How to Connect to Public Clouds


Updated: June 1, 2015

Applies To: System Center 2012 - App Controller, System Center 2012 SP1 - App Controller, System Center 2012 R2 App Controller

Connecting a Windows Azure Subscription to App Controller

Certificates are used to set up trust between the Windows Azure management API and App Controller. This authentication allows App Controller to call on the Windows Azure API when you perform tasks such as deploying services or change configuration properties. The service certificate, or Personal Information Exchange certificate (.pfx file), contains a private key. App Controller stores this certificate in the App Controller database. Since the certificate contains the private key, you need to provide the password so that App Controller can use the private key. The management certificate (.cer file) contains only the public key, which is kept in Windows Azure for accessing the API. Windows Azure allows customers to create their own management certificates, either self-signed certificates or using their preferred certification authority (CA). By giving Windows Azure the public key and keeping the private key local, the authentication can be completed.

If you are creating a certificate, you will need to export the certificate twice—once as a .cer file, and then a second time as a .pfx file, for use in App Controller. For more information about how to create and export certificates for connections to Windows Azure subscriptions, see How to Create a Management Certificate and How to Add a Management Certificate to a Windows Azure Subscription in the Windows Azure Platform section of the MSDN Library.

You may need to configure proxy configuration settings before adding subscriptions. For information on proxy configuration, see Managing Connection Settings.


You must be a member of the App Controller Administrator user role in order to perform the following procedures. For more information about user roles, see Managing User Roles.

To connect App Controller to a Windows Azure subscription

  1. On the Clouds page, click Connect and then click Windows Azure Subscription.

  2. In the Connect dialog box, enter a name for this subscription. This name is displayed in the Name column of the Clouds page.

  3. Add an optional description in the Description text box.

  4. In the Subscription ID field, enter the subscription ID for this connection. The Windows Azure subscription ID is a GUID and can be found in the Windows Azure Management Portal.

  5. To import the required management certificate, select the Personal Information Exchange (.pfx) file for the public key you uploaded to Windows Azure and enter the password for the certificate.

  6. Click OK to create the connection.


When you add a Windows Azure subscription, it might take some time for tasks related to that subscription to be displayed as available. To quickly refresh the view, close the App Controller browser windows, and connect again to the App Controller site.

See Also

How to Refresh VMM Library Server Certificates
How to View the Status of a Job
Managing Connection Settings
Managing Windows Azure Subscription Settings
How to Connect to Private Clouds