Want to Deploy Dynamics GP on Azure? Think again

March 20, 2018
March 20, 2018 Allie

Want to Deploy Dynamics GP on Azure? Think again

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Organizations across myriad industries have embraced cloud computing. In fact, an estimated 95 percent of businesses are currently running applications in the cloud or experimenting with the Infrastructure-as-a-Service approach, according to research from RightScale. Of course, swapping on-premise servers for cloud-based alternatives is no easy task, as the process involves moving over complicated systems such as Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Roughly 47,000 companies worldwide use this celebrated enterprise resource planning system, according to ERP Software Blog. Many companies worldwide have also adopted Microsoft Azure, believing the platform to be the ideal choice for cloud deployments. But, is this the right option for deploying Microsoft Dynamics GP on the cloud? While these two solutions certainly complement each other, there are some drawbacks that come along with rolling out GP on Azure.

Service gaps
Azure alone is a powerful platform. However, effective enterprise cloud computing infrastructure is not enough. Organizations must have access to key cloud services to facilitate operational progress and maintain high network performance.

Unfortunately, Microsoft does not offer these ancillary services with its base Azure offerings. Internal information technology teams must oversee critical cloud setup and maintenance activities such as backup configuration and testing, password management and the deployment of Windows service packs, updates and hotfixes.

This is a significant task for companies with no or small IT departments. For those without internal technical specialists, managing these tasks in-house is virtually impossible, likely requiring many to seek assistance from managed services providers or other external IT assets at a significant cost. For example, roughly 55 percent of U.S.-based MSPs charge between $1000 and $5000 per month for base service packages, according to research from IT firm Kaseya.

No uptime guarantees
Uptime guarantee agreements are designed to hold the service provider accountable for events that may cause system downtime, and therefore, negatively affect businesses dependent upon their cloud environments. Most cloud technology companies and MSPs offer uptime guarantees in the 99 percent range.

However, Microsoft offers no such guarantee to organizations moving their GP to Azure. The company does not offer an uptime guarantee with its base-level Azure products. This means firms that use the solution are susceptible to service interruptions.

When Azure engineers install security updates or perform routine maintenance, virtual machines on the platform may simply go offline, which disrupts operations and weighs on the bottom line. In fact, one minute of unplanned system downtime can cost as much as $8,000, analysts for 451 Research found.

That said, enterprises migrating to Azure can take advantage of a 99.95 percent uptime guarantee via Microsoft by purchasing two of each cloud server type – Active Directory, Remote Desktop, SQL and Windows – and configuring these storages spaces into highly-available couplets. However, this approach to Azure adoption effectively doubles the implementation cost.

Azure and Dynamics GP may seem like the perfect fit, but there are better options.

Licensing complications
Businesses with existing GP workloads maintain on-premises SQL servers, each with separate licensing agreements. The same goes for other Windows services such as Office 365 or even early Azure installations. Most prospective adopters expect these licenses to maintain validity in new cloud-based Azure instances. Sadly, this is not the case.

Businesses moving Microsoft Dynamics GP from on-premise to Azure environments may have to license some new licenses. This, of course, causes immense budgetary and technical complications. In some cases, IT teams need to also upgrade to more expensive versions. For example, Azure requires users to adopt enterprise SQL services rather than stock options that cost less and offer business-level functionality. Azure Remote Desktops do require that you have an Enterprise version of Office 365. So, if you have a Business Edition license, you will have to upgrade it. Most other licenses of Office do not include cloud mobility, so you can’t run them in the cloud. For example, if you have an OEM version of Office that came preinstalled on your computer when you bought it, you cannot run that license in the cloud.

An alternative solution
Together, these variables complicate the Azure-GP migration equation, likely leaving many prospective cloud adopters wondering, “How can we move our GP workloads into a safe, compatible cloud environment without dealing with these costly implementation hurdles?”

TMG Cloud is the answer.

Here at The TM Group, we offer private cloud environments designed to support GP workloads of all sizes. Additionally, our TMG Cloud packages come with extra services that Azure does not provide.

TMG Cloud customers have access to top-of-the-line technical support through our managed services offerings. Our highly-trained staff can manage solution setup and maintenance for the lifetime of the installation. We even help clients deploy enterprise applications in private cloud environments unrelated to GP workflows. Additionally, TMG Cloud solutions are designed from the ground up to facilitate optimal business continuity. We offer 99.9 percent uptime guarantees, with no extra investment required. Finally, our IT specialists can easily migrate applications with existing licenses into private cloud environments, meaning adopters do not have to worry about purchasing new software just to switch to the cloud.

Is your organization ready to embrace the cloud and move your Dynamics GP workload to the cloud? Connect with The TM Group. Our TMG Cloud solution gives businesses the power to streamline their operations through cloud computing technology without incurring major costs. Contact us today to learn more about the TMG Cloud and our other products and services.

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