In part one we installed the ADFS server on our corporate network, and tested that it was working.
Now we need to make the ADFS infrastructure available to the Internet in a secure fashion, so that Office 365 will be able to contact the ADFS proxy to authenticate user requests.
In part three we will add the ADFS infrastructure to the Office 365 configuration,
In this installation, the ADFS proxy server will be placed into the DMZ, and installed as a workgroup machine since the Tailspintoys organisation does not possess a separate management forest in the DMZ. Ensure the machine is built as per your standard build process, is secured and all Microsoft updates are installed.
You will want to install the April 2014 Windows 2012 R2 update to light up additional pieces of ADFS functionality, but we will save that for a later blog post. If you do want to take a peek at this now, the PFE Platform folks are rocking it over here – please subscribe to their RSS feed too!
As discussed in part one, you will need a certificate from a trusted third party. Ensure that you check with the CA to ensure that you are able to install the certificate onto multiple servers as this is blocked in some license agreements. This is something that you must check directly with the CA.
If you are allowed to install the certificate from the ADFS server, then this simplifies matters else you will require an additional certificate. The name must match the ADFS namespace that you selected through the ADFS design process.
Since the ADFS server will be in a network that may not have access to the internal DNS zone information, ensure that it is able to resolve the ADFS namespace to the internal ADFS server. A swift update to the local hosts file may suffice, just remember to add this to your build documentation.
Create external DNS record for the ADFS proxy server. This A record will exist in the external DNS zone of you are using split DNS. In the Tailspintoys enterprise (cough, cough this lab) the internal DNS zone is held on AD integrated DNS zones. The external zone is at a commercial ISP, so the external DNS record was created at the commercial ISP so it resolves to the external IP of the ADFS proxy when I am at Starbucks.
Having the external DNS record point to the ADFS server’s external IP address will not allow traffic to flow unless the firewalls are configured to do so. In enterprises the ADFS proxy server will be installed into a DM so there will be an internal and external firewall. Both must be opened to allow SSL traffic over TCP port 443. In addition to this the ADFS server will also need access to the CRL distribution points on the Internet to verify certificate validity.
Exchange administrators should be used to this now as they have see Exchange updates take a long time to install on Exchange servers do not have access to crl.microsoft.com. In the case of ADFS, the server should be able to hit the CRL of external CAs.
Let’s fire up the Add Roles Wizard from server manager!
As noted in the previous post, there is no longer a separate ADFS proxy role in Windows 2012 R2. The Remote Access feature provides VPN, Direct Access and Web Application Proxy (WAP) functionality. It is the latter that we need to install.
Select Remote Access and let’s go find the droids we are looking for…
Unless you want to add any features, like telnet * for troubleshooting purposes later, click next.
The Remote Access role selection process starts. Unlike in days of old when installing a feature would install all of the bits, and by extension potential vulnerabilities, Windows now wants to only install the bare minimum. This is a paradigm shift compared to the early days of IIS where it would install everything and then you have to spend time stripping stuff back out. Index extension attack anyone?
In our case we just want to install the Web Application Proxy role service, so select that and click next
Confirm the choice, and then install.
Once the necessary WAP role services are installed, we are then able to launch the Web Application Proxy Wizard to configure WAP.
We need to configure the WAP proxy with the necessary information so that it knows it will be publishing our internal ADFS server and how to access ADFS.
On the screen below is where most configuration issues arise with this process. What a lot of folks do is interpret the Federation service name as the display name of the ADFS server. That will not get you very far unfortunately…
The federation service name field does NOT want you to enter the display name of the ADFS server farm. The display name in the previous example was “Tailspintoys STS”. and this can been checked by looking in the ADFS console
If you look closely at the ADFS properties, the federation service name is actually the FQDN of the service. In our case this is adfs.tailspintoys.ca so let’s enter that along with credentials on the ADFS server so we are able to access ADFS.
In the same way that we require a SSL certificate on the ADFS server, the same is true on the ADFS proxy as clients will establish SSL sessions to this machine which will then be bridged to the internal ADFS server.
Since the certificate was installed and verified as part of the preparatory work, we select it and move on.
Verify the details, and click configure.
The wizard starts to configure the ADFS proxy
And shortly thereafter completes!
