A Quick Guide to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online Storage

A new cloud storage model was introduced in April 2019 for the Microsoft Common Data Service (CDS) including Dynamics 365 Online Sales and Service apps.

What's new?

Previously, Microsoft Dynamics 365 provided a 10 GB default tenant limit. Additional storage entitlements accrued @ 5 GB per x 20 full Enterprise level users and extra capacity could be added at a flat rate per GB.

The new storage model replaces a default tenant capacity with three elements covering storage in the CDS which includes dedicated capacity for attachment storage.

CDS for Apps Database Capacity
Transactional database storage for entity definitions and record data.

CDS for Apps File Capacity
For storing attachments on emails and notes in Dynamics 365 apps and Power Apps. This allowance can include Word documents, image files, PDF files, spreadsheets, videos and other files.

CDS for Apps Log Capacity
Separate storage capacity for audit logs to track record and attribute data changes. This includes field value updates, security role updates, data / time of access.

How much storage do you get with Dynamics 365?

New subscriptions activated after 1st April 2019, the default tenant-wide storage capacities are:

  • CDS for Apps Database: 10 GB
  • CDS for Apps File: 20 GB
  • CDS for Apps Log: 2 GB

Accrued Entitlements

Additional storage entitlements will accrue per D365 Enterprise user licence* as follows:

  • CDS for Apps Database Capacity: @ 250 MB per user
  • CDS for Apps File Capacity: @ 2 GB per user
  • CDS for Apps Log Capacity: n/a

* Include Sales Enterprise, Customer Service Enterprise, Project Service and Field Service licences.


SCENARIO #1: 20 full users

A Dynamics 365 subscription with 15 x Sales Enterprise and 5 x Customer Service Enterprise user licences would receive the following entitlements:

Default Tenant Entitlement Entitlement per full user Total Entitlement
CDS for Database Capacity 10 GB 5 GB
@ 0.25 GB per user
15 GB
CDS for Apps File Capacity 20 GB 40 GB
@ 2 GB per user
60 GB
CDS for Apps Log Capacity 2 GB n/a 2 GB

SCENARIO #2: 50 full users

Dynamics 365 subscription with 50 x Sales Enterprise licences would have the following capacity:

Default Tenant Entitlement Entitlement per full user Total Entitlement
CDS for Database Capacity 10 GB 12.5 GB
@ 0.25 GB per user
22.5 GB
CDS for Apps File Capacity 20 GB 100 GB
@ 2 GB per user
120 GB
CDS for Apps Log Capacity 2 GB n/a 2 GB

Additional Non-Production / Production Environments

Previously, Dynamics 365 entitlements enabled customers to deploy a single production and one non-production environment on each subscription. Further instances could be deployed for an add-on cost.

For subscriptions activated from April 2019, there is no longer a need to purchase additional environments.

Unlimited production or sandbox instances can be created provided at least 1 GB of CDS for Apps Database Capacity is available. However, each environment created will consume at least 1 GB of Database Capacity.

How Much Does Additional Capacity Cost?

Reporting in the Power Platform Admin Center gives administrators a detailed view of their current storage capacity entitlement. Administrators will receive a banner notification and an email notification if storage limits are approached or exceeded.

Extra capacity can be added by purchasing platform capacity add-on's:

  • Common Data Service for Apps Database Capacity @ £30.20 per GB
  • Common Data Service for Apps File Capacity @ £1.50 per GB
  • Common Data Service for Apps Log Capacity @ £7.50 per GB

All prices exclude VAT.

Storage Changes for Existing Customers

Organisations that are billed under the Cloud Solution Provider program (CSP) or Web Direct will be migrated to the new model when current Dynamics agreements expire.

For existing customers prior to April 2019, Microsoft says it will honour current licensing and storage terms for the duration of these agreements.

In April 2020, it announced existing customers can continue to renew existing storage and production/non-production instance use rights through to 31st December 2020.

Only when an organisation moves to the new storage model will the new default and user entitlements apply. In the meantime, if needed, additional database storage or production / non-production instances can be added on the existing terms.

What Happens if Capacity is Exceeded?

In June 2020, Microsoft announced some updates to its CDS cloud storage enforcement.

If tenant storage capacity is exceeded, the following admin operations won't be available:

  • Create environment (already enforced)
  • Copy environment (starting July 20th)
  • Restore environment (starting July 20th)

Reporting Storage

Visualisations of storage capacities and current usage are available in the Power Platform Admin Centre. This will also provide notifications if storage capacity is exceeded.

A capacity page shows total usage by tenant across database, files, and logs highlighting the remaining available percentage.

Power Platform Admin Center

A breakdown of overall capacities in a table across each type confirms the additional storage entitlements for purchased user licences (database and file types) in addition to the default capacity and any additional storage purchase.

The dashboard will also show which environments consume the most capacity, and across which storage types.

Further analysis is available through a per environment tab enabling drill-down analysis for each.

Admin Centre detail

Trial, preview, support and developer environments don't count against storage capacity and are shown as zero usage.

All Common Data Service environments are counted so this will also list any Power Apps environments.

Actual consumption is shown within environmental analytics. These support trend analysis over time by database, file and log type, and each chart will show the top database tables and their growth.


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