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Convert to Managed

After an Azure AKS cluster has been imported, you can allow the controller to takeover the lifecycle management of the AKS cluster. This allows the controller to perform all of the cluster lifecycle management functions like scale, add node pools, and upgrade. The controller retrieves information about the imported AKS clusters to make the cluster's infrastructure equivalent to the managed AKS clusters provisioned through the controller.

Convert to Managed

At any time, you can convert an imported AKS cluster to a managed cluster.

  • On successful import, a clickable label Convert to Managed is available next to the imported cluster as shown in the example below. This option provides a workflow for administrators to initiate the conversion of the cluster from "imported" to "managed".

Import Cluster

Clicking on the label, the below screen appears

  • Select the Cloud Credentials for the imported cluster.
  • Enter the Resource Group name for the imported cluster.
  • Select the source cluster name from the provider to link to the imported cluster.
  • Click Convert to Managed Cluster.

Import Cluster

The system shows the below message. Click Yes to confirm the conversion process.

Import Cluster

The console saves the provided credentials against the cluster and changes the cluster type to "Azure AKS". The managed and imported property is set to True and a declarative cluster specification gets generated for the cluster. Once complete, the controller declares the cluster as being ready for performing "lifecycle management" operations.

  • On successful conversion, you will receive a success message as shown below.

Import Cluster

You can see the cluster type as Imported + Managed and the list of operations allowed on the clusters page.

  • Click Go To Cluster.

Import Cluster


Effective May 1, 2023, Microsoft has removed all Windows Server 2019 Docker images from the registry. Consequently, the Docker container runtime for Windows node pools has been retired. Although existing deployed nodepool will continue to function, scaling operations on existing windows nodepools are no longer supported. To maintain ongoing support and address this issue, it is recommended to create new node pools based on Windows instead of attempting to scale the existing ones

For more information, you can refer to the AKS release notes.

Node Pool Availability

Once the conversion is complete, the details about the managed node pool and actions are available for the users.

Import Cluster


For post conversion (Day 2) operations, refer here

Delete Imported Managed Cluster(s)

When the user deletes the imported managed cluster, the controller deletes the following resources in the Azure account.

  • Managed and self managed node pools created through controller and the underlying resources
  • Managed node pools that got imported with the cluster and its underlying resources
  • AKS cluster itself

The below resources are not deleted:

  • The self managed node pools and their underlying resources that were not created through the controller
  • The underlying control plane resources

RCTL to Convert AKS Imported Cluster(s)

Users can use the RCTL CLI to convert imported AKS clusters to managed.

./rctl convert2managed cluster aks <controller-cluster-name> --source-cluster <imported-cluster> --resource-group <resource_group-name> --credential <credential_name>

RCTL to Delete AKS Imported Cluster(s)

Users can use the RCTL CLI to delete imported AKS clusters.

./rctl delete cluster <imported-cluster>