Automation of Remote Console deployment for CPS Standard

For this post, we are glad to host Thomas Roettinger, Program Manager in Microsoft’s Private Cloud Solutions team, announcing the availability of artifacts that will help you deploy the Remote Console feature in Microsoft Cloud Platform System (CPS) Standard.


The Remote Console feature

First of all, what is the Remote Console feature? Have you ever been in a situation where you misconfigured the network settings and locked yourself out of a virtual machine? Or Remote Desktop is disabled but you need to access the VM console? If you are a cloud administrator, and have access to tools such as Hyper-V Manager or the Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) console, this is not a huge deal. You can just connect to the VM by using the Virtual Machine Connection tool in Hyper-V, or the Connect via Console feature in VMM.

However, as a tenant in a cloud environment where you don’t have direct access or permissions to the infrastructure management tools, you would typically have to open a service ticket to get the issue corrected by your administrator. But guess what? Windows Azure Pack (included with CPS Standard) has a feature that enables a tenant to connect to the Console session and recover from such situations.

To learn more about the Remote Console feature, please see https://technet.microsoft.com/library/dn469415.aspx.

Automation

Customers told us that the manual deployment of Remote Console is complex due to the various services that have to be configured and the placement of certificates. Based on that feedback, we have provided a way to help automate the deployment CPS Standard.

The automation consists of two parts:

  • A VMM service template. This deploys a highly-available VM with Remote Desktop Gateway server (RD Gateway) and the Authorization Plugin installed.
  • A Service Management Automation (SMA) runbook. This runbook deploys and configures the certificates in RD Gateway, in VMM, and on the Hyper-V hosts.

Downloading the package

The download package contains a deployment guide, a VMM service template, and a configuration runbook. You can download the CPS Standard Remote Console artifacts through the Microsoft Web Platform Installer. To locate the artifacts, after you download the Web Platform Installer, do the following:

a. At the bottom of the Web Platform Installer dialog box, click Options.

b. In the Custom Feeds box, enter the following URL: http://www.microsoft.com/web/webpi/partners/servicemodels.xml

c. Click Add feed.

d. In the search box, type CPS Standard.

e. Locate the resource, and then click Add.

f. Click Install. During the installation, note the package location.

Detailed deployment instructions are included in the download.

Summary

We hope you like the time saving and reduction of deployment issues. We look forward to hearing your feedback on our Cloud Platform System solutions.