Setting up RDP to a Windows Azure Instance: Part 1

In my previous post, Export & Upload a Certificate to an Azure Hosted Service, I outlined some of the common tasks which are necessary to RDP into a Windows Azure Hosted Instance. In this post I will outline how to use the tools in Visual Studio to setup the RDP Configuration values.

Part 2 of this Series will outline how to Configure the RDP Manually, using IIS, Powershell and the Service Management API. One final post will outline how to get the RPD Connection launched.

Using Visual Studio to RDP to an Azure Instance

If you’re a Developer, this is most likely the simplest process for you. The following steps explain the process of setting up RDP to the Cloud, so a number of Development Processes, including building out your Website are *not* covered.

Visual Studio 2010 Cloud Service Project

1. Welcome to the Start Screen.

Open-Visual-Studio-2010

2. Create a New Cloud Service Project.

Create-New-Cloud-Project

3. Select the Required Projects for the Solution.

Add-Your-Roles

Publish the Application to Windows Azure

1. [Time Lapsed: Build Application] Right-Click on Cloud Service Project and select Publish.

Publish-Your-Website

2. Choose your Hosted Service and Storage Account to Deploy to.

Deploy-Windows-Azure-Project-Final

3. Configure Remote Desktop connections.

Default-Remote-Desktop-Configuration-Dialog

4. Create a Certification (this is used to encrypt the credentials).

Create-Certificate-For-Password-Encryption

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Create a Username and Password for the RPD Connection.

Fill-Out-RDP-Credentials

6. Export and Upload the Certificate to the Hosted Service.

Certificate-Uploaded

7. Press OK on both the Remote Desktop Setup and Publish Dialog boxes. This will begin the Publish Process.

Azure-Deployment-In-Progress

Next Steps

This concludes the configuration of RDP into a Windows Azure Instance using Visual Studio 2010. The next step would be to connect to the Windows Azure instance. I will be posting another entry to cover the steps to connect, however it will be after I complete my next entry on how to Manually Configure the RDP Connection.

Export & Upload a Certificate to an Azure Hosted Service

Last night I started doing some research into the new features of the Windows Azure SDK 1.3 for a future blog series which I’ve been thinking about lately. The first step was to figure out what was installed on the default Windows Azure image, in order to determine what would need to be installed for my Proof of Concept.

There are two ways to set up the RDP connection into an Azure instance: a developer centric approach, which is configured in Visual Studio, and an IT centric approach which is configured through the [new] Windows Azure Platform Portal. I had thought it might be cool if this functionality was available using the Service Management API, however this is not publicly exposed [which probably is a good thing].

To minimize content repetition I decided to split the export and upload process to this blog post.

Exporting a Certificate

1. Open the Certificate (From Visual Studio Dialog, IIS or Certificate Snap-in in MMC)

View-Newly-Created-Certificate

2. Navigate to the Details Tab. Click on Copy to File…

Copy-Certificate-To-File

3. Start the Export Process.

Export-Certificate-Step-1

4. Select “Yes, export the private key”.

Export-Certificate-Step-2

5. Click Next.

Export-Certificate-Step-3

6. Provide a password to protect the private key.

Export-Certificate-Step-4

7. Browse to a path to save the .pfx file.

Export-Certificate-Step-5

8. Save the file.

Export-Certificate-Step-6

9. Finish the Wizard.

Export-Certificate-Step-8

Export-Certificate-Step-7

Setting up a Windows Azure Hosted Service

If you’d like to see a more detailed explanation of this, I released some videos with Barry Gervin in my last entry, “Post #AzureFest Follow-up Videos”.

1. Create New Hosted Service.

Create-New-Hosted-Servicesmall_thumb

2. Fill out the Creation Form.

New-Hosted-Service-Filled_thumb2

Setting up a Windows Azure Storage Service

The Visual Studio Tools will not allow you to deploy a project without setting up a Storage Service.

1. Create a New Storage Service.

Create-New-Storage-Servicesmall_thum

2. Fill out the Creation Form.

Create-New-Storage-Service-Dialog_th

Upload the Certificate

1. Select the Certificates folder under the Hosted Service to RDP into. Click Add Certificate.

Add-Certificate-To-Hosted-Service(small)

2. Browse to the Certificate (saved in last section).

Upload-Certificate-Browse

3. Enter the Password for the Certificate.

Upload-Certificate-Password

4. Ensure the Certificate is Uploaded.

Certificate-Uploaded

Moving Forward

This entry overviewed some of the common setup steps between Setting up RDP using Visual Studio, and Manual Configuration. In the Manual Configuration post I will overview how to use the Service Management API to install the Certificate to the server (instead of the Portal as described above).

Happy Clouding!