Tag Archives: active direcotry

Step-by-Step guide to migrate active directory FSMO roles from windows server 2012 R2 to windows server 2016

Windows server 2016 was released for public (GA) on mid oct 2016. Its exciting time as businesses are already working on migrating their services in to new windows server 2016 infrastructures. In this post, I am going to explain how you can migrate from active directory running on windows server 2012 R2 to windows server 2016 active directory. The same steps are valid for migrating from windows server 2012, windows server 2008 R2 and windows server 2008.

In my demo setup, I have a windows server 2012 R2 domain controller as PDC. I setup windows server 2016 and already added to the existing domain.

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Current domain and forest functional level of the domain is windows server 2012 R2.

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So, let’s start with the migrate process. 

Install Active Directory on windows server 2016
 
1. Log in to windows server 2016 as domain administrator or enterprise administrator
2. Check the IP address details and put the local host IP address as the primary DNS and another AD server as secondary DNS. This is because after AD install, server itself will act as DNS server
3. Run servermanager.exe form PowerShell to open server manager (there is many ways to open it) 
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4. Then click on Add Roles and Features
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5. It will open up the wizard, click next to continue
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6. In next window keep the default and click next
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7. Roles will be installed on same server, so leave the default selection and click next to continue
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8. Under the server roles tick on Active Directory Domain Services, then it will prompt with the features needs for the role. Click on add features. Then click next to proceed
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9. On the features windows keep the default and click next
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10. In next window, it will give brief description about AD DS, click next to proceed 
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11. Then in next window it will give brief description about configuration and click on install to start the role installation process. 
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12. Once installation completed, click on promote this server to a domain controller option
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13. It will open up the Active Directory Domain Service configuration wizard, leave the option Add a domain controller to existing domain selected and click next.
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14. In next window define a DSRM password and click next
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15. In next window click on next to proceed
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16. In next windows, it asks from where to replicate domain information. You can select the specific server or leave it default. Once done click next to proceed. 
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17. Then it shows the paths for AD DS database, log files and SYSVOL folder. You can change the paths or leave default. In demo, I will keep default and click next to continue
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18. In next windows, it will explain about preparation options. Since this is first windows server 2016 AD on the domain it will run forest and domain preparation task as part of the configuration process. Click next to proceed.
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19. In next window, it will list down the options we selected. Click next to proceed. 
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20. Then it will run prerequisite check, if all good click on install to start the configuration process.
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21. Once the installation completes it will restart the server. 
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Migrate FSMO Roles to windows server 2016 AD
 
I assume by now you have idea what is FSMO roles. If not search my blog and you will find article explaining those roles. 
There are 2 ways to move the FSMO roles from one AD server to another. One is using GUI and other one is using command line. I had already written articles about GUI method before so I am going to use PowerShell this time to move FSMO roles. If you like to use GUI mode search my blog and you will find articles on it. 
 
1) Log in to windows server 2016 AD as enterprise administrator
2) Open up the Powershell as administrator. Then type netdom query fsmo. This will list down the FSMO roles and its current owner. 
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3) In my demo, the windows server 2012 R2 DC server holds all 5 fsmo roles. Now to move fsmo roles over, type Move-ADDirectoryServerOperationMasterRole -Identity REBELTEST-PDC01 -OperationMasterRole SchemaMaster, DomainNamingMaster, PDCEmulator, RIDMaster, InfrastructureMaster and press enter
 
In here REBELTEST-PDC01 is the windows server 2016 DC. If FSMO roles are placed on different servers, you can migrate each and every FSMO roles to different servers. 
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4) Once its completed, type netdom query fsmo again and you can see now its windows server 2016 DC is the new FSMO roles owner. 
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Uninstall AD role from windows server 2012 R2
 
Now we moved FSMO roles but we still running system on windows 2012 R2 domain and forest functional levels. In order to upgrade it, first we need to decommission AD roles from existing windows server 2012 R2 servers. 
 
1) Log in to windows 2012 R2 domain server as enterprise administrator
2) Open the PowerShell as administrator
3) Then type Uninstall-ADDSDomainController -DemoteOperationMasterRole -RemoveApplicationPartition and press enter. It will ask for local administrator password. provide new password for local administrator and press enter.
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4) Once its completed it will restart the server.
 
