So we all know about the standard options for hosting Dynamics CRM 2011: Cloud and On-Premise. Some of us might have also heard of 3rd party hosting, based on the cloud model. But there are also other alternatives.
On-Premise Partner Hosted
Otherwise known as colocation, in this model the environment is hosted by a 3rd party hosting provider. On the partner’s end, it will look very much like an On-Premise deployment, most likely a multi-tenant one. Possible models are determine by individual SLA’s. We could have some choice over items like uptime (choosing one of the available options offered), authentication model used, as well as integrations options. Do not assume that a 3rd party hosting company will not be willing to go over and beyond to offer something you can’t get with the standard Cloud offering from Microsoft. Some of the providers actually offer additional services to differentiate themselves. This could include include anything from integration alternatives, additional customization packages, as well as public portal templates.
One of the more complex scenarios, including redundancy and allowing both internal and external access to the environment (including mobile access) can be described by the following diagram. Note that the SharePoint environment can be located in either the hosting partner’s environment or on site.
A less complex model, non-redundant system, is depicted by the next diagram. Just as before, the SharePoint environment can be located either On-Premise or with the 3rd party hosting provider.
Alternatively, if only internal access is required, the environment can look as follows
Hybrid Hosted Model
Alternatively, with less separation, we can look at a hybrid hosting model. In such scenario, part of the environment is hosted by a 3rd party hosting provider, while still integrating and allowing certain components to function from within the internal network.
While this approach could be more cost-efficient, a good relation with the hosting provider is essential in such scenario. The following diagram depicts a possible scenario with redundancy
or with no redundancy
Any of these models can also be configured with no external access. One simple scenario can be depicted as
I hope this helps some of you looking for alternatives.