When deploying a portal or other Microsoft Dynamics CRM connected or integrated application, it is always ideal to install the application as close as geographically possible to the Dynamics CRM system. For on-premise, this ideally means the same datacenter and local area network.
Now that more and more Dynamics CRM and application projects are moving to the cloud, optimizing where a CRM connected application (such as a portal) gets deployed is critical for success.
Microsoft does not allow you to choose or disclose which of its data centers a Dynamics CRM online organization will get provisioned. I opened a support ticket and was told that my Dynamics CRM online was deployed in “North America”. If you want to deploy an application to Azure that connects to CRM online, a bit of detective work and experimentation should allow you to determine the best possible Azure location.
I recently went through an exercise to determine the best Azure location for an ADX Portal that connected to a specific Dynamics CRM online deployment.
Essentially I created a series of low powered temporary virtual machines in each of the North American data centers.
Note: Depending on which machine configuration you choose, you may be limited to which regions are available. I chose a Windows 2008 R2 server with a “Resource Manager” deployment model and that gave me all the region options.
Once the virtual machines were all created, I logged into each of them. Since it was Windows 2008 R2, I disabled the IE Enhanced Security Configuration to make navigation smoother. I did not bother to update IE because the Dynamics CRM diagnostics link works fine on IE8 and I was going to trash this virtual machine after the experiment was done anyway.
I entered the following URL that is used to determine the speed to your Dynamics CRM deployment:
Replace <<orgname>> with the name of your CRM Online environment.
Note: If you are using an on-prem, just tack on the “/tools/diagnostics/diag.aspx” part to the end of the URL.
You will be prompted for your CRM credentials.
I found that I got an error on the first attempt but just click “try again” and the diagnostic window should come up.
Hit “Run” and note the Latency and Bandwidth.
Log into each VM in each region and note the results.
Below are my results from a few months ago using a specific Dynamics CRM online deployment. Your mileage will most likely vary depending on where your CRM Online is deployed and potential internet congestion. Ideally you should track results over a few days to see which data center is consistently the best.
From these tests on that day, the West US was the worst place to host a Portal, while East US2 was the best. Note that not all services are available in all data centers.
Once the experiment is done, delete your virtual machines to preserve your Azure credits!