We keep hearing this question over and over again from the customers, consultants, and developers:
Are production instances given any preferential treatment in terms of resources as compared to sandbox and trial instances?
I thought it’d be a good idea to revisit the 4 years old answer as nothing has changed since then. As per the original post by the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Team that welcomed sandbox instances to the world:
We don’t treat the running Sandbox applications any differently from Production instances. They are both given the same level of resources and support.
There are some differences in terms of what operations are available, i.e. what you can do with your instance. For example, you can delete the sandbox but not production, and you can convert trial to production but not reset it. But, as far as performance is concerned it’s all the same infrastructure, scale groups, resources; same everything.
EDIT: Almost everything. There could be differences in the capacity allocated to your organization based on the number of paid licenses (5000 users will hit resources much harder than, say, 2 users, and allocation will reflect that to make sure that the performance is maintained), but that allocation won’t depend on the instance type. That means that production and sandbox instances, given the same number of users, may show better performance than the trials (since latter have no paid licenses).
It’s worth mentioning that the performance of various instances may vary but it’s a combination of your proximity to the data center, your scale group neighbours, time of the day, moon phase, humidity in Cleveland, OH, and Mars position relative to the Orion’s belt. On other words, if you see the same operation taking longer in one of the otherwise identical instances, most likely you forgot to bring your gifts to the ancient Nordic god Randomizer.