Analyzing And Clearing Space In Dynamics 365 (Dynamics CRM Online)

Standard

For Dynamics CRM Online you pay for the amount of storage you use. Therefore, it is important to keep on top of how much space you are using and how quickly it is growing.

If I am a CRM Administrator in my client’s systems, I will get a warning when space is approaching capacity.

Storage Email (002)

So what do I do when I see this? Generally I am not an Dynamics 365 Administrator so accessing the details through the portal is not an option. I have access to CRM and that is about it.

Audit Logs

If you have been liberal with your auditing, the audit logs can blow out. A common problem is integration to an entity will trigger the creation of audit logs. Lots of integration transactions means lots of audit entries and there goes your storage.

Tracking the size of audit partitions is quite easy. You go to Settings-Auditing-Audit Log Management and the size is shown.

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However, there is a problem. While, in the past, you could delete date ranges of log records, this is not possible in the most recent versions of Dynamics CRM Online. You can delete the partitions (split into calendar quarters) but only if they are not the active partition. As I am writing this in 2016, the partition in the screenshot is active and I can do nothing to reduce it. I am stuck with the 3G of audit entries.

The moral of this story is be very careful what you audit. In this case, we were auditing the Contact entity and also integrating to Contacts. The initial load of records from the external system blew the audit logs out. Roll on the new year.

Reviewing the Size of Common Entities

There are no tools in Dynamics CRM Online to review the sizes of ‘entity tables’. However, there is an excellent free third party tool which does a great job of pointing you in the right direction.

The UDS Storage Analyzer gives a report of how much space the various entities are taking up in your system. To get the solution file, you need to provide an email address but that is it. Once you install the solution into your CRM instance, you just double-click on the solution entry in the Settings-Solutions list and a report is generated in a few minutes.

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This will guide you to the entities taking up the space and, if you run it regularly, it will give an indication of growth rates.

Email Attachments and Notes

In the case of email attachments and notes, you can also, indirectly, get an idea of size through the Advanced Find. File size of attachments is stored as a field so asking for all emails or notes where the attachment is of a certain size can also give insight into outlying records.

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Deleting Records

Other than audit which, as mentioned, is managed through the Audit Log Management area, most other entities can be managed through Bulk Deletion (Settings-Data Management-Bulk Record Deletion).

The bulk record deletion guides you through a wizard to identify the records to delete and then CRM schedules a job in the background to delete them. The wizard uses an Advanced Find interface to select the records. For example, if you wanted to delete a large collection of workflows which were stuck in a Waiting state because the configuration did not account for all situations appropriately, you could use something like this.

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Conclusions

While tactics can be put in place to handle storage needs, such as integration to OneDrive or SharePoint, there are times when systems get weighed down with data. At these times you need to work out what is eating up the storage and what needs to be done. Using the tools above you should be able to get a handle on what is happening and bring the situation under control.

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