Remote Desktop Connection To Azure WebRoles (Cloud Services)

Connecting to virtual machines though Azure IaaS is common, but you may have wondered how content can be managed for web roles, hosted as Cloud Services. Cloud Services are somewhat of a "black box" when it comes to traditional websites hosted in Microsoft Azure and rightfully so, since web roles are more complex and align with traditional tiered architecture for enterprise web applications. This post will walk through setting up RDP for your cloud services, so you can RDP to one or more instances of the web roles and debug or make necessary changes.

There are a couple of ways to setup RDP for cloud services. One way is by enabling RDP while publishing a webrole to Microsoft Azure,

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg443832.aspx

however you can also use the portal to set it up. 

1. After filtering a subscription from the Azure Portal, select "Cloud Services" from the menu.

 

2. Select the service and choose Configure

 

3. Down at the bottom of the configuration page, click on the Remote link. The link below walks through the rest for setting it up and more details around removing the RDP configuration.

http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/cloud-services-how-to-configure/

but the next step is setting up the configuration by selecting the role, username/psw, certificate and when the RDP will expire on. The above link also provides more detail around the certificate and rebooting of the role once RDP is configured.

4. After selecting the check button from the Configure Remote Desktop window from the Azure Portal, Azure will crunch for a bit and indicate that it is processing the request ot configure RDP for the role. This can take a little bit of time.

5. Once configuration is completed, RDP can be accessed from within Visual Studio and Server Explorer.

 

6. Right-clicking on either of the instances for WebRole1 will start an RDP session, where you can remote into either instances.

Once remoted in, go to IIS so you can see your hosted site and demystify the web role for both instances, and see the file structure for the files that were uploaded during the last deployment. You can also save the .RDP profile so you can remote in from a different computer.  

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Posted by: BayerWhite
Posted on: 4/24/2014 at 6:13 AM
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