Microsoft Business Central is claimed as an ERP software for SMBs. Therefore, a frequently heard rumor is that Business Central would not be suitable for large organizations. But is this rumor true? Can large organizations indeed not use Microsoft Business Central?
The definition of a large company, according to Microsoft
According to Microsoft, before we look at whether Business Central is suitable for large organizations, it is wise to map out a large company. A company can be a large company due to many different factors, such as the number of users, the size of the database, the number of software programs that use Microsoft APIs, the number of sales orders per day, the number of items in a sales order, or even other factors. Most importantly, it doesn’t matter to Microsoft. All that matters is the number of resources a company uses. In addition, Microsoft understands that we like hard numbers. Therefore, Microsoft recommends additional pre-testing if your company beats any of the following records:
- Records in tables
1,000 user table records
800,000 Sales Invoice Headers
3,500,000 Item Ledger Entry Tables
17,000,000 ledger entry tables
400 GB or more
160 GB migrated from an on-premises environment to the cloud using a migration tool
- Browser interactions (such as opening or closing a page or a new tab)
23 per second
385,000 in one day
- Web service calls (API, SOAP, OData)
5,700 in one minute
2,700,000 in one day
6,000 sales orders in one day
3,300 lines on one sales order
- Large companies and the use of Business Central
Suppose you as a large company wants to use Business Central as ERP software. In that case, you should not have more problems than if a small or medium company uses Business Central. So Microsoft does not distinguish between a company with one user and a company with 1000 users. Therefore, the storage options are the same.
How a large company uses Business Central
If you are a large company using Business Central, you will receive an Azure database when you sign up. A layer is then created within this Azure database with an intelligent Load Balancer. This tier contains a cluster that consists of five virtual machines. As your BC environment uses more, the intelligent Load Balancer starts balancing the load, and Business Central automatically scales with it.
Business Central and the intelligent Load Balancer
The Load Balancer mentioned earlier gets the request from Business Central when it needs more resources, analyzes the CPU load usage of the virtual machines, and then places your environment on a virtual machine that is under-utilized. For example, let’s assume your cluster has one VM for BC, Power BI, and Microsoft 365. However, your cluster is also running above Microsoft’s recommended usage number. The Load Balancer recognizes this and immediately transfers Business Central (or another software program) to another virtual machine within your cluster to reduce the use of previous virtual machines. This keeps the Business Central in your cluster running at peak performance more than 99% of the time.
The load balancer begins balancing the load through autoscaling when the VM reaches 60% capacity. The 60% figure is relatively low to start with as it is a seamless process that takes place in seconds, and 99% of the time, it goes undetected by the BC user. Microsoft assures with this 60% that the virtual machine will most likely never be used 100%.
But what happens if all five virtual machines use 60% or more? For example, suppose your company uses Business Central, and all five virtual machines are more than 60% in use. In that case, the Load Balancer will automatically create a sixth, seventh, or as many virtual machines as needed to reduce usage demand to less than 60%. If the tier or cluster isn’t the problem, it will automatically look at the Azure Database. All Azure databases have a specific capacity that Microsoft verifies. This capacity within the Azure database includes CPU, Data IO, Log Write, and Max Worker. Microsoft considers it overloaded when database usage reaches 80% capacity and automatically increases in size. The result is lower database usage.
Business Central is suitable for large companies
After the explanation above, the answer to whether Business Central is also suitable for large companies is quite simple. Yes, Business Central is suitable for large companies. There is no maximum number of users or data storage. Larger companies ultimately use multiple layers to spread and ensure an ultimate user experience without problems.