The recent announcement by Microsoft of Dynamics NAV availability on their Windows Azure Infrastructure Services (WAIS) cloud dramatically expands the deployment options for existing and future Dynamics NAV clients.

Using Windows Azure as the hosting platform gives clients access to Microsoft’s worldwide network of data centres in Asia, Europe and the US. These data centres are impressive feats of engineering in themselves, and support other MS cloud applications such as Office 365, Skydrive, Hotmail and Bing. The news is even better for Australian companies, with the announcement in May of new Azure data centres in Sydney and Melbourne.

Technically speaking, Windows Azure Infrastructure Services is an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering, that provides a range of standard virtual machines. NAV partners such as Fenwick can then use Windows Azure to rapidly provision and deploy NAV for their clients.

One of the key differences between deploying NAV on Azure compared to an alternative cloud provider, is the ease of integrating NAV on Azure with existing on-premise applications using a hybrid cloud model.

Dynamics NAV has been available as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)/cloud option for a few years now, but despite a lot of interest, take up by Australian companies of ERP in the cloud has been limited and has lagged behind firms in the US and Europe.

Here at Fenwick we have been investigating NAV on Azure, and we think the ability for faster deployment; performance scalability; and enterprise level reliability, with the Microsoft seal of approval, is an option that will be attractive to many clients.

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Written By Steve Langmaid

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