Business Central On-Premise installation: hardware and software requirements and recommendations

Standard

A list of system requirements for Business Central On-Premise is readily available from Microsoft Docs here.

The only issue is, these are bare minimum requirements.

How do we know what level of hardware requirements will be enough to not only guarantee good performance at deployment, but down the line months and years from deployment?

When the decision to go for Business Central On-Premise versus Business Central on Microsoft cloud is behind, end-users and VARs alike are facing decisions regarding the server type: should it be dedicated server in End-Users premises or virtual servers.

If going down the virtual server path, End-Users can chose between a self-managed self-hosted virtualization system (using Hyper-V or other alike solutions) or use a cloud provider(one of them being Microsoft’s Azure platform).

The minimum requirements allow for an installation of standard product. But if the company is using a different Application layer (standard + AddOns) or if the installation needs to accommodate various extensions, minimum requirements won’t be enough.

For example, in my recent experience with 2 VARs with products for Food vertical, the Microsoft Application extension has been replaced with code that includes Microsoft Application and Food application code. There are high chances that the minimum requirements won’t be satisfied by the modified base layer of the application. And with additional extensions installed on top of the base layer, our needs are getting further and further away from the bare minimum requirements.

When we need to research about Business Central requirements we need to understand the architecture of this product. Business Central functions on a three-tier architecture as seen on this Microsoft Docs page:

Each component in this model comes with their own hardware/software recommendations.

More often than not, I have seen the Web Server and the Business Central server side by side on the same server.

Quite often, especially for installations with less than 25 users, I’ve seen installations of SQL Server, NAV Server and Web Server all on 1 machine or virtual machine.

For installation of 25 users or less the topology I’ve seen working quite well is this:

  • Business Central Server + Web Server on one machine
  • SQL Server on a different machine

Business Central Server and Web Server

SpecificationMinimumRecommended
Memory16 GB>= 32 GB
Processor1 Quad Core2 x 16 CPU cores
DisksSAS or SSD Drives, configured with RAID1

For a list of Operating Systems required by Business Central Server visit Microsoft Docs recommendations for Operating System.

SQL Server

SpecificationMinimumRecommended
Memory32 GB>= 64 GB
Processor1 Quad Core 2 x 16 CPU cores
Disks SAS or SSD Drives:
– OS: RAID1
– Data drive: RAID1
– Log drive: RAID1/RAID10
– Master/TempDB: RAID1
– Backup drive: RAID1

Most SQL Server installations use SQL Server Standard.

While I’ve seen installations of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Business Central on a SQL Server express platform, SQL Server Express should only be deployed for non-production use such as test or development environments. It is not fit as a live environment’s production server.

For a list of SQL Server OS recommendations visit Microsoft Docs page.

The three tier architecture includes:

  • Web Clients
  • Business Central mobile app
  • MS Office Applications (needed for integration of BC with Office products)
  • AL Development workstations.

Please visit Microsoft Docs for each of these additional components’ operating system and other required software recommendation.

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