Tag Archives: ADFS in Azure

Office 365: Deploying your SSO Identity Infrastructure in Microsoft Azure (Using Azure AD Connect) – Part 3

This is the last part of 3 in the series where we go through how to create a highly available SSO infrastructure for Office 365 in Microsoft Azure. In this part we will finish off the configuration and put all the pieces together. To make it a bit more interesting, I’ve also decided to try out the Preview of Azure AD Connect to configure the AADSync, ADFS and WAP servers.
Part 1 of the series can be found here.
Part 2 of the series can be found here.

If you haven’t already promoted your DC in Azure, the following example snippet will promote the domain controller to your existing domain using the the account you’re logged on with. Note that the Database/Log/Sysvol paths has been changed to the additional disk that was added to the DC. We do this since we need to use a separate volume that is not using host caching for the AD databases in Azure.The server will also automatically reboot after the promotion has been done.

Import-Module ADDSDeployment
$DCPromotionSettings = @{
    NoGlobalCatalog = $false
    CreateDnsDelegation = $false
    CriticalReplicationOnly = $false
    DatabasePath = "F:\Windows\NTDS"
    LogPath = "F:\Windows\NTDS"
    SysvolPath = "F:\Windows\SYSVOL"
    DomainName = "365lab.internal"
    InstallDns = $true
    NoRebootOnCompletion = $false
    SiteName = "Azure-IAAS-Dublin"
    Force = $true
    SafeModeAdministratorPassword = (ConvertTo-SecureString -String 'YourStrongDSRMPassword!' -AsPlainText -Force)
Install-ADDSDomainController @DCPromotionSettings

Instead of using pure PowerShell to configure the servers, I’ve chosen to use the new Azure AD Connect Preview, a one stop shopping-wizard for setup and configuring AADSync, ADFS, WAP against Azure AD. Sounds very promising right?

1. Download and install(AzureADConnect.msi) the tool from here. In my case I am running the wizard on the AZURE-AADSYNC1 server.
2. Go through the Prerequisite and Azure tenant wizard as below. Your Azure AD Credentials should of course be a service Account with Global administrator permissions.
3. Since we want to deploy ADFS and WAP during the installation, we click customize to be able to do that.
4. Single sign on it is! In this example we’ll use the federation service name of sts.adfs.guru.
5. Set up connections to your AD forest(s). Note that the credentials used here should be a proper configured service account. Check out this script for a good way to configure delegation on the service account.
6. In my case I’ll have both an Exchange Hybrid deployment and Password Write back through AADP enabled.
7. Since I have only have one forest/domain, I’m just using the default settings for the next two steps.
8. Import the .pfx file for your service. In my case I have a certificate with the CN sts.adfs.guru that will be imported to all ADFS and WAP machines. If you want to set up this in a lab environment, you can use startssl.com (gives you 1 year free single name certificates trusted by most browsers).
9. Now point out your ADFS and WAP servers, in my case I have two of each (as deployed in the last post). Note that you will not be able to add the servers to the wizard unless they have PS Remoting enabled. This can be enabled by running the PowerShell command ‘Enable-PSRemoting -Force’ on each machine (or put it in the deployment script :))
The server with only lower case letters will be the primary ADFS server in the farm.
It gives me a warning regarding the WAP servers since I’ve pre-deployed the WAP role.
10. Now specificy an account with Local Admin credentials on the primary ADFS server, in order to create a trust between the WAP servers and the federation servers.
11. Choose which service Account that should be used for the ADFS farm. I do recommend using Group Managed Service accounts if possible (requires minimum 2012 DC’s). In the GMSA case, the wizard will actually create a KDS Root key in your domain if you haven’t one since before. Note that this is also done with WinRM through the Domain Controller, so make sure you have that enabled there as well.
12. Choose the domain you want to use for the Federated setup. As it seems right now with this preview, you can only create federation for one domain.
13. Review your configuration. If don’t want to start off by synchronize your entire directory, uncheck “Start the synchronization..” and look in to the following site on how to filter your synchronization scope. Fire off the installation by clicking Install.
14. Installation complete! PUH! If you run in to any errors during the installation, or cancel the installation, you’ll be able to continue from where you left.
As seen above, you’ll also have the option of verifying your ADFS service DNS records.
In my case, I’ve configured the service name to point to the Azure Internal Load balancer IP ( internally, and to the WAP Cloud service name externally (365lab-wap1.cloudapp.net), as seen below:
If you don’t want to rely on your VPN Connection for the internal STS, you could publish the internal ADFS farm through the external cloud service name, and create access rules to only allow your external public IP’s.
And my DNS records turned out to be OK according to the wizard! 🙂

