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Zero Downtime Migration from Windows Azure Pack to Hybr® SDX Datacenter

Zero Downtime Migration from Windows Azure Pack to Hybr® SDX Datacenter

Migrate Windows Azure Pack tenant users to modern, automation driven, self-service Hybr® SDX Datacenter Platform with zero impact on the workloads

Author: Divya Sampath/Thursday, October 28, 2021/Categories: Windows Azure Pack, Hybr

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Enterprises and Service providers have been leveraging Windows Azure Pack and System Center VMM to deliver an on-premises private cloud experience to customers for several years now. With the end-of-life set for Windows Azure Pack in July 2022 comes the challenge of migrating users from those platforms to a future-proof solution that will scale well and bring continuous innovations for service delivery for years to come. An essential aspect of the challenge is to migrate users as seamlessly as possible, with zero impact on the workloads. This article will explore how to accomplish it and a real-life success story of migrating a large customer with hundreds of tenants from Windows Azure Pack to the modern Hybr® SDX Datacenter platform

High-level migration flow/ Implementation plan:

1. The idea of Side-by-Side 

  • The most crucial aspect of this process is having both Hybr and WAP environments run side by side until the entire transition is complete (or) the end-users adapt the Hybr system. 

2. Seamless for the End-User, Scripted for the Administrators 

  • We have an entire set of automation scripts and Hybr tool commands that can help the administrator export the subscription details from the WAP environment and import the company details, user details, subscriptions details into the Hybr system. 
  • End-users can log in to the Hybr with their Azure AD (or local Active Directory) credentials and will be able to view all their existing resources from the Hybr portals. 

3. Guaranteed zero downtime for end-users

  • Since both the WAP and Hybr systems can co-exist, there is no downtime needed for the end-users. Once the migration is done, the end-users can start using their resources immediately from Hybr, and the WAP portal can be decommissioned.


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Preparing for the migration: 

1. Easy click-through setup of Hybr® SDX in your Datacenter (or in any Cloud of your choice) 

  • Hybr components are set up in a few easy, quick, and user-friendly steps.  

2. Finalizing Hybr Plans, Offers, and Pricing 

  • The Pricing profiles for the various Plans can be created in Hybr.  
  • The Plans, Offers, and Pricing profiles need to be mapped with the respective Tenant Companies. 
  • The Plan and Offer Names can also be changed if required. 

3. Building the Hybr Marketplace

  • The initial setup of the Connections, Templates, Admin Networks Configurations, etc., need to be completed. 

4. Export of Companies and Users data from Windows Azure Pack 

  • The Plan details are collected from the WAP environments using the WAP PowerShell scripts available. 
  • The Quota details of the Plan are also obtained from the WAP PowerShell scripts. 
  • The scripts export the details in a .csv file format that can be easily imported into the Hybr. 
  • The networks associated with the respective Plans are also collected and mapped to the respective Plans in the exported list. 
  • The Company details like Admin Users, address, contact details are collected in a .csv format for importing into Hybr. 
  • The User details from the WAP are exported into a .csv using the PowerShell scripts. 

5. Refine the exported list to map to Hybr Plans, Hybr Tenant Companies: 

  • The Plans, Offer, and Companies are mapped in the same .csv files. 
  • The Users need to be validated and sanity checked to avoid any errors during migrations. 
  • The Hybr New Plan Names and Offer Names can be changed if required. 
  • The Connections in Hybr for the respective Plans need to be mapped in the .csv files. 


1. Scripted creation of tenant companies and users in Hybr 

  • Hybr has a series of Tool Commands for importing the User details, Plans, Subscriptions, etc. 
  • The Companies are created first with the respective admin users and Co-admins 
  • The Plans are created and auto-configured with the VM templates, networks, etc., as per the details in the .csv file. 
  • Offers are created and mapped to the respective Plans. 
  • Users of the WAP Subscriptions are imported and mapped to the respective Tenant Companies in Hybr. 
  • WAP Subscriptions are created and mapped to the Plans. 
  • Respective Co-Admins and Users of the WAP Subscriptions are also mapped. 

2. Migration of the Resources in Hybr 

  • The Connections in Hybr are synced either manually from Hybr Portal or automated using the Tool Commands. 
  • The respective Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks of the subscriptions are imported into the Hybr system. 
  • Users can start using these resources right away. 

3. Communicate customers in controlled batches to start using Hybr 

  • The very advantage of this migration is that it can be done in small batches. 
  • The internal subscriptions or the sister companies can be migrated first and have a dry run for a week. 
  • The other companies and their subscriptions can be migrated in the subsequent weeks. 

4. How does Side-by-Side accomplish zero-downtime migration? 

  • Both Hybr and WAP can co-exist side by side. But any new subscriptions created in WAP after the migrations need to be handled and added again in Hybr. 
  • At any moment, the admins can sync the Connection to import the newly created resources from the WAP environment. 
  • There is no need to power off the Virtual Machines during this whole process of Migrations. The users can keep using them during the entire process.  

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Post-Migration Checklist:  

  • Automated scripts are used to validate all the resources from the migrated subscriptions are available in the Hybr portals. 
  • The Quotas for the subscriptions need to be handled when new resources are going to be synced to the subscriptions. 
  • Ensure Training sessions are conducted for the Administrators and customer account managers. 
  • Ensure all customers are set up as Hybr Tenant Companies. 
  • Validate Role-Based Access Control is working as expected, and end-users can perform allowed operations. 
  • Check the Hybr Marketplace (aka Service Catalog) experience for end-users and if appropriate items are configured in the Plans. 
  • Check if usage data collection is happening correctly for the System Center platform. 
  • Verify invoice generation is happening as expected and the pricing matches the expectations. 

Additional Services Setup 

1. Optional Hybr Components 

  • Microsoft CSP Partner Center Self-Service Integration and Billing 
  • Azure, AWS, GCP integrations 
  • Custom Data Collectors 
  • Billing data FTP export 

Decommission Windows Azure Pack Portals for end-users 

  • To have a smooth maintenance post-migration, it is advised to decommission the access to the WAP Portals once all the migrations are completed.
  • All end-users should be asked to log in to the Hybr portals and start using them for creating the resources. This will avoid Quota violations by the end-users. 

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Learn how Cloud Assert can build an effective Hybrid Cloud Platform

Real-life Success Story Reference (Top Service Provider in South Africa): 

  • Migrated 100+ Tenant Companies and 1000's of users and subscriptions from Windows Azure Pack to Hybr® SDX Datacenter, along with Microsoft CSP Integration, VMware vCenter Integration, and Billing. 
  • The users were able to log in to the Tenant portals and create resources without any hassles. 
  • The migration process was smooth, and no resources were missed.

"Cloud Assert were instrumental in assessing our use of Windows Azure Pack, they mapped out a migration strategy and execution plan, moving us to their hybrid cloud management platform, HYBR.  Our customers and managed services team have been delighted with the functionality HYBR has brought.  Cloud Assert made it significantly easier for us to migrate from WAP to HYBR in a risk free manner"

Vaughan Gerson, Managing Director at FirstNet Technology Services

Replace Windows Azure Pack with Hybr® SDX Datacenter Platform.

Please reach for any quick discussions, and we are glad to help you migrate from Windows Azure Pack to a futuristic technology platform Hybr® SDX Datacenter.


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