Q: How do I create a certificate to enable System Center App Controller to manage Windows Azure?

A: To manage and deploy to Windows Azure from System Center App Controller, you need to generate a certificate that’s at least 2048 bits in length.

There are numerous ways to create the certificate and install it, but the easiest way is to use the makecert utility that’s part of the Microsoft SDK.

At C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0A\Bin\x64> I entered the following command:

makecert -sk AzureMng -r -n "CN=AzureMng" -pe -a sha1 -len 2048 -ss My "AzureMng.cer"
 The generated CER file is the public key of the certificate. The next step is to export the private key that was imported into the personal certificate repository:
  1. Start the Microsoft Management Console.
  2. From the File menu, select Add/Remove Snap-in.
  3. Select Certificates, and click Add and select My user account from the displayed dialog box, then click Finish.
  4. Click OK to close the Add Snap-in dialog box.
  5. Expand Personal, Certificates.
  6. Right-click the certificate created, and select All Tasks, Export.
  7. Click Next to the Export dialog box.
  8. Select Yes to export the private key.
  9. Accept the default PFX format and click Next.
  10. Enter a password and click Next.
  11. Select the location and name for the exported certificate PFX and click Next.
  12. Click Finish.

To import the certificate in Windows Azure perform the following:

  1. Connect to your Azure site, then navigate to the Hosted Services, Storage Accounts & CDN workspace and select Management Certificates
  2. Select the Add Certificate action.
  3. Select your .CER file and click OK to complete the import process.

Finally, add the Windows Azure service to System Center App Controller where you will use the PFX export with the private key and the password you set:

  1. Connect to the System Center App Controller website.
  2. Select Clouds in the navigation area and select Connect, Windows Azure Subscription.
  3. Enter a name and description for the connection, the Azure subscription ID, and then the PFX file and password. Click OK.

System Center App Controller is now connected to Windows Azure.

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