Pluses and Minuses for Different Methods of Creating a NAV Demo Virtual Machine

This likely comes as no surprise, but there are different ways to set up a NAV demo virtual machine in Azure. In today’s blog I’m going to focus on two methods, which I’ll refer to as the short method and the longer method.

The short method utilizes Azure’s template deployment methodology and is wonderfully outlined by David Worthington in his “How do I” video on the Dynamics Community site. The longer method utilizes a prebuilt machine image, and I’ve outlined that process in another blog titled How to Manually Configure a NAV Demo Virtual Machine. The short method automates many of the steps outlined in the longer method.

Below are some of the pluses and minuses of these two different methods. Ultimately, I prefer the short method — thanks, David!

Pluses for the Short Method

  • Has fewer manual steps, making it faster to configure
  • Effectively takes you to the same place as the longer method does, but with less manual configuration

Minuses for the Short Method

  • Has less initial control over basic virtual machine configurations (e.g., assigning a name to the virtual machine, etc.)
  • The Microsoft deploy process (the work Microsoft does to deploy the virtual machine) can take quite a while to finish running.
  • Cannot choose the initial virtual machine server size. The server size is one of the primary drivers of how much the Azure server will cost to run.

The last one isn’t precisely true. You can change this by modifying the default variable values used in the Visual Basic code.

NOTE: The short method uses a standard D2 virtual machine, but there are less expensive virtual machines you can use to run a NAV demo virtual machine. Get information about Azure server size pricing.

Pluses for the Longer Method

  • Offers greater control over various initial configurations (e.g., virtual machine server size, virtual machine name, inbound security rules/ports, etc.)
  • The Microsoft deploy process is finished much quicker.

Minuses for the Longer Method

  • Requires many more manual steps and … takes longer