In order provide the best experience for a large user base, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 allows portions of functionality or roles to be installed across multiple servers to better distribute processing load. In enterprise deployments and other scenarios where security is paramount, distributing roles amongst servers minimizes the Windows components required for each server. This, combined with proper server placement within your network can reduce potential outside threats from hackers. Additional redundancy can also be achieved with distributed roles as each can be installed on multiple servers. Combining this feature with technology like Network Load-Balancing (NLB) can help ensure your CRM system is always available even if catastrophe strikes.
The data is the most important part of any CRM system and as such making sure the database is available and protected is critical. Creating a clustered SQL Server environment can provide automatic failover from one node to the other in the case of hardware failure. Alternatively, database mirroring can also be employed to provide failover if the hardware required for a cluster isn’t available. One crucial piece of the puzzle that is often overlooked until the end of a CRM rollout is the database backup. Multiple servers only protect against scenarios where server availability is compromised. So what happens if someone accidently deletes 250 accounts or fire destroys the building? Your backup strategy should reflect the amount of data you can afford to lose without having a substantial impact on your daily business.
Dynamics CRM 2011 Online can be an option if the costs of building an on premise, highly available deployment exceed your budget.
By, Jason Lattimer, Software Developer, Avastone Technologies LLC,