What is Microsoft's Initiated Maintenance?
By Khalid Mohammed, Technical Services Manager, Arbela Technologies
Microsoft performs multiple types of system maintenance on Microsoft management environments. These updates are critical for the cloud service. Please see below for a few types of updates that we receive from Microsoft.
- Critical Operating System security updates – exceptional cases
- Cloud infrastructure updates - monthly
- Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Platform updates – monthly
Critical Operating System security updates – exceptional cases:
This is a planned maintenance window, where critical operating system updates are performed. They are applied to all Tier-2 sandbox environments that included as part of the Microsoft package. Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) releases security updates on a monthly basis that address the security vulnerabilities in Microsoft software. Their security updates include immediate remediation and the details of the affected software. With the Cloud version of Dynamics 365 for Finance and operations, it is critical for the customers to have these updates installed. Microsoft prioritizes these installations to be able to better support and protect customers from any security issues.
Cloud infrastructure updates - Monthly
Similar to Security updates, Microsoft performs monthly infrastructure updates on the Production\Tier-2 Sandbox environments that are part of the Microsoft initial environment package. Infrastructure updates are operating system level changes that help better the product service pack life cycle. These Operating system level updates include Windows updates, Service packs, and Hotfixes. Their approximate downtime is one hour and is mostly scheduled in the non-peak hours. In case of any operating system update failures, you can still use the product, however, any future code deployments would be interrupted.
Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Platform updates – monthly
Platform updates are product level updates that remediate the Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations performance, security or platform issues. They are released monthly and LCS reflects the platform update state of the environment at all times. Microsoft will send an email notification to Project stakeholders about the changes that are to be implemented with an Action item.
Platform updates are a two-step process. Platform updates get applied to the Tier-2 environment with a notice of 5 Business days to get the updates tested in the Tier-2 environment. After 5 Business days, Microsoft will automatically update the production environment.
Email and downtime considerations
Typically, to limit the impact on users, the maintenance windows are planned according to the Azure region. E.g. - North America: 2 AM to 10 AM. These maintenance windows can range between one to eight hours. Microsoft communicates the maintenance window and duration to all the stakeholders five days before the patch window begins.
Microsoft would send out notifications to users with the following access:
- Project Admin
- Office365(Organization) Admin
- Admin user on the environment
- Users specified in the notification list
Please see below links for more details on:
Planned maintenance window
Platform monthly updates