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How Microsoft delivers your Dynamics CRM online services

Presented by Ben Ravani (General Manager) at the Convergence 2014 event.

 

Cloud computing is the hot topic of the moment, reduction in IT costs and increased agility responding to market demands are among the touted benefits of the cloud; but what are the downsides? How can they be addressed?

 

A demystification of the cloud is required, think about yourself for a second, what are YOUR concerns?

 

Personally, I worry about my personal data, my companies data and my customers data.

 

When considering a cloud service, certain questions should always be asked of the vendor:

  • Where is my data stored?
  • How secure is my data?
  • Who has access to my data?
  • What other purpose other than serving me is my data used for?
  • How reliable is the service I am entrusting with my data and how is it managed?

 

Microsoft have 6 data centres to support Dynamics 2013, they are split into pairs in the USA, Europe and Asia.  The data centres have a number of features to address the fears of cloud services:

  • Physical security including parameter, multi-factor authentication, constant monitoring and locked racks.
  • Critical services are also hosted including Office365, MSN and Skype adding a level of assurance.
  • Dynamic scaling and capacity management.

 

Reliability is obviously a paramount consideration, Active-Active high availability including near real-time replication as well as business continuity are all provided in the data centre.

 

Two copies of your data is written to storage in the primary DC with 2 further copies written to the secondary, sister DC.  As well as this, a fully encrypted backup is securely stored at an off-site location.  Switch-over between DC’s is as straight-forward as ‘the push of a button’.

 

Privacy is assured by initially ensuring that each customer has their own database.  Further safeguards are also in place to provide additional privacy and manage the centre:

  • Data Centre employees have no access to data, only hardware.
  • Failed storage devices are securely stored and shredded.
  • Automated workflows provide self-healing to reduce resolution time and remove human intervention in certain scenarios.
  • Microsoft Operations Centre (MOC) provides 24×7 first response to all monitoring and alerts, escalating to service engineers as appropriate.
  • Service engineers are fully background checked and are located in Redmond and Ireland only; these individuals are highly trusted as they have high-levels of access to both hardware and data in order to resolve issues.

 

Microsoft are dedicated to security and privacy, fully details are available at http://crm.dynamics.com/trust-center but at a high-level:

  • Integrity – Microsoft have been entrusted with your data and take this very seriously.
  • Principles – Security, Privacy and Transparency.
  • Compliance – ISO 27001, HIPAA, EU Model Clauses etc.

 

To summarise the webinar, let me present a screenshot from Ben’s presentation:

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Mark Rowbottom

Mark Rowbottom

IT Consultant and Director at M Rowbottom Consulting Ltd
Mark is an experienced IS Consultant with extensive experience within Solutions Architect & Business Analysis roles complimented with experience in Project Management (PRINCE2). He's the owner of M Rowbottom Consulting, specialising in the Retail Sector, Solutions Architecture and Process Improvement.
Mark Rowbottom

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