Retail Cloud Scale unit – Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations – October 18 release.

November 27th, 2018 by Stephen Jones Leave a reply »

In the October 2018 release, Microsoft launched the concept of Retail Cloud Scale Unit (RCSU) to increase cloud scalability for customers consuming retail work-loads on the D365 platform.
The Retail Store Scale Unit (RSSU) which was already available in D365 Retail is different from the newly released RCSU functionality. It is “on-premises” box physically located within the store which allows retailers with intermittent internet (and hence cloud) connectivity issues to still execute cross terminal transactions and shift operations when they lose connectivity to the back office. It contains a retail server, a channel database, CDX Asynch client and the IIS website to enable cloud POS features.

(Even though the RSSU hardware is running on “on-premises” hardware, this concept is not to be confused with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail “on-premises” deployment option which is also another recent release from Microsoft for those who want to run their entire D365 operation on -premise)
For a D365 Cloud deployments with RSSU, the D365-Finance and Operations Enterprise Modules (including your Retail HQ) still run in the cloud. When you have connectivity in your store both mPOS and cPOS are connected to your cloud-hosted deployment..
When offline with RSSU, please note “In Store Scale Unit, users cannot perform any real time operations such as issuing gift cards, looking up products, or performing credit card transactions, unless there is Internet connectivity to HQ or a payment provider. If the majority of your transactions involve real time transactions, then your Store Scale Unit will always need Internet connectivity to enable the connection to HQ or payment provider.”
Also note that mPOS stations also have the ability to be configured to go offline individually and to each use its own local SQL Express database on the POS device itself. That does however mean more data synchronsiation and the relevant extra batch tasks have to then run per POS rather than per store..
So where does the RCSU functionality in the October 2018 release fit in the architecture?.
See https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/october18/dynamics365-retail/retail-cloud-scale-unit
A key feature is that it separates the front-office and back-office work-loads into separate infrastructure to improve performance due to: better resource governance and load isolation, segregation of work-loads and scalability. When applying an update, patch or extension the l down-should be significantly reduced because the whole environment does not go down, only a specific work-load. The back-office does not need to go down when the front-office retail work-loads are upgraded and the retail operations can continue when they have RSSU and/or offline functionalities deployed locally in the store.
Caveats:
This functionality is only available on Production and SAT environments. It is not supported for Tier-1 environments, (sandboxes for dev). In the current RCSU you cannot deploy a separate retail scale unit per region.

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