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Administer Plans and Add-ons

Updated: October 17, 2013

Applies To: Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server

As a hosting service provider, you can compose offerings of services in the form of plans. Tenants consume these service offerings by subscribing to a plan.

The following illustration shows how plans and add-ons provide a flexible framework of choices for your tenants.

Plans and Add-ons in Windows Azure Pack

Plan and add-on overview

A tenant cannot access services unless that tenant is subscribed to at least one plan. Plans, also known as service plans, define the collection of services that are offered to a tenant according to a scope as determined by the hosting service provider. You can set a usage quota on each service. This scope of various plans is typically defined by the capabilities of the resource providers, the pricing structure that a tenant can choose from, and for other business or organizational reasons.

The services that you provide in your plan or add-on must be already provisioned and configured so that they will be available during the authoring process. Provisioning resources includes creating web sites, virtual machines, and databases.

A plan that offers VM clouds is associated with a specific Virtual Machine Manager server and a Virtual Machine Manager cloud within that VMM server. When the tenant subscribes to this plan and instantiates a virtual machine, the system will deploy that virtual machine with the specified properties on the associated cloud in Virtual Machine Manager.

If you want to provide an additional service for authoring, you must add that resource provider to the Windows Azure Pack.

Add-ons are optional services on a plan that the tenant can choose to include in the subscription. You can think of add-ons as services that are available as a-la-carte options in addition the core services that the plan provides. An add-on can only increase the quota or start existing services in a plan. It cannot provide any additional services that plan does not provide.

Quotas provide a set of limits against every service in a plan. Only administrators can adjust quota levels.

The Windows Azure Pack allows you to define plans for which your tenants can choose to subscribe, and thereby choose only those plans that they qualify for based on billing and other business logic factors.

After establishing an account, a tenant can do the following:

  • Subscribe to one or more plans. Each subscription is associated with one plan.

  • Buy add-ons that are associated with a plan.

  • Upload a management certificate.

  • Designate one or more co-administrators for subscriptions who can manage services within a subscription.

As an administrator, you can perform the following tasks on plans and add-ons:

  • Author a new plan or add-on

    The authoring process for a plan and for an add-on are similar, but vary on detailed options for the services that are currently provisioned that can be added to the plan or add-on.

    You can set also quotas in plans for resource usage and include gallery items.

  • Clone a plan or add-on

    You can clone a plan or add-on for the purpose of revamping an existing one. You would need to clone the plan or add-on, decommission the old one, and enable tenants to subscribe to the new (cloned) plan or add-on.

  • Change Access

    You can change the access to public, private, or decommissioned depending on its current state.

  • Delete a plan or add-on

The following table lists states and status values for plans and add-ons.

 

Plan states and status Add-on states and status
  • Public

    Tenants can subscribe to a plan only when the plan is public.

  • Private

    The initial state after creation. A tenant cannot view or subscribe to private plan but an administrator can add subscriptions for tenants to private plans. This capability allows you to create hidden plans that are known only to administrators.

  • Decommissioned

    Plan is active, but will not accept any new subscriptions.

  • Configured or Not Configured

    If configured, the plan has a specified maximum number of allowed subscriptions or specified as unlimited. A plan will remain in a not configured state if it has at least one service that is not configured.

  • Update in progress

    The plan is being updated.

  • Out-of-sync

    The usage quota for a service in the plan cannot be updated or has another issue.

  • Available

    The add-on has not been purchased by the tenant.

  • Acquired

    The add-on has been purchased.

  • Active

    The add-on is liked to a plan.

  • Decommissioned

    Add-on is active, but will not accept any new subscriptions.

  • Configured or Not Configured

    If configured, the add-on has a specified maximum number of allowed subscriptions or specified as unlimited. An add-on will remain in a not configured state if it has at least one service that is not configured.

  • Out-of-sync

    The usage quota for a service in the add-on cannot be updated or has another issue.

