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Understanding Storage and Storage Notifications in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

Understanding Storage and Storage Notifications in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

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Have you ever wondered about how storage is calculated for your Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online organization, or how storage notifications are generated, or where to check your organization’s maximum allowed storage or usage? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, please read on. This article is intended to shed light on storage and storage notifications in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, to answer some FAQs related to storage, and to provide some tips for reducing your storage utilization.

Let’s start by determining your maximum allowed storage limit. By default, you get 5GB of storage when you sign up for a CRM Online organization. If you manage your CRM Online subscriptions by using Office 365 (“O365 CRM orgs” for the sake of brevity), you can always purchase additional storage on the Resources In Use page, or you can purchase storage directly from your subscription management page.

If you have an O365 CRM org, you can check for your allowed storage and your current usage anytime by navigating to Settings > Administration > Resources In Use. The Resources in Use page is shown in the following graphic.

If you have a non-O365 CRM org, you can check your allowed storage and your current usage anytime by navigating to Settings > Administration > Subscription Management. The Subscription Management page is shown in the following graphic.

So, what happens when your CRM Online organization approaches or exceeds your storage limit? You will receive storage notifications alerting you that the organization’s storage usage is approaching or has exceeded your allowed storage limit. To avoid spamming you with multiple emails, Microsoft sends only one email notification per day about storage, even if your organization hits the threshold multiple times a day. Currently, the notification email and org level notifications are generated if your organization reaches 80% of your allowed storage limit, but Microsoft reserves the right to change this threshold percentage.

In addition to sending email notifications to System Administrators, Microsoft also generates notifications that you can view by navigating to Settings >Administration > System Notifications. The System Notifications page is shown in the following graphic.

There are two kinds of storage notifications: Storage Limit Reached and Storage Limit Exceeded notifications. Think of these as two different kinds of alarms indicating the level of risk associated with your storage utilization.

Storage Limit Reached notifications indicate that you have reached your threshold limit and may soon exceed your storage capacity. As a result, action is required to avoid exceeding the storage limit. A typical Storage Limit Reached notification is shown in the following graphic:

Storage Limit Exceeded notifications indicate that your CRM Online organization has already exceeded the threshold and you will not be able to add data, such as records, to the system. Immediate action on your part is required, either deleting data you no longer need or purchasing additional storage. A typical Storage Limit Exceeded notification is shown in the following graphic:

Now let’s move on to addressing some common storage-related questions from the customer forums.

How is my Storage Utilization calculated?

Other than the internal specific calculations, two main components, Data Size and Index Size, are used to calculate your CRM Online organization’s storage utilization.

The size of the transaction log is not included in calculations of storage utilization. The increase in database size that results from an upgrade from one Dynamics CRM version to another is not included, and nor are the organization database overheads.

If you have multiple instances of CRM Online associated with the same O365 account, your total storage utilization is the sum of storage utilizations of all the CRM instances.

Can I increase the threshold for storage warnings from 80% to 85%?

Because the storage thresholds are managed at a deployment level, there currently is no way to control the threshold value on a per organization basis.

I purchased new storage, when will my new storage get reflected?

When customers who have a non-O365 CRM organization purchase extra storage, Microsoft’s billing service notifies us of the purchase, and we would immediately queue up the CalculateMaxStorage system job to provide the extra storage. The process from buying storage to queuing up the system job generally takes less than a minute. After the asynchronous service picks up this system job and executes it, your newly purchased storage will reflect in your allowed storage limit.

I have an O365 organization, how long does it take to purchase new storage and for it to become available in CRM?

Except for volume licensing scenarios (which are detailed below), the process should be quick. You purchase extra storage in O365, and Microsoft gets that information by querying O365 for changes, and the Microsoft queues up the CalculateMaxStorage system job. The process from buying storage to queuing up the system job generally takes less than a minute. After the asynchronous service picks up this system job and executes it, your newly purchased storage will reflect in your allowed storage limit.

When it comes to volume licensing, purchasing extra storage requires a series of steps. It requires an amendment to the service contract and takes approximately about a week to complete.  Therefore, it is highly recommended to buy additional storage well in advance of reaching storage exceeded threshold. However, as a result of unforeseen circumstances such as bulk data imports into your organization, for example, if your organization is exceeds the allowed storage limit, and you need the additional storage updated more quickly,  you can call Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online support to seek out their assistance directly.

How can I reduce the storage utilization associated with my CRM Online organization?

From a historical perspective, most storage is consumed by email attachments, notes, workflows, and system jobs. As a result, be sure to reclaim some of the space used by these items by regularly following these easy maintenance activities.

  • Use Bulk Delete jobs on a one-time or recurring basis to delete:
    • Old and successful system jobs.
    • Large and outdated email attachments (ActivityMimeAttachment)
    • Large and outdated Notes (Annotation)

For detail about using Bulk Delete to delete data and reclaim storage space, see:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg334418.aspx

Matt Cooper's blog post on maximizing your allotted space in CRM should also be very useful, as it provides a step-by-step explanation of using Bulk Delete to get rid of those old large email attachments:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crm/archive/2009/01/15/dude-where-s-my-space.aspx

  • If your organization makes heavy use of workflows, revisit the frequently running heavy workflows to determine if they can be simplified.  Removing even a few steps from workflows that run frequently can make a noticeable difference.
  • If your organization makes heavy use of asynchronous plugins, during sdkmessageprocessingstep registration there is an option you can select that specifies to delete the system jobs (for running that sdkmessageprocessingstep) after they complete successfully. Below is the screenshot from plugin registration tool that exposes that option.

That’s it for now. I hope this blog post has provided additional insights into storage and storage notifications in CRM Online. I encourage you to try out the techniques mentioned above to free up some of your organization’s storage utilization so that you can make the best use of the resources you already have. Don’t forget to send me your feedback and comments!

Cheers!

Uma Maheswari Anbazhagan
Microsoft Dynamics CRM

 

  • Thanks for the post. Each and every data can't be saved and even can't be ignored. It does need to keep for taking critical decisions and keeping all data is not an easy thing as it can create issues in your system. Keep organized and essential data can make you manage your data in effective way. As we are discussing about dynamics CRM I would like to share that we are called Karya Technologies (http://www.karyatech.com) providing enterprise dynamics solutions and we are specialized in mobility as well.

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