Dynamics CRM 2015 Minimum Hardware Requirements

Synopsis

Ever wondered what the minimum hardware requirements you can get away with are when building a CRM 2015 VM? This post covers the minimum “viable” hardware requirements for implementing a CRM 2015 server.

Introduction

As a consultant, I often find myself installing CRM in a single-server deployment topology. Be it as a standalone “offline” VM for a demo, a development environment, or a throw away environment, the requirements are usually the same.
For a production environment, the minimum implementation topology I would follow is a multiple-server install. I would opt for a two-server deployment if the client is on a budget and has less than 25 concurrent users (server count excluding the AD servers).
I tend to install CRM on a monthly if not weekly basis. But I always ask myself, what are the minimum requirements I get away with to ensure CRM is running to my satisfaction? I set out the minimum requirements that I have found work for me for a single-server below.

Official Documentation

When planning an installation, the implementation guide for CRM 2015 is your friend. The guide consists of two documents “Administering CRM 2015 for online and on-premises” and “Deploying and administering Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015”. The latter is the one we are interested in. Both documents can be found in pdf, docx, or chm format (don’t forget to unblock the chm) HERE. Alternatively, you can look at the online documentation HERE.

Hardware Requirements

The hardware requirements for a single server are straight forward. As recommended by Microsoft:

Component Minimum Recommended
Processor x64 architecture or compatible dual-core 1.5 GHz processor Quad-core x64 architecture 2 GHz CPU or higher such as AMD Opteron or Intel Xeon systems
Memory 2-GB RAM 8-GB RAM or more
Hard disk 10 GB of available hard disk space 40 GB or more of available hard disk space

Although the implementation guide states “The minimum and recommended requirements are based on 320-user load simulation tests”, I strongly urge you to follow the recommended requirements, otherwise your server will be sluggish.  To give you an example, installing CRM takes 16min on a 4GB VM versus 1h 45min on a 2GB server mainly due to paging. Hardware is cheap, if you are running it on your PC, 16GB laptops are becoming the norm nowadays – invest!

My minimum recommendations are as follows:

Component Minimum Typical
Processor Dual-Core Dual-CPU, Dual-Core
Memory 4-GB RAM 8-GB RAM
Total hard disk space 60 GB of available hard disk space 80 GB of available hard disk space – on an SSD

Granted, my computers usually have SSDs and I am running as a single user, I often get told my VM is running faster than some production environments. If you check the performance monitor while using CRM you will notice that I/O (disk activity) is high. An SSD drive makes a world of difference.

Conclusion

8GB RAM, Dual-Core, and 80GB of space is not asking much for a CRM 2015 VM. Hardware is cheap, invest in a good development/demo PC. You will quickly get your ROI by keeping your sanity and saving yourself time by not dealing with a sluggish VM.

Now what about the software requirements? Stay tuned for my next post.

Rami Mounla

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