I had recently been asked by one of our CRM customers in the food ingredients manufacturer and distribution business how to upgrade their On-premise Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 to CRM 2011. In particular – their MS CRM 4.0 Server is running in a 32 bit Windows Server environment – which is not supported by MS CRM 2011 – it has to be 64 bit.
So what is the best practice? Here is my recommended approach:
- Setup a NEW Windows Server 2008 R2/SQL Server 2008 R2 64 bit environment within the same Active Directory (AD) Domain that will support both the MS CRM 4.0 and 2011 Server
Important: Create a new AD Organization Unit (OU) for use with this new CRM environment. This will help keep the current MS CRM 4.0 production intact
- Install MS CRM 4.0 Server in this new 64 bit environment. Reference MS CRM 4.0 Implementation Guide for details in installing the CRM 4.0 Server: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?DisplayLang=en&id=8162
- Redeploy the current production MS CRM 4.0 Server to this new MS CRM 4.0 environment (64 bit). Reference the How to move the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 deployment KB for details: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/952934
Note: follow the KB section “Redeploy the Microsoft Dynamics CRM deployment that includes the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server within the same domain or to another domain.”
- After the above successful Redeployment step, which brought over a copy of the current MS CRM 4.0 production data in to the new target environment, we are ready to perform an upgrade to CRM 2011 in this new 64 bit environment. Reference CRM 2011 Implementation Guide for upgrade process details: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=3621
There are a lot of detail instructions in each of the steps above, I’d highly recommend testing the process until you are comfortable with it. The good thing about this approach is that the current Microsoft CRM 4.0 production environment stays intact until you are comfortable with this upgrade process.
Update: Here is a link to a better approach – no need to setup and redeploy to a MS CRM 4.0.
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Frank Lee, Microsoft CRM MVP since 2006