As an administrator, you can perform the following tasks on a plan:

  • Delete a plan if the plan has no subscriptions

  • Clone a plan

  • Change state of the plan (private, public or decommissioned)

  • Add and remove add-ons

  • Configure the invitation code so that tenants can be allowed to subscribe to the plan

  • Configure the maximum number of allowed subscriptions per user account or set to unlimited

  • Advertise a plan

    You can add, edit, and delete advertisements that are shown on the tenant portal when a tenant views available plans. You can also import and export XML content for the details of your advertisement.

As an administrator, you can perform the following tasks on an add-on:

  • Delete an add-on if the add-on has no subscriptions

  • Clone an add-on

  • Change state of the add-on (private, public or decommissioned)

  • Configure the maximum number of allowed purchases of an add-on per plan or set unlimited

  • Advertise an add-on

    You can add, edit, and delete advertisements that are shown on the tenant portal when a tenant views available add-ons

Important considerations for authoring plans and add-ons

Consider the following when you author and administer plans and add-ons:

  • Create plans that have a sufficient selection of resources to provide in your plans. 

  • You can only delete a plan if it there are no tenants subscribed to the plan.

  • You cannot remove a service from a plan if there is there is a subscription that is using the service.

  • When you clone a plan, all plan properties are copied over including quotas, configurations, and advertisements.

  • Only the Administrator can add and remove an add-on to a plan.

  • You cannot add an add-on to a plan if that plan is in a decommissioned state.

  • Anything you add to a plan should not be removed from Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) until you update the plan to not include those items. Taking this precaution prevents tenants from trying to take action on items that are no longer deployable directly through VMM, as well alleviating any difficulty in administrating the plans.

  • When adding hardware profiles and VM templates to plans, the VM Generation data field indicates either 1 or 2, that provides information on the older and new architectures for virtual machines. Generation 1 emulates the traditional Pentium II server architecture, and Generation 2 provides a newer 64-bit architecture that based on Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) rather than BIOS.

  • The following additional settings for defining a plan with Virtual Machine Clouds settings do not affect the operations or capabilities of the management portal for tenants:

    • Create, view, and restore virtual machine checkpoints

    • View and restore virtual machine checkpoints

    • Save virtual machine states

    • Store virtual machines to the library and deploy virtual machines from the library

    • Except for the Connect to the console of virtual machines setting, these options can be accessed only by using Windows PowerShell or by APIs that are able to access the Service Provider Foundation endpoints.

    • VM plans provide a Custom Settings with a Name field. You can use this field as a tag value for runbooks to use to complete automation tasks.



Create and publish a plan

This section describes the steps to author a plan for Windows Azure Pack.

Step 1: Author a plan

To authoring a plan, you must specify the services that you want to have included with the plan, and specify the add-ons that you want tenants to optionally add to their subscription.

To author a plan

  1. In the management portal, click Plans, and then click New.

  2. Click Create Plan.

  3. On the Authoring a Hosting Plan wizard, do the following:

    • Specify a friendly name for the plan.

    • Select one or more of the following services to include in the hosting plan, provided that they have been previously provisioned. For each service, specify the available resource for that service.

      • Website Clouds

      • VM Clouds

      • Service Bus Clouds

      • SQL Servers

      • MySQL Servers

    • Select one or more of the available add-ons to include in the plan. For each add-on, specify the available resource for that service.

The plan that you created should be listed on the Plans tab in the content pane. Now you can modify the plan by adding and removing services and add-ons, configure its access, set the maximum subscription limit, and advertise the plan.

Step 2. Set properties for a plan

After you create a plan, you must specify values for specific properties of the plan, depending on the services in the plan.

To set properties for a plan

  1. In the management portal, click Plans.

  2. Click the plan you want to modify. The plan's Dashboard appears.

    The Dashboard includes statistics, a list of services, and a list of add-ons. If applicable, additional property settings for the plan are displayed, which can include the following:

    • Configurable features and resources for the service. For example, templates, hardware profiles, and networks for virtual machine clouds.

