So, you’ve got a shiny CRM system with loads of leads and contacts, ready to take your business to the next level – But how does it all get stored? How much is too much? How can you manage it?
All these questions, and more, answered here!
First Up – What Is It?
Just like the file storage on your hard drive or SSD, Dynamics 365 requires storage capacity to hold all of the data and insights you feed into it. Unlike in on-premise deployments where your business’s servers manage the storage and data, storage for Dynamics Online is licensed by Microsoft under your Dynamics subscription, with no extra cost.
Your system admin should be keeping on top of how much storage you’re using, and how much you’ve got left, in the Power Platform Admin centre. Doing this ensures that your system performance doesn’t get impacted by capacity limits.
Some storage comes as standard with your Dynamics 365 package, and additional capacity can be purchased per capacity type, on a per gigabyte per month basis to ensure you never run out. Microsoft’s new storage model splits capacity into the following three types.
Database – This houses all of the typical entity and field data, and core records like accounts, contacts, opportunities and any other custom record type. Put simply – it holds all the stuff you would’ve put into a spreadsheet before you made the jump to CRM! 10GB comes as standard, plus 250MB per user (for Enterprise license and above).
File – File storage is made up of notes, emails, and files (documents added as attachments). Emails tracked to Dynamics as well as those sent from Dynamics both count. You get 20GB as standard, plus 2Gb per user (for Enterprise license and above).
Log – This section stores more “system” type files – back-end files that the system needs to run such as workflow logs, audit history data, analytics, role updates and more. You get 2GB as standard (for Enterprise license and above).
How Can I Reduce Storage?
This is the question on everyone’s minds and one with multiple possible answers. It is something we are asked all the time.
1. Manage Your Environments
If you’re also running a sandbox (test) environment, then keeping the data in this test system to a minimum will mean you aren’t doubling your storage usage. Storage is measured at a tenant level, meaning it’s a combination of all the CRM environments you’re running.
2. Consider The Health Of Your Database
Do you need those lost leads from 5 years ago? Do you have duplicate records or tasks that can be merged? Running bulk deletion jobs on old, unwanted data can help bring down your current storage, and it’s a great way to make sure your CRM is in the best shape it can be!
You can even schedule deletion jobs to run periodically to bulk delete records once they hit a certain ‘age’.
3. Workflow Jobs
Every time an automation runs, a ‘workflow job’ is created and stored in the log storage. This could be things like every time an opportunity is won, send out an email to the sales team.
The more you have, the more your usage grows. To solve this, either set your workflows to automatically delete successful workflow jobs as soon as they’re complete (where they aren’t needed for investigation), or if you need to keep these logs schedule a bulk deletion exercise on these records after a certain amount of time has elapsed, like every 6 months. You can do the same for other system jobs and data, like rollup field calculations and audit history logs.
Power Platform Capacity Summary Page.
Dataverse tab which shows you a per-environment summary.
Instead of attaching documents to records in Dynamics, use SharePoint to store your files. Connect the two systems and leverage the much larger (1TB) storage capacity in SharePoint to store files there instead.
These can be referenced and accessed directly via a link on the relevant Dynamics record. Speak to us about a SharePoint integration.
5. Data Imports
If you regularly perform bulk data imports into CRM, you may not know that this can leave the large import file floating around in your storage capacity.
Delete these source files (being vigilant not to also delete the resulting imported records, of course) and free up some space.
6. Audit Logs
Be smart about how many entities have auditing enabled, as this could control the speed at which your audit log size increases.