Posts Tagged ‘azure’

I recently deployed an Azure Cloud Service with Remote Desktop enabled. However, when I went to connect to it on port 3389, the server refused the connection. I remember there was¬†something I had to do, but I had never written down the steps. So, here’s what you need to do, in case you’re looking ūüôā

Note: I use Remote Desktop Connection Manager, a.k.a. RDCMan, also from Microsoft, instead of the standard RDC client. I feel it’s much better, more configurable, and great if you need to work with many remote desktops. I’ve love to know why they don’t include it in Windows!

Step 1: Find your Cloud Service and Slot in Azure Portal

In Azure, find your Cloud Service. Also select the slot to which you want to connect, such as Production or Staging.

Step 2: Select the Roles and Instances option

You’ll see it on the left.

Step 3: Choose the item to which you want to connect and click Connect

For example, your web role instance. This will download an .RDP file. You can double-click this file to connect. Ooh! Neat!

Step 4: If you’re using RDCMan…

To connect with RDCMan, you’ll need to grab the Cookie: something something something string out of the RDP file. Open it in Notepad++, or your text editor of choice, and grab that value. Ignore the s: text.

In RDCMan, for the VM, add the string under Connection Settings tab in the Load balance config textbox.

Step 5: You’re Connected!

Enjoy!

 

 

Have you been wondering how to access the Azure Multi-Factor Authentication Settings in the Azure Classic Portal without first having to create an Azure account? I figured this out a few days ago, having an Office 365 tenant, and wanting to use the EMS and Azure Active Directory Premium features. Following Microsoft’s instructions, it said to go to the Azure Classic Portal. The problem is, Office 365 doesn’t include an Azure subscription, it just includes Azure Active Directory, which you manage through the “modern” Azure portal. Unfortunately, the Trusted IPs and MFA capabilities are managed through the Azure Classic Portal, which you can’t directly access without an Azure subscription.

So, here’s what you do:

  1. Go to portal.office.com
  2. Click Admin to open the admin tools
  3. In the search box, type MFA
  4. Select the Multi-factor authentication search result
  5. Click the link to open the Manage multi-factor authentication link
  6. There you go – manage MFA in your Azure AD to your heart’s content!

 

I recently ran into a need to use the LAME MP3 encoder in a customer’s website. Problem was, once I deployed to Azure, I received an error of “Unable to load DLL libmp3lame.32.dll”. Uh oh! “But it’s in the bin folder!” I screamed silently at Starbucks. So, I binged the issue and found a good answer on StackOverflow. I’m sharing here because it helped unstick me, and I imagine others may be running to this issue with libraries other than LAME.

I ended up adding the function to my Global.asax, in addition to importing namespaces System.IO and System.Linq:

/// <summary>
/// Updates PATH variable in hosting instance to allow referring to items in this project's /bin folder.
/// Very helpful with Azure.
/// </summary>
public static void CheckAddBinPath()
{
    // find path to 'bin' folder
    var binPath = Path.Combine(new string[] { AppDomain.CurrentDomain.BaseDirectory, "bin" });
    // get current search path from environment
    var path = Environment.GetEnvironmentVariable("PATH") ?? "";
 
    // add 'bin' folder to search path if not already present
    if (!path.Split(Path.PathSeparator).Contains(binPath, StringComparer.CurrentCultureIgnoreCase))
    {
        path = string.Join(Path.PathSeparator.ToString(), new string[] { path, binPath });
        Environment.SetEnvironmentVariable("PATH", path);
    }
}

Then in Application start I simply added:

// Sometimes files aren't loaded properly from bin. Hint to the app to load from /bin, too.
CheckAddBinPath();

I hope that helps!

I struggled with this for a few days while trying to convert a Silverlight video player to HTML5, and finally found an answer. Posting here in case anyone else is having trouble!

You need to specify the format as MPEG DASH to get it to smoothstream the MP4 file to the HTML5 video player. This is done by adding a format parameter to the manifest URL, as follows:
Note the (format=mpd-time-csf) at the end of the URL. There are a number of other formats you can stream, including the Silverlight SmoothStream, Adobe’s streaming format, Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming for iOS devices, and more. This is all done for you automatically by Azure’s Media Services. Pretty darn cool.
I struggled to find this, too, so quite happy I finally got things working. Here’s the source URL from Microsoft for more details:

I’m relatively new to Azure deployments, but the more I use them, the more I like the service. Unfortunately, it’s not WYSIWYG with deployments. What you see on IIS Express when development is not always what you’ll get after an Azure deployment. One issue I’ve come across is the MIME mappings aren’t the same, or don’t exist at all, and that’s preventing various file types, such as SVG images and WOFF2 fonts from being served. I also noticed that fixing Azure’s MIME mapping busted my AngularJS support in IIS Express – whoops!

Using the magic of web.config transforms, we can fix this for our release deployments. If you expand your web.config file, you’ll see web.Debug.config and web.Release.config. These files enable you to insert, replace, and remove settings based on your build configuration. Obviously, if you had multiple build configs, such as for different hosting¬†environments, you’d insert those config names in addition web.*.config files.

To add SVG support, we need to¬†insert our additional¬†MIME types into the web.config. There’s no reason to do this in the master web.config, because it’s only necessary during release. This same tactic works very well for swapping the SMTP mail mailSettings section based on the hosting environment’s needs. For example, I swap localhost, where I use PaperCut to monitor sent email, to the actual settings upon deployment.

Below, you’ll see the fully modified web.Release.config from a recent deployment. This one worked perfectly for adding SVG and some missing¬†font file extension support.¬†You’ll notice¬†I’m adding a new section under <system.webServer>. Note that I do not¬†mark the¬†webServer tag with an xdt:Transform. I don’t want to replace the entire section. I simply need to add the staticContent section to override some of the settings already configured in Azure. There are other options for xdt:Transform, such as Remove and Replace. This is a very powerful feature and I encourage you to learn more about it from Microsoft.

    <staticContent xdt:Transform="Insert">

I hope this helps!

Snippet

<?xml version="1.0"?>
 
<!-- For more information on using Web.config transformation visit http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=301874 -->
 
<configuration xmlns:xdt="http://schemas.microsoft.com/XML-Document-Transform">
  <system.webServer>
    <!-- Add support for video files and other non-standard file request types. This breaks AngularJS support in IISExpress, hence why it's here instead. -->
    <staticContent xdt:Transform="Insert">
      <!-- if you don't remove certain extensions first, the site won't load, whoops! -->
      <remove fileExtension=".svg" />
      <remove fileExtension=".svgz" />
      <remove fileExtension=".eot" />
      <remove fileExtension=".ttf" />
      <remove fileExtension=".woff" />
      <remove fileExtension=".woff2" />
      <mimeMap fileExtension=".mp4" mimeType="video/mp4" />
      <mimeMap fileExtension=".ogv" mimeType="video/ogg" />
      <mimeMap fileExtension=".webm" mimeType="video/webm" />
      <mimeMap fileExtension=".svg" mimeType="image/svg+xml"/>
      <mimeMap fileExtension=".svgz" mimeType="image/svg+xml"/>
      <mimeMap fileExtension=".eot" mimeType="application/vnd.ms-fontobject" />
      <mimeMap fileExtension=".ttf" mimeType="application/octet-stream" />
      <mimeMap fileExtension=".woff" mimeType="application/font-woff" />
      <mimeMap fileExtension=".woff2" mimeType="application/font-woff2" />
    </staticContent>
  </system.webServer>
 
</configuration>