Multiple Server Deployment

As the Microsoft Dynamics CRM infrastructure requirements become more complex, careful planning will be needed to scale properly and effectively.  Server configuration options extend to all components of the deployment. Review the documented plan for any multi-server configurations so that as installation progresses all CRM components are properly configured:

  • Windows and network load balancing
  • SQL Server database redundancy options to make sure the desired option is configured  and setup clusters if needed
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Application Server(s)
    • Front End, Back End
    • Server Groups and Roles
    • Email Router Server(s) configuration
    • Active Directory Federation Service 2.0 Server(s) setup
      • May install 2 or more ADFS servers and configure with NLB
      • ADFS Server farm is also an option including an ADFS proxy server in a DMZ
      • SharePoint Server(s) or server farm

Deployment Design Diagram

This diagram (Figure 1) of Microsoft Dynamics CRM infrastructure shows layouts from small to medium size organization. The second diagram (Figure 2) is an enterprise deployment that demonstrates the typical scaling of servers for redundancy.

Multiple Server Deployment

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Architecting Server Roles

It’s important to understand the strategies of when and how to deploy server roles for performance and scale.

There are four CRM Server Role groups:

  • Full Server – represents all CRM Server roles
  • Front End Server – Client Applications and Supported Customizations
    • CRM Web Application
    • CRM Help Files
    • Discovery and Organization Web Services
    • Back End Server – Asynchronous events processing
      • Async Services (workflow, bulk email, data imports)
      • Sandbox Service (isolation of custom code/plugins)
      • Deployment Administration Server – admin tool for managing server roles
        • Deployment Manager Tool
        • Multi-tenancy configuration
        • Windows PowerShell cmdlets
        • Deployment Web Service
        • Deploying server roles

When to scale

Additional server requirements will most likely be driven by business load and activities. Fortunately, CRM Application servers are relatively easy to scale after initial deployment if necessary.

  • Front end servers: Load balance with Windows NLB or a hardware load balancer
  • Back end servers: Load will be split automatically

Adding more hardware is often the first reaction however, there are other points to consider:

  • Number of users per front end server
  • Volume of asynchronous activity
  • Examine network traffic for potential non-CRM bottlenecks