I made the rookie mistake of forgetting I left my VM on earlier this week and now I’m out of credits and have to wait another few days to use it again. Draaaaaag!
Prior to that I had taken some screen shots to demonstrate how to find and use some settings around IP addresses and DNS names. Some of these things have changed since I wrote about my Azure experiences around this time last year, so this is an update if you are using the new Resource Manager approach to managing VMs.
Public IP Address
I referenced this briefly in my first “More Azure” post a few weeks ago. If you need to access your VM to administer it, install software, configure etc., then you need to specify a Public IP address for it in order to access it from outside of the Azure Virtual Network. If you have a dedicated Azure VM for RDS already, then you may be able to RDP to the VM from your RDS session because you’re on the Azure virtual network at that point. In my setup, this is for demos and testing only, not production and I need to log into the machines from outside Azure.
In your VM, go to All Settings, and select Network Interfaces. Open up your network interface, and select IP Addresses. Under All Settings of that, is this screen where you can enable your Public IP Address.
If you don’t have a public IP address created already, click Create New to create one.
Give your Public IP address a name and determine if it should be Dynamic or Static. Dynamic means of course the IP can change each time the machine is cycled off. Save when done.
DNS Name Labels
There is another option which I’ve chosen to use on any machines I want to access externally from the Azure network and that is giving the Public IP address a DNS name label. This was done in a different area - under Public IP Addresses. Go into the configuration area of Public IP Addresses, where you can manage the settings like Dynamic vs. Static, as well as give the DNS Name Label.
As you can see in the picture below, the DNS label is appended with a generic suffix for your region, which in my case is Canada Central. Using the DNS label is easy, if your VM is running, simply RDP to that fully qualified name and you’re connected to your machine. Azure DNS refreshes nearly instantly to make this DNS label immediately available, unlike working with DNS for public websites where you may need to wait 24 hours for things to propogate.
The best part is for me, I no longer have to log into Azure, navigate to my VM, and click Connect, as long as the VM is running already! Without the DNS label and a dynamic Public IP, using the Connect button, you’ll get a different connection each time potentially making saving the RDP connection difficult. This, however, eliminates the need to have a static public IP, at least for my needs.