    • Quotas for usage limits.

  3. After all the applicable properties have been set, click Save on the command bar.

You can now author an add-on at any time. Feel free to do the procedure Step 8: Author an add-on before continuing with the next step.

Step 3: Modify a plan

After you create a plan, you can add and remove services of the plan and also add and remove add-ons.

To modify a plan

  1. In the management portal, click Plans.

  2. Click the plan you want to modify. The plan's Dashboard appears.

  3. To add a service, click Add Service on the command bar to be presented with the list of available services that you can add to your plan. To remove a service, select the service to be removed and click Remove Service.

Step 4: Configure a plan

Before a plan can be made public, it must be configured. A configured plan has a specified invitation code so that tenants who know the code can subscribe to the plan. Configuring a plan also requires that you specify the maximum number of allowable subscriptions.

To configure a plan

  1. In the management portal, click Plans.

  2. Click the plan you want to configure. The plan's Dashboard appears.

  3. Specify usage quota values for the services in the plan.

  4. Click the Settings tab.

  5. Specify an invitation code so that tenants can sign up for your plan on the management portal for tenants. You must provide prospective tenants with the invitation code.

  6. Specify a value for the maximum number of allowed subscriptions per account, or select the unlimited check box. This value is the maximum number of times that a tenant can add this plan to their subscription.

  7. On the command bar, click Save.

Step 5: Advertise a plan

You can add, edit, and delete advertisements that are shown on the tenant portal when a tenant views available plans. You can also export plan details to XML or publish them to the Microsoft Web Hosting Gallery.

To advertise a plan

  1. In the management portal, click Plans.

  2. Click the plan you want to advertise. The plan's Dashboard appears.

  3. Click the Advertise tab.

  4. On the command bar, click Add Advertisement and provide the text that advertises your plan, such as the number of virtual machines, resource capabilities, marketing promotions, and so on.

    You can also edit and delete advertisements.

  5. On the content pane, click Export plan details into XML file to save for your records.

  6. On the content pane, click Import plan details to Web Hosting Gallery to publish your plan to the Microsoft Web Hosting Gallery.

Step 6: Change access to a plan

After you have authored a plan, made the required configurations, and provided the required settings, you are ready to make the plan public so that tenants can subscribe to it.

You will also need to change the access if you want to make the plan private again or decommission it. For a list of possible states, see States of plans and add-ons.

To change access to a plan

  1. In the management portal, click Plans.

  2. Select the plan.

  3. On the command bar, click Change Access.

  4. Choose the state that you want to apply to the plan.

Step 7: Clone a plan

You can clone a plan to use as a template for creating other plans.

To clone a plan

  1. In the management portal, click Plans.

  2. Select the plan.

  3. On the command bar, click Clone Plan.

  4. Specify the name for the cloned plan.

    The cloned plan will have all the services, add-ons, configurations, and property values of the plan from which it was cloned.

Step 8: Author an add-on

Authoring an add-on is similar to authoring a plan except that you are choosing a service, or services, that you want to provide as optional to your subscribers.

To author an add-on

  1. On the All Items navigation pane, click Plans, and then click New.

  2. Click Create Add-On.

  3. On the Authoring a Hosting Add-On wizard, do the following:

    • Specify a friendly name for the add-on.

    • Select one or more of the available services to include in the add-on.

    The add-on that you created should be listed on the Add-ons tab in the content pane.

You can modify, configure, and specify settings for an add-on as you do for plans. These tasks include the following:

  • Add and remove services from an add-on.

  • Configure an add-on by setting the maximum number of times the add-on can be added to a plan, or by setting it to unlimited.

  • Advertise an add-on by adding, editing, removing text advertisements. Unlike plans, add-on advertisements details cannot be exported to XML files or be published in the Microsoft Web Hosting Gallery.

  • Change access to an add-on. For a list of possible states, see States of plans and add-ons.

  • Clone an add-on.

See Also

 
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