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Create and Upload a Management Certificate for Azure

Updated: August 23, 2014

A Azure management certificate is an X.509 v3 certificate used to authenticate an agent, such as Visual Studio Tools for Windows Azure or a client application that uses the Service Management API, acting on behalf of the subscription owner to manage subscription resources. Azure management certificates are uploaded to Azure and stored at the subscription level. The management certificate store can hold up to 100 certificates per subscription. These certificates are used to authenticate your Windows Azure deployment.

Management certificates must have a key length of at least 2048 bits and should reside in the Personal certificate store. When the certificate is installed on the client, it should contain the private key of the certificate. To upload to the certificate to the Microsoft Azure Management Portal, you must export it as a .cer format file that does not contain the private key.

  • You can use the Certificates console to export and import certificates.

  • To upload a management certificate to Azure, go to the Settings page in the Management Portal, and then click MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATES.

To create your own self-signed management certificates, open a Visual Studio command prompt as an administrator, and then run the following command:

makecert -sky exchange -r -n "CN=<CertificateName>" -pe -a sha1 -len 2048 -ss My "<CertificateName>.cer"

The Makecert command stores the new certificate in the default Personal certificate store. For more complete information on generating a certificate, see Create a Service Certificate for Azure.

The private key associated with a certificate should be maintained in a secure location. After the .cer file is uploaded, anyone who has the private key can use the Service Management API to control the hosted service. This includes creating, deleting, and modifying services and storage accounts on your subscription that are associated with certificate.

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