How to connect to your Windows VM

Introduction
Step 1: Add a firewall rule
Step 2: Configure the port forwarding
Testing the new connection

 

Introduction

A basic Internet connection to a VM requires you to add a firewall rule, and to set the port forwarding configuration. This procedure is illustrated here for the case of creating a connection to a Windows Server VM using a Remote Desktop Connection client.

The VM needs to be attached to a 'Local with Internet Gateway' network. For more information, see How to create a network for your VDC.

For the case of a Linux VM, see How to connect to your Linux VM.

It is also possible to use the VDC built-in load balancer: see How to manage load balancing rules for your VDC.

Important

When you create a Local with Internet Gateway network, its firewall is initially set with no inbound or outbound connections.

Take care that a Windows VM has a secure administrator password, before you activate any Internet connection.

 

An alternative means of network connection from a Windows desktop is to use a software VPN. See How to enable a software VPN connection to a VM.

Step 1: Add a firewall rule

Click Network on the left-hand menu. Then click the name of the network you wish to use. Then click View IP Addresses, and from the list click the public IP address you wish to use (one Gateway network can support multiple public IP addresses). You should now see the Details sub-panel for the IP address. Finally, click the Configuration tab to show the Configuration sub-panel:

Click View all under Firewall. This shows the list of firewall rules for this specific IP address (initially there are none).

Use the Add input boxes at the top and specify:

  • Source CIDR: the IP addresses which will be granted access to the VM, using CIDR notation; for example, use 0.0.0.0/0 for access from any Internet location.

  • Protocol: TCP by default.

  • Start Port and End Port: for Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), both of these are set to 3389.

Click Add to create the firewall rule. It should appear in the list of firewall rules.

If you need to change the rule, you must delete it and Add a new rule.

The firewall rule allows network traffic to pass from the Internet into the VDC network. The next step is to specify what should happen to the traffic within VDC.

Step 2: Configure the port forwarding

If necessary, see the start of Step 1 to navigate to the IP Configuration sub-panel.

Click View all under Port Forwarding. The shows the list of port forwarding configurations for this specific IP address (initially there are none).

Use the Add row at the top and specify:

  • Private Port start and end: for RDP, both of these are set to 3389.

  • Public Port start and end: for RDP, set these to 3389.

  • Protocol: TCP by default

Click Add.

An Add VM dialog will appear. Use the selection buttons to select the VM for this port forwarding rule.

Click Apply. The new forwarding configuration should appear in the list.

If you need to change the configuration, you must delete it and Add a new configuration.

By using different Public Port numbers it is possible to create a set of forwarding rules so that a user may use the same connection protocol (HTTP, for example) but connect to different VMs through the same IP address. Or, different ports on the same VM: for example, if you have a web server (running on port 80) and an experimental web server (running on port 8080). For more details, see How to manage NAT and port forwarding for your VDC.

Testing the new connection

On your own computer (Windows or Macintosh), launch the Remote Desktop Client program:

Type the public IP address that you have just configured into the Computer text box.

You will of course need to know the VM Administrator password, which is only displayed when the VM is deployed in the VDC Control Centre.

Take care that a Windows VM has a secure Administrator password, before you activate any Internet connection.

Windows Server VMs require license activation with Microsoft. See Microsoft Windows activation for information.