Faster bandwidth, cheaper storage and virtualization have made the vision of Software-as-a-Service a reality. With the recent Amazon EC2 outage, many companies are starting to rethink their cloud strategy. This outage can be compared to a plane crash. We still travel by planes even though we hear about a plane crash. Cloud computing will continue to grow but with focus on redundant cloud architecture. While cloud computing is mainly infrastructure management, security management is also a huge concern.

Security account management in Windows Azure

This post is about some of the best practices for creating and managing administrative accounts in Windows Azure.

  • Account Ownership – Microsoft Online Services Customer Portal handles Windows Azure’s account management and billing. Through this service, users sign up for subscriptions. Assign account owner and service administrator roles for each subscription, creating individual accounts for each of the roles.
  • Certificate Management – There are two different kinds of certificates: service certificates and management certificates. Service certificates are traditional SSL certificates used to secure end point communications. Management certificates are used to authenticate developers for your Windows Azure deployment.
  • Employee Transitions – When an employee leaves the organization, the first step is to reset passwords for any service administrator accounts to which the former employee had access. Re-issue any pertinent management certificates. These certificates provide means of authentication to hosted services through Visual Studio and Windows Azure API’s. Re-issue management certificates.

~ Ramya