Launching a Microsoft Windows Server™ instance with a public IP using the dashboard

            This howto will show you how to launch a Windows Server™ instance with a public IP.

            We assume you have already uploaded a public ssh key. If you haven't done so, see our guide on managing key pairs.

            First, click on the "Instances" menu item in the dashboard menu, then on the button. The mandatory steps are marked with asterisks. We will go through the steps in order.


            In this step you can fill out a name for your instance. The count field indicates how many instances with the same settings you wish to launch. Leave the setting at 1 to launch a single instance.


            Select Image as the boot source, then choose e.g. "Windows Server 2016 Datacenter (desktop experience)" as the image to boot. The volume size setting determines the size of your root volume. Here we've set it to 100 GB.


            Choose an instance flavor. The flavor determines how powerful your instance is going to be. Here we've chosen a w1.small flavor with 1 VCPU and 4 GB of RAM. Note that you need to choose a flavor in the w1 series for Windows instances.

            Flavors in the w1 series cost extra compared to the g1 series. This is to cover the license fees of running Windows Server™.


            Here you can choose to put the instance on the public network. Choosing the public network ensures the instance is automatically assigned a public IP. Be aware, though, that running all your instances on a public network exposes them to higher risk. For production systems it is therefore recommended to run only the services that need to be accessed from the Internet on a public network.

            Key Pair

            Here you can choose the public key you've previously uploaded or generated using the dashboard.

            Launching the instance

            You are now ready to launch the instance. Click  the button. When the status has changed from Build to Running then the instance is ready. Please note that Windows Server™ instances take a while to boot up the first time.

            Modifying the default security group to allow remote desktop connections (RDP)

            Since we didn't do the Security Groups step your instance will be placed in the default security group. A security group is sort of like a firewall where you can define rules for which traffic to allow to or from the instance. Note that you will have to explicitly allow ingress traffic on port 3389 to be able to rdp in to your instance.

            Click on the "Security Groups" menu item under the Network sub menu, then on the button for the default security group. You will see a list of the security rules. We will need to add a rule to allow incoming traffic on TCP port 3389, which is the standard RDP port. Click on the button and fill out the form. Enter the network address to allow RDP from in CIDR notation. Here we've opted to allow RDP from any IP address.

            Retrieve the Admin password

            When Windows Server™ boots up an Admin account will be created and a random password will be generated and stored encrypted. To retrieve this Admin password you will need to use the private key of the keypair you selected when launching the instance. Click on the Instances menu item under the Compute heading.

            Find the instance you want to retrieve the password from in the list of instances and click on the little arrow to get the drop-down menu. Click on "Retrieve Password".

            You have the choice of either copy/pasting the private key, or browsing for the private key file. Click the button to decrypt the password.

            Logging in to your instance

            You should now be able to log in to your instance using RDP.

            The username is Admin.

            On Microsoft Windows™ you can use the Remote Desktop Connection application

            Updated: 30 Dec 2018 03:01 PM
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