Monday, May 5, 2014

Azure, Azure service models, Lifecycle services

In this post, we will briefly discuss about Azure, Service models, Lifecycle services 
and will cover the Dynamics AX deployment on Azure in a separate post

What is Azure?

Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables you to quickly build, deploy, and manage applications across a global network of datacenters that are managed by Microsoft.
Azure enables cloud computing. Cloud computing is the delivery of computing capabilities as a service. Cloud computing makes it easy to access IT resources such as computers, networking, and storage. As with any utility, you generally only pay for what you use with cloud computing. By using cloud services, you can harness the power of massive datacenters without having to build, manage, or maintain costly, complex IT building blocks. With the cloud, much of the complexity of IT is abstracted away, letting you focus on the infrastructure, data, and application development that really matter to your business.
Azure service models

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) - We use a web browser to use applications that are hosted in the cloud. This is majorly for consumption point of view without capabilities to build or deploy.
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) - We don’t manage or control the network servers or operating system. PaaS is more developer-oriented. It allows us to focus on the business logic of applications and quickly move applications from concept to launch.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) - We have complete control over virtual machines and the network configuration, but we don’t have to worry about hardware.
Dynamics AX on Azure When we deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX on Azure, we will be using the IaaS offering. This means that Azure provides the virtual machines, storage, and networking capabilities. 
Lifecycle Services
To deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX on Azure, we can use Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services. Lifecycle Services is a cloud-based collaborative workspace that customers and partners can use to manage Microsoft Dynamics AX projects. The Cloud hosted environments tool, available on the Lifecycle Services website [], helps you deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX environments on Azure. This is how Lifecycle home page looks like when you login and create your project:

If you click on Projects tile, all the project related tiles will be displayed. The Lifecycle services gives us a huge capability in terms of Licence sizing estimator, Issue log, Issue search, Upgrade analysis, Project plan, Team, Documents and much more. In short, this has everything we need to run a Dynamics AX implementation.

It was quite simple to deploy the Dynamics AX 2012 R3 in Azure and access it. Just took a few clicks and a few hours of deployment and all set to rock. This will be very helpful when creating a separate environment for a client demo or working on some POC or may be your personal R3 installation to work on all on CLOUD and accessible from anywhere.

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