Demystifying the Microsoft Data Storage Model

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Demystifying the Microsoft Data Storage Model

As businesses progress on their digital transformation path and consolidate data from various sources within their organisation, the volume of data is experiencing exponential growth.

To meet the demands of modern business apps, it is crucial for data storage solutions to adapt and cater to emerging scenarios, handle diverse data types, and assist organisations in navigating the escalating intricacies of compliance requirements.

Continuous evolution of data storage solutions is essential to effectively meet the expanding business requirements of today’s organisations.

Understand and control your Data with Microsoft Cloud Platform

If you are a Microsoft customer managing data with the Cloud Platform, it’s important to understand there is a maximum capacity for storage.

Microsoft segments data across three data types, which have their own capacity limits, as explained below:

Database: Stores and manages table definitions and data

File: Stores attachments to notes or emails in Dynamics 365 Sales, Customer Service, and Field Service applications and Power Apps. These include documents, image files, videos, PDF files and other crucial files needed in an organization.

Log: Records table and column data changes over time for use in analysis and reporting purposes. Log capacity is designed to help organisations meet their auditing, compliance, and governance policies.

If you are a user with admin access, you’ll likely want to see the status of your storage usage and how close you are to capacity. To do this, perform the following:

  • Sign in to the Power Platform admin center, and then select an environment.
  • Select Resources > Capacity > Summary tab.
  • View the data on the Summary page.

The licensing storage model looks like the following image.

Microsoft Power Platform   Center

What happens if you go over your capacity?

Notifications will be generated when the storage capacities (database, file, or log) reach a critical level, with triggers set at less than 15% of available space.

This will indicate that storage limits are approaching and prompt necessary actions. Additionally, a warning notification will be sent when any of the storage capacities have less than 5% of space remaining, indicating a potential impact on administrative operations.

The final tier of notification will be activated when the tenant exceeds their storage entitlements, placing them in an “overage” situation.

This notification will alert the administrator that the following operations will be temporarily unavailable until the overage issue is resolved.

  • Create a new environment (requires minimum 1GB capacity available)
  • Copy an environment
  • Restore an environment
  • Convert a trial environment to paid (requires minimum 1GB capacity available)
  • Recover an environment (requires minimum 1GB capacity available)
  • Add Dataverse database to an environment

An illustrative example of overcapacity

TypeEntitledConsumed
Database100GB95GB
Log10GB20GB
File400GB200GB

This tenant is 10 GB over in database usage. Despite having 200 GB of excess file storage, the tenant is considered to be in deficit. This tenant should free up storage or purchase more capacity.

However, if a tenant has extra space in the Database, this goes towards the maximum capacity for Log data types, but as only 5GB is remaining, this tenant would still be in deficit.

Dataverse default and accrued subscription capacity

Power Apps Default Capacity per tenantDefault per userDefault per appAccrued per userAccrued per app
Dataverse Database capacity10GB5GB250MB50MB
Dataverse File capacity20GB20GB2GB400MB
Dataverse Log capacity2GB2GB

Power Automate Default Capacity per tenantDefault per userDefault per appAccrued per userAccrued per app
Dataverse Database capacity10GB5GB250MB50MB
Dataverse File capacity20GB20GB2GB200MB
Dataverse Log capacity2GB200MB

The above table explains that the first user receives 10GB of database capacity, for example, and then each user added after this adds an extra 250MB of space. Therefore 4 extra users would mean a total of 11GB (10 GB + 250MB * 4).

Note, customers may have as many flows as needed with the per flow plan. Each flow will increase capacity limits.

Power Virtual Agents Default Capacity per tenantDefault per tenant
Dataverse Database capacity10GB
Dataverse File capacity20GB
Dataverse Log capacity2GB

Power Pages Default CapacityDefault entitlement per tenantDefault entitlement per tenantAccrued entitlement per authenticated user capacity packAccrued entitlement per anonymous user capacity pack
Dataverse Database capacity5GB5GB2GB500MB
Dataverse File capacity16GB4GB

Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agents, Power Pages and Dynamics 365 Sales, Customer Service, and Field Service applications leverage the same tenant and infrastructure. Dataverse capacity (Dataverse Database, Dataverse File, and Dataverse Log formats) is pooled across the tenant and shared amongst relevant application workloads.

There are additional Microsoft subscriptions beyond Power Platform that grant Dataverse capacity entitlements. Please refer to this Microsoft resource for details related to Project for the web, as well as the Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide for information related to other entitlements.

Power Platform capacity add-ons

If additional subscription capacity (such as additional database or file capacity) is required, these optional add-on licenses can be added to your subscriptions.

Subscription add-ons apply across the tenant and are not tied to a specific user. Subscription add-ons can be purchased at any time and remain a part of the subscription for the remainder of the subscription term.

Dataverse (Common Data Service) capacity

Apps, flows or websites utilising Dataverse will consume varying quantities of Dataverse Database capacity, Dataverse File capacity, and Dataverse Log capacity.

Additional capacity is available through the Dataverse capacity add-ons. Pricing will vary by region and plan, so we advise you to check with your Microsoft Power Platform administrator or Partner to give a quote.

What should you do if you are over capacity?

If you find your tenant using too much data, you will face challenges and hurdles that prevent you from performing actions such as copying an environment.

When you navigate to the capacity page on the Power Platform administrator, it will provide analytics on which processes are using the most resources, and there are prompts on how to decrease space.

We would recommend speaking to your partner about strategies to keep you under the limit.

Typically, the first step is to look at ways to reduce storage, this could be configuring audit logs or deleting hosted email attachments.

You may also be able to use Dataverse Retention Policies or Azure Blob Storage to reduce storage costs.

If you are in a position where deleting data has a significant business impact, we would suggest evaluating which add-ons are most cost-effective. With regular notifications sent to administrators when capacity is close to the limit, this shouldn’t be a big surprise and enables you to take steps before impacting your business.

December 6, 2023

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Dan Norris - Communications Manager ServerSys

Daniel Norris

Daniel Norris is the communications manager for ServerSys. His role is to bring you the latest updates, tips, news and guides on Dynamics 365.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at hello@serversys.com

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