Configure secure connections to a Service Fabric cluster from Visual Studio

Learn how to use Visual Studio to securely access an Azure Service Fabric cluster with access control policies configured.

Cluster connection types

Two types of connections are supported by the Azure Service Fabric cluster: non-secure connections and x509 certificate-based secure connections. (For Service Fabric clusters hosted on-premises, Windows and dSTS authentications are also supported.) You have to configure the cluster connection type when the cluster is being created. Once it's created, the connection type can’t be changed.

The Visual Studio Service Fabric tools support all authentication types for connecting to a cluster for publishing. See Setting up a Service Fabric cluster from the Azure portal for instructions on how to set up a secure Service Fabric cluster.

Configure cluster connections in publish profiles

If you publish a Service Fabric project from Visual Studio, use the Publish Service Fabric Application dialog box to choose an Azure Service Fabric cluster. Under Connection endpoint, select an existing cluster under your subscription.

The Publish Service Fabric Application dialog box is used to configure a Service Fabric connection.

The Publish Service Fabric Application dialog box automatically validates the cluster connection. If prompted, sign in to your Azure account. If validation passes, it means that your system has the correct certificates installed to connect to the cluster securely, or your cluster is non-secure. Validation failures can be caused by network issues or by not having your system correctly configured to connect to a secure cluster.

The Publish Service Fabric Application dialog box validates an existing, correctly configured Service Fabric cluster connection.

To connect to a secure cluster

  1. Make sure you can access one of the client certificates that the destination cluster trusts. The certificate is usually shared as a Personal Information Exchange (.pfx) file. See Setting up a Service Fabric cluster from the Azure portal for how to configure the server to grant access to a client.

  2. Install the trusted certificate. To do this, double-click the .pfx file, or use the PowerShell script Import-PfxCertificate to import the certificates. Install the certificate to Cert:\LocalMachine\My. It's OK to accept all default settings while importing the certificate.

  3. Choose the Publish... command on the shortcut menu of the project to open the Publish Azure Application dialog box and then select the target cluster. The tool automatically resolves the connection and saves the secure connection parameters in the publish profile.

  4. Optional: You can edit the publish profile to specify a secure cluster connection.

    Since you're manually editing the Publish Profile XML file to specify the certificate information, be sure to note the certificate store name, store location, and certificate thumbprint. You'll need to provide these values for the certificate's store name and store location. See How to: Retrieve the Thumbprint of a Certificate for more information.

    You can use the ClusterConnectionParameters parameters to specify the PowerShell parameters to use when connecting to the Service Fabric cluster. Valid parameters are any that are accepted by the Connect-ServiceFabricCluster cmdlet. See Connect-ServiceFabricCluster for a list of available parameters.

    If you’re publishing to a remote cluster, you need to specify the appropriate parameters for that specific cluster. The following is an example of connecting to a non-secure cluster:

    <ClusterConnectionParameters ConnectionEndpoint="" />

    Here’s an example for connecting to an x509 certificate-based secure cluster:

    StoreName="My" />
  5. Edit any other necessary settings, such as upgrade parameters and Application Parameter file location, and then publish your application from the Publish Service Fabric Application dialog box in Visual Studio.

Next steps

For more information about accessing Service Fabric clusters, see Visualizing your cluster by using Service Fabric Explorer.