Remote Desktop Functionality in Azure Roles

One of the cool new features of version 1.3 of the Azure SDK is the ability to connect to Azure roles using Remote Desktop. The increased visibility into the role makes monitoring activity and troubleshooting problems easier than ever. This allows for unprecedented flexibility and control over the role instance.

Configuring a role for Remote Desktop access is relatively straightforward. From the Publish dialog in Visual Studio you can configure the Remote Desktop connection parameters.

Figure 1 Publish Dialog

Figure 2 Configure Remote Desktop connections

In the configuration you need to specify a user name and password to use and a certificate to encrypt those credentials. The certificate will be uploaded to the hosted service on Azure. Thus a secure relationship is established for RDP. If you want more information on how certificates can be used to deliver passwords securely and cloud security in general, consider Learning Tree’s course 1220: Securing the Cloud.

After the project is published in this manner and is started on Azure you can connect to the running instance using Remote Desktop. As usual, I think a demo makes this clearer.

Azure continues to evolve, as do the services offered by the other cloud providers. One thing is for sure, competition benefits consumers! In our course 1200: Cloud Computing Technologies a Comprehensive Hands-on Introduction we develop a framework for understanding cloud computing that will be useful now and in the future!


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