In a very simple to understand wizard we’ve done a normally quite complex task as easy as it can possibly be. The end result in this case is an highly available SSO Identity infrastructure with a little help of Azure IAAS. One thing to be aware of though (might be changed later since this is a preview):

  • Since the AAD Connect Wizard (Preview) only supports one domain, it will convert the the domain to federated without the -SupportMultipleDomain. This means you’ll have to convert the first domain to standard and then back again using the -SupportMultipleDomain switch if federating with more than vanity domain. Hopefully this is something that will change when it goes RTM.
    We have now finished configuring with our highly available SSO Identity infrastructure for our Office 365/Azure Active Directory. Not to hard with the help of PowerShell and the new Azure AD Connect Wizard. I will follow this series up with some additional topics with more detailed information regarding how to create firewall rules between our subnets in Azure, and more.

    If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know!



    Office 365: Deploying your SSO Identity Infrastructure in Microsoft Azure – Part 1

    This is part 1 of 3 in a series where we go through how to create a highly available SSO infrastructure for Office 365 in Microsoft Azure.
    Part 2 of the series can be found here.
    Part 3 of the series can be found here.

    Implementing SSO infrastructure with ADFS is something many customers want in order to reduce the amount of logins for their end users. Soon we will even get single sign on in the Outlook client! (YAY 🙂 ) The biggest challenge implementing the infrastructure is that you get dependent on your local server infrastructure and internet connection.
    When it’s not possible to make the solution redundant with you own infrastructure, but still need single signon, my recommendation is to deploy the SSO infrastructure in Microsoft Azure.

    Microsoft has provided a white paper on the topic that gives you an idea on what options you have and important things to consider. The White paper describes two deployment options implementing the infrastructure in Azure.

    1. All Office 365 SSO integration components deployed in Azure. This is cloud-only approach; you deploy directory synchronization and AD FS in Azure. This eliminates the need to deploy on-premises servers.
    2. Some Office 365 SSO integration components deployed in Azure for disaster recovery. This is the mix of on-premises and cloud-deployed components; you deploy directory synchronization and AD FS, primarily on-premises and add redundant components in Azure for disaster recovery.

    Option 1 to put the entire Identity Infrastructure in the cloud has been the choice for most of the implementations I’ve been involved in. This gives you a very flexible solution that will provide you a highly available SSO infrastructure, yet putting the infrastructure near the services you are providing.

    In order to set it up in a highly available SSO infrastructure in Azure, the following components/servers must be deployed in Azure. Recommendations on the high-level architecture is also described on http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn509538.aspx.

    First of all, if you’re setting up your Azure Infrastructure from scratch, you need a virtual network and a storage account in the region that is closest/best for you (in my case, North Europe). See the following tutorials on how to create a virtual network, a storage account and an affinity group.

    In my example – the virtual network in Azure is configured as follows:

    2014-11-22 13-42-09

    The network is divided into two subnets except for the gateway subnet. One “Internal” subnet and one “Perimeter” subnet in order to filter traffic based on the source/destination IP, that is now possible through Network Security Groups (NSG’s) in Azure. A local network has also been added for on-premises connectivity.

    In my example, I will deploy six(6) virtual Machines with the following roles:

    Name Role IP Size Cloud Service Availability Set
    AZURE-DC1 Domain Controller Small 365lab-azr01
    AZURE-AADSYNC1 DirSync/AADSync Medium 365lab-azr01
    AZURE-ADFS01 ADFS Server Small 365lab-sts sts-365lab
    AZURE-ADFS02 ADFS Server Small 365lab-sts sts-365lab
    AZURE-WAP01 Web Application Proxy Small 365lab-wap wap-365lab
    AZURE-WAP02 Web Application Proxy Small 365lab-wap wap-365lab

    In this case, I’m choosing to deploy only one domain controller in Azure, and configure that one as the primary dns for the virtual network, and the local network domain controllers as secondary dns servers. Note that the ADFS and WAP servers are placed in separate cloud services/availability sets in order to make them highly available.
    You will find a reference regarding machine sizing here. Estimated costs per month for the above setup will with list pricing be around $500 including network traffic and storage. The exact pricing will of course be depend on your Azure agreement and network traffic.


    The overall high level design of the setup will be as in the following sketch:

    In the next part of the series, we will deploy the virtual Machines with the proper configuration using Azure PowerShell.

    Until next time!