If you are considering purchasing Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 it is important to understand the underlying server and database environment and
Generally, everything in the Dynamics CRM 2011 environment will live in a 64-bit world. CRM 2011 can only be installed on a Windows 2008 x64-based server; the Server 2003 family will not be supported. It’s recommended by the CRM 2011 beta Planning Guide to install Internet Information Service (IIS) version 7.0 prior to installing CRM 2011. Also, only x64-based versions of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 will be supported for CRM 2011.
It’s likely many of the servers supporting current installations of CRM 4.0 are not the same ones that will be used to support CRM 2011, especially if they are not based on the x64 architecture. Fortunately, the upgrade path is very easy once you get your new CRM 2011 server built. Once you are satisfied with your x64 server, running Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, and CRM 2011, you’re ready to migrate your CRM 4.0 organizational database. Make a SQL backup of your CRM 4.0 <organization>_MSCRM database and copy/restore it to your SQL Server 2008 database server. On the CRM 2011 server, run the Deployment Manager tool, and have it import the organization. It will detect that the database is from a CRM 4.0 deployment, and will automatically upgrade it for you. All this time, your original CRM 4.0 environment is untouched and available, in case you have difficulty with the upgrade or want to verify data between the two versions.
More details are available in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Beta Implementation Guide, which includes Planning, Installing, and Operating guides. The time is now to begin getting smart on this process, in order to ensure a smooth implementation.
By Alan Camp, 2B Solutions –