At this time we should have a functional ADFS proxy server that is able to provide internet based users with access to our ADFS server’s authentication services. But as always, we need to test!
To open up the Remote Access management console, use the Remote Access Management shortcut in administrative tools.
If you have immediately launched this after installing the ADFS proxy it may take a few seconds or a refresh to show up. The other top tip is not to look for a published web app. Remember that WAP can be used to publish various applications to the internet, but in this case we are just wanting to use the base ADFS proxy components.
To check that the ADFS proxy is running, click onto the Operational Status in the left hand tree
Selecting the operational status, will then show how the ADFS proxy is currently running. You can also jump to Perfmon or Event Viewer from this node.
Should the ADFS proxy have an issue the console will light up like a Christmas tree. In this case I deliberately stopped the “Active Directory Federation Services” service on the ADFS proxy, please click to enlarge the image:
And as expected with the ADFS proxy crippled users will not be able to authenticate, even if they try an alternative browser!
Even though the Windows service is name the same on both the ADFS server and the ADFS proxy, note that the executable path is different:
In event viewer on the ADFS proxy, open up the application and services logs and check that the proxy is able to retrieve it’s configuration from the ADFS server. This can be seen here, click to enlarge:
With the full event details shown here:
Using the same URL as before, open Internet Explorer and navigate to your ADFS server’s federation metadata URL.
This will be something like the below, just change the FQDN to match your environment.
The intent here is to ensure that we are able to get to the site externally. If you are not able to see the ADFS text rendered in the browser, start with ensuring that the firewalls are not dropping traffic.
Browse to the ADFS sign-in page and test that you are able to authenticate.
The URL will be similar to the below, again change the FQDN to match your organisation’s.
You should see the below, and be prompted to sign in:
(Note that I did not full screen the window before grabbing capture else it would be too small)
Clicking the Sign In button will prompt for credentials:
If you successfully authenticate then you will be rewarded with this stellar screen:
And if are unable to type a password (like me doing demos) then you will get this less than stellar result:
In part three we will finish this off, and instruct Office 365 to leverage the shiny ADFS infrastructure to authenticate users.
* – Not having telnet client by default always grates. In the same way that explorer file options are always set to hide the good stuff like file extensions, system files and the ilk.
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Thanks for this tutorial. I have managed to successfully set up our environment using your steps as guidance. However, I have one question. Why do I get a credentials pop up windows when I click on "Sign In" ? Why dose it not ask me to sign in on the same
page like above? how can I change this behaviour? thanks
In a similar DNS configuration as yours, internal being AD integrated and external via ISP how would you configure DNS for a 2 site (1 ADFS and 1 WAP pair on each side) ADFS cluster without access to a load balancer?
Hi Steve - can you elaborate on this a bit more please?
Assuming that you have no GLB, then you are going to have to manually do what such devices do and that is to change the DNS records yourself. So set a low TTL on them and make sure you can get to the ISP DNS portal :)
Just resolved an issue configuring WAP, which ended up with a call to MS Support.
Turns out that there is a timeout on the WAP configuration, which can be triggered if ADFS doesn't complete it's checks in a timely manner. When initiating the Proxy configuration, ADFS checks with each DC in the Domain to see if the DRS service has been registered.
If it can't contact a DC, it waits for the TCP session to timeout, which by default is 3 seconds, and then moves on to the next. If there are many DCs that are not contactable (not necessarily unusual in a large global AD environment), the aggregate of the
TCP timeouts causes the WAP configuration to timeout. Changing the timeout value with NETSH, in my case to 500ms, allowed the configuration to complete.
Where did you change the TCP time out value? I get the error Time out has expired and the operation has not been completed.
Has anybody come across this before?
I have a small client (under 30 users) who is moving away from SBS 2011 to Office 365 and a single DC that is on-site for file sharing and AD (WSUS, DNS, DHCP,File Services). The server is replicated to a DR site with Veeam so while a single server can
be a problem in an outage it is not a major concern at this time. The goal is to use ADFS to sync the users for Office365 after we retire the SBS server. It is not clear if I HAVE to build additional servers for ADFS or if in this small of an environment I
can install everything on the single DC. Have you tried this config or is there a specific reference that it WILL NOT work? Thanks for your help.
ADFS will not sync the users to O365. That is what DirSync or AADSync will do.