Beat the Bloat: Assessing your Dynamics 365 Data Storage

Sarah Coleman, 26 August 2019

Is your D365 instance getting a bit bloated?  This blog will take you through how to find out which entity tables are the biggest offenders and will give you some ideas on how to trim some excess storage or prevent it accumulating in the first place.

These days, to find your company’s D365 data analytics you no longer need to download the Organizational Insights solution – you can navigate straight to the Power Platform Admin Centre instead.

Once there, in the Analytics Section you’ll see Capacity.

The Overall tab shows overall usage totals.  Click on the Per environment tab and then the graph icon for the environment you’re interested in reviewing.

On the Top database capacity use, by table you can then review how much data your largest ten tables are using.  The new-look charts are an improvement on the previous ones because they display the entity name not just the unique id of the entity record type (thanks Microsoft!).

Armed with this knowledge you may decide that some of your stored data is no longer needed.  The easiest way to trim this from your system is via a bulk deletion job.  Check out this article on how to run one.  For some records, you may only want to keep those created within the last month or quarter – in which case you could set up a recurring bulk deletion job to run on that type of record. 

For file usage, you’ll see attachments are split into two types: ‘Attachment’ is a file attached to an email, ‘AnnotationBase’ is any other type of attachment in the system.

With the licensing changes earlier this year, by default you get 20MB of storage for attachments plus extra per licenced user (see Gayan’s April blog for more details), but if your two attachment tables are sizable you may want to consider an attachment extractor like AttachmentExtractor.  This add-on strips attachments from emails and notes and saves them in another location, e.g., SharePoint, leaving a link behind on the email/note so you can still open them from there. You can choose to remove attachments based on age, e.g., everything older than six months.

Another option to keep your attachment storage low, is to enable SharePoint integration on certain records and train your teams to save documents directly in the documents area.  These documents can be viewed and opened directly from the relevant record in D365.

Hope this helps you beat the bloat!