Microsoft Removal of Tier 1 Environments

Thoughtware Article Published: Oct 26, 2020

As notified in the Microsoft email with the subject “ACTION REQUIRED: Changes to Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) access to Tier 1 environments for Dynamics 365 operations applications,” starting January 1, 2021, Microsoft will remove all Microsoft-managed Tier 1 environments from new and existing clients. RDP access to these environments will discontinue beginning December 1, 2020.

What does this mean for me?

Starting January 1, 2021, all TEST/BUILD environments and other purchased Tier 1 environments will be decommissioned and removed from your LCS project. The database for these environments will not be preserved by Microsoft and must be backed up prior to removal of the environment. The environment will no longer be used for code builds; a virtual build agent must be used instead.

What options do I have?

  • Code Builds
    • Azure Pipeline – You can use an Azure pipeline running the NuGet to get the X++ compiler steps to build in a Microsoft-hosted DevOps pipeline agent as described here. This replaces deploying a Build-Test VM with an Azure Build Agent triggered from an Azure pipeline. This code can then be downloaded and applied to environments within LCS by uploading to the asset library.
  • Environments
    • Self-Deployed Azure-Hosted LCS Instance – Use a Self-Deployed Azure-hosted Instance in LCS to replace the Tier 1 TEST/BUILD environment for BKD and user Level 1 and Level 2 testing.
      • For existing customers, the cost of the Azure-hosted environment is offset by Azure credits to be provided by Microsoft
      • This is the preferred option for clients who require Level 1 and 2 testing
      • You can watch the above video to learn how  to deploy and manage this environment
    • UAT – Utilize UAT for all level testing
      • All Level 1–3 testing will happen in the Microsoft-provided UAT Tier 2 environment
      • The package will be moved to PROD once all testing in the package has been approved
      • This is the preferred, cheapest option for non-complex implementations with a GOLD environment and clients who can test updates quickly
    • Tier 2 – Purchase an additional Microsoft-managed Tier 2 environment to replace test
      • Level 1 and 2 testing will be conducted in the additional Tier 2 environment prior to movement to UAT
      • NOTE: Does not use Azure credits, so this could be more costly in the short term
      • The Tier 2 environment provides no RDP access but can access SQL as needed
      • Clients can re-purpose existing additional Tier 2 if not being used currently

What do I do now?

  1. Apply for the Azure credits by visiting this page and entering your company information. When asked for the Account Owner ID, enter the email address of a subscription owner for your Azure cloud subscription.
  2. Take a backup of the current TEST DB before November 1 and upload to the LCS asset library.
  3. Schedule a meeting with your BKD Technologies PM and/or SA to work out a plan for code build and testing, environments, and data movement.

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