Establishing Remote Desktop to Windows Azure Instance – Part 2

Part 2 – Uploading Certificate on Windows Azure Developer Portal

This is the second part of this blog post series about Establishing Remote Desktop to Windows Azure. You can check out the first part here.

So far we’ve just only do the work on the development environment side. There’re still something needs to be done on Windows Azure Portal.

Export Your Certificate

1. The first step is to export the physical certificate file since we need to upload it to Windows Azure Portal.

There’re actually few ways to export certificate file. The most common way is using MMC. Since we use Visual Studio to configure our remote desktop, we can utilize the feature as well. I refer to step 4 of the first part of the post, where you’ve just create a certificate using Visual Studio wizard. With the preferred certificate selected, click on View to see the detail of your certificate.

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2. Click on Details tab of the Certificate dialog box, and then click on Copy to File button. It should bring you to a Certificate Export Wizard.

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3. Clicking on Next button will bring you the next step where you can select whether to export private or public key. On the first step, select “No, do not export private key” first, keep following the wizard and eventually it will prompt you to the last page where you need to name the physical file [Name].CER.

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4. Repeat from the step 1 to 3 but this time, select “Yes, export private key” which eventually will require you to define your password and export it to another [Name].pfx file.

Upload the certificate to Windows Azure Portal

Since we are done exporting both private and public key of the certificate, the next step is to upload it to Windows Azure.

5. Log-in to your Windows Azure Developer Portal (https//windows.azure.com). I assume that you’ve your subscription ready with your live id.

6. Click on the “Hosted Service, Storage Account, and CDN” on the left-hand side menu. On the upper part, click on Management Certificate. If you previously have uploaded the certificate, obviously you will see some of them.

7. Next step is to click on Add Certificate button and a modal pop up dialog will prompt you to select your subscription as well as upload your .CER certificate.

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As instructed, go ahead to select your subscription and browse your .CER file where you’ve exported in step 3. It may take a few second to upload your certificate. You’ve successfully uploaded your public key of the certificate.

8. Now, you will also need to upload the private key. To do that, click on Hosted Service upper menu. Click on New Hosted Service button on upper menu and you will see Create a new Hosted Service dialog show up. There are a few section which you need to enter here.

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a. Enter the name of your service and well as the URL prefix. Please note that the URL prefix must be globally unique.

b. Subsequently, select your region / affinity group, where do you want to host your service.

c. The next one is about your deployment option, whether you want to deploy it immediately as staging or production environment or do not deploy it first. I assume that you deploy it as production environment.

d. You can give your deployment name or label on it. People sometimes like to use either version number or current time as the label.

e. Now it’s your time to browse your package as well as configuration where you’ve created on the step 9 in previous post.

f. Finally, you need to add certificate again, but this time it’s private key certificate that you’ve specified in step 4 above.

Click OK when you are done with that. In the case where an warning occur, stating that you’ve only 1 instance, you can consider whether to increase your instance count to meet the 99.95% Microsoft SLA. If you are doing this only for development or testing purpose, I believe 1 instance doesn’t really matter. You can click on OK to continue.

8. It will definitely take some time to upload the package as well as wait for the fabric controller to allocate a hosted service place for you. You may see that the status will change slowly from “uploading”, “initializing”, “busy”, and eventually “ready”, if everything goes well.

Remote Desktop to Your Windows Azure Instance.

9. Assuming that your instance has been successfully uploaded. Now you can remote desktop by selecting the instance of your hosted service. And click on the Connect button in upper menu.

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This will prompt you to download an .rdp file.

10. Open up the .rdp file and you will see a verification are you want to connect despite these certificate error. Just simply ignore it and click on Yes.

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It will then prompt your for username and password that you’ve specified in Visual Studio when configuring the remote desktop. But, here’s little trick here. Just just simply click on your name since it will use your computer as domain. Instead, use “” (backslash) and follow-up with your username. For example: “wely”. And of course you’ll need to enter your password as well.

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11. If it goes well, you’ll see that you’ve successfully remote desktop to you Windows Azure instance. Bingo!

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Alright, that’s all for this post. Hope it helps! See you on another blog post.

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