano,
Thanks for this nice intro about using the Cloud for Dynamics GP2013... Something I haven't thought as a disaster recovery option, but could easily fit into it.

Anonymous said...

Could you please provide information on using a local GP client in Terminal Services mode on Azure, instead of the Web Client?

Mariano Gomez said...

@Anonymous:
Access to Azure VMs is only provided for administrative purposes. So running the GP Dex client on Azure is not an option, since you cannot acquire more remote access licenses.

Dynamics AX Consultant said...

Thanks for explaining things in detail and in an understandable way :)

EVS said...


Microsoft Dynamics GP is indeed a very interactive platform.