Microsoft is changing their storage pricing for Dynamics 365

Microsoft changed their storage pricing model for new Customer Engagement applications (Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Customer Service, Dynamics 365 Field Service, Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation, and Power Apps) back in April 2019.  As people’s grandfathered pricing starts to end, we thought it would be helpful to put together a post to better explain the impact. In the past, if someone needed an additional test instance or development instance, it was necessary to purchase add-on licenses for these instances.  This is no longer the case – instances are not considered for additional costs.  A company can have as many instances as necessary, providing they’re willing to pay for the storage. Storage is where it gets more complicated.  In the previous paradigm, storage was priced and calculated in one lump sum.  A default instance was allotted 10 GB of database, file, and log storage combined.  Every 20 full users accrued an additional 5 GB of storage.  As of April 1st, 2019, this changed. The new pricing paradigm splits out the storage into 3 different groups: database storage, file storage, and log storage.  Each of these types of storage has different default subscription capacities and different prices associated with overages.

dynamics 365 included storage capacities

Dynamics 365 included storage capacities

In addition to the default capacities shown in the chart above, additional users accrue more storage.  Each full user accrues an additional 250MB of database storage and additional 2GB of file storage.  Audit log storage DOES NOT accrue with new users. It is of course possible to need more storage than provided by default, and Microsoft has made it easy to purchase more!  The below chart shows what any additional storage over the default and accrued amounts would be charged at.  Note that instances are no longer additional cost, but additional database storage costs 5 times more than before.
dynamics 365 over storage limit costs

Dynamics 365 over storage limit costs

What’s the impact of the change in pricing on my current bill?

These changes in numbers look extreme, but how bad really is it?  I took the liberty of putting together a couple of examples to illustrate the additional monthly costs for certain users.  Three scenarios are listed: a sample of 20 users, 100 users, and 200 users.  Their environment parameters are referenced below.

dynamics 365 example parameters

Dynamics 365 example parameters

Remember, prior to April 2019, each block of 20 users accrued an additional 5GB of general storage.  This means that instances with more users will get additional database included in their subscription, but they typically will still need to purchase more.
pre-april 2019 dynamics 365 storage pricing examples

Pre-april 2019 dynamics 365 storage pricing examples

As seen above, in the previous pricing paradigm, the 20-user instance would incur an additional $80/month, the 100-user instance would incur $3,820 a month, and the 200-user instance would incur an additional $5,220 a month in storage. Fast forwarding to today and the prices have changed.  As mentioned above, the costs are incurred at a more detailed level.
post-april 2019 dynamics 365 storage pricing example

Post-april 2019 dynamics 365 storage pricing example

For the 20-user instance, there was no change in costs.  They didn’t have any instances, and the splitting out of file storage costs ended up keeping their overall costs exactly the same. The larger companies had some significant additional costs. While the additional DB needs resulted in some extra costs, the hundreds of extra GB needed for the log storage really increased the price.  If these customers were able to offload the log storage, they would save money in the new pricing model.

I hate paying more for something that I’m already using

Yeah, we all do.  But look at the alternative.  Not that it excuses it, but Salesforce has a way more expensive pricing strategy.  If you look at the licensing guide for Salesforce (, you’ll see that the storage costs assigned by Microsoft are a fraction of what Salesforce is charging. Each default instance in Salesforce receives 10GB of database storage and each user only accrues an additional 20MB of storage (as my colleague pointed out, that’s a whole 14 floppy disks of space!)  Need additional storage?  That’ll cost you $125/month for a mere 500MB of space.  Looking at our 200-user instance above, the users would have accrued an additional 4GB for a total of 14GB.  Since this instance would be 86GB over quota, the extra cost would be $125/0.5GB * 86GB = $21,600/month.  Uh, that’s a lot.  That’s not even including if there’s a concept of audit history and separate log storage in the Salesforce world.  Maybe someone from that space can bounce over here and check my math and do some explanation, but wow.

What to do about it?

It’s not all gloom and doom.  If you look at the examples above, the real additional cost is the log storage.  If you trim down the log storage, the extra cost associated with the 200-user instance’s is only $1,600.  Do you really need all that log storage? Hopefully your answer to that question is yes.  As luck would have it, we happen to have a solution for you. offers an embedded application that maintains all your audit log history but offloads it from the expensive log storage associated with your Dynamics 365 subscription.  Instead of just cutting the cost in half (which it does!), also includes additional searching and review functionality embedded directly inside Dynamics 365 for Sales.

Dynamics Audit Locker embedded in Dynamics 365

Dynamics Audit Locker embedded in Dynamics 365

We also provide a Power BI report that shows who’s been changing things, how much they’ve been changing, and what they’ve been changing all in an easy to review report!
Dynamic Audit Locker Power BI report

Dynamic Audit Locker Power BI report

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