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January 11, 2010

Subscription and Service Administration in Windows Azure

On January 4th 2010 Windows Azure announced that you can start upgrading your CTP accounts to paid commercial subscription (see Sign up for a Windows Azure platform offer today and get visibility into your usage on Windows Azure Blog). In this post I would like to give you short introduction of the different roles available, as well as to point out certain limitations, and what to look for when migrating your CTP account.

Those of you who already migrated their CTP subscriptions know that the subscription administration is done in Microsoft Online Commerce Platform (MOCP), while service administration is done in the corresponding developer portal (in my case this will be Windows Azure Developer Portal). The steps you need to follow in order to upgrade your CTP subscription to paid commercial one are the following:

  • Go to Microsoft Online Commerce Platform (MOCP)
  • Sign-in with your Windows Live ID
  • Select an offer and provide your credit card details
  • Designate Service Administrator account

When you complete the process you can login with the Service Administrator Live ID to Windows Azure Developer Portal (if you have selected Windows Azure subscription of course) and you will see the new subscription.

Account Administrator and Service Administrator

First of all I would like to clarify two terms: Account Administrator and Service Administrator. What those two mean?

  • Account Administrator (AA) (also known as Account Owner) is the person who manages the subscription (or subscriptions) in MOCP. In general this is the person who is responsible for paying the bill, and normally has financial responsibilities in your company.
  • Service Administrator (SA) (or also Service Owner) is the person who manages the service that runs in the cloud (or Windows Azure, Microsoft SQL Azure or Windows Azure platform AppFabric). You can think of him or her as the IT person or developer who is responsible for the service operation.

With the introduction of those two roles you are able to separate the financial responsibilities from the operational responsibilities for your cloud account.

Limitations

There are certain limitations that some of you may find restrictive. In general they fall into two categories:

  • Granularity of access – Service Administrators are not able to delegate certain tasks in the developer portal to another person (i.e. LiveID), which makes the Service Administrator the only person who can manage the service.
    By the way the same is true for the Account Administrator – there is no possibility to delegate the administration of particular subscription to another person.
  • Multiple access – for both the subscription administration and service administration you are not able to designate more than one person (i.e. Live ID).

CTP account migration

As part of the sign-up process in MOCP your CTP account may be migrated. What that means is, that your hosted services and storage accounts associated with your CTP account will be assigned to the newly created paid subscription. However, in order this to happen you need to do the following:

  • You need to use the same LiveID for Account Administrator as the one you used to sign up for the CTP account. I.e. when you sign up to MOCP use the same LiveID you used to sign up for CTP acocunt on the corresponding developer portal.
  • Once you sign-up for the paid commercial subscription, and verify in the developer portal that your account is migrated, you can return back to MOCP and designate another LiveID for Service Administrator.

Additional to that if you have more than one CTP subscription only the first one you created will be upgraded.

I hope this information will help you migrate your accounts smoothly.

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