Upgrade the forest and domain functional levels to windows server 2016
 
Now we have the windows server 2012 R2 domain controllers demoted, next step is to upgrade domain and forest functional levels. 
 
1) Log in to windows server 2016 DC as enterprise administrator 
2) Open PowerShell as administrator
3) Then type Set-ADDomainMode –identity rebeladmin.net -DomainMode Windows2016Domain to upgrade domain functional level to windows server 2016.  In here rebeladmin.net is the domain name. 
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4) Then type Set-ADForestMode -Identity rebeladmin.net -ForestMode Windows2016Forest to upgrade forest functional level.
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5) Once done you can run Get-ADDomain | fl Name,DomainMode and Get-ADForest | fl Name,ForestMode to confirm new domain and functional level 
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Hope this post was useful and if you got any questions feel free to contact me on rebeladm@live.com


Azure Active Directory management experience in preview

Azure Active Directory management experience now in preview. This is very big step as now in one place you can management all your azure active directory related functions. Previously we had to move through few screens to access different AD related functions. For example, if I need to access identity management or Azure AD connect health both functions are in different pages. Navigation was painful sometime. But now it’s all integrated in once console. You also do not need to go to classic portal anymore to access Azure AD. And more importantly monitoring and reporting is nicely integrated and its allows to review the health of your azure AD infrastructure more sufficiently. Idea of this post is to show you these functions available in preview. 

To access the Azure Active Directory management experience preview, log in to azure portal and click on the azure active directory from the left hand options. 

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If it’s not there go to more services and then type azure active directory. It will list the option down and click on the yellow start next to name to add it to the above list. 

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The initial tile contain links to different options and also quick links to the functions such as add users, add groups, access application and quickly check the health of azure AD connect. 

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Other capabilities tile gives links to feature such as PIM and IM. 

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Recommended tab gives you recommendations to make your setup better. Beauty is if you click on each link it will directly bring you to the task to enable or configure it

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In the top if you click on the notification it will bring you to the page where it lists down more info about preview and quick links to setup your Azure AD infrastructure. 

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The right hand navigation link to different section. 

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Users and groups link will bring you to the section where you can manage your users and groups. What I like is it’s also list all the associated functions for the feature such as password reset. 

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By clicking on a user account it will list down its activities, group membership and profile details. Also in same page it has option to reset password or even to delete. 

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Under the activity you can review sign in and audit logs.

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Enterprise application option will bring you to the page to review your application usage under the directory. 

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App Registration option will bring you to manage your app registration

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Azure AD Connect link will give you option to setup the initial sync or to manage already setup sync. Also it gives links to load up the azure AD connect health

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Domain Names option allow you to manage your domain names. You can add domain names, delete names etc. 

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Password reset option gives you option to setup/manage the self-service password reset feature. By the way you need Azure premium subscriptions to use this feature.

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Company branding option – this is really useful feature. There you have options to customize the login pages using company own logo, texts etc. 

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User settings are to manage the user privileges to the azure active directory instance. 

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Last but not least if you still wish to manage azure AD using classic portal you can navigate it to it using classic portal option

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This new feature is really big improvement for the Azure AD management and hope lots of you agree. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me on rebeladm@live.com

Step-by-Step guide to enable Secure LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) on Azure AD managed domain

In active directory environment, LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) is responsible for read and write data from AD. By default LDAP traffic transmitted un-secure. You can make this secured transmit based on SSL. In security prospective even in more “local” network it’s important to make secure even though most of engineers not using it. But when you have hybrid or cloud only setup this is more important. Idea of this post is to demonstrate how to enable secure LDAP on Azure AD managed domain.

There is few prerequisite required to perform this task.

1)    Azure AD Domain Service – Azure AD domain service must be enabled and configured with all prerequisite. If you need any help over please refer to my last few posts which explain how to configure.
2)    SSL Certificate – It is need to have valid SSL certificate and it need to be from valid certificate authority such as public certificate authority, enterprise certificate authority. Also you can still use self-sign SSL certificate.

In my demo,
1)    I have already configured a Azure AD managed domain and running with active subscription

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2)    I got an Azure VM connected to Azure managed domain and I will be using it to demonstrate to enable Secure LDAP.
3)    I am going to use self-signed certificate to create the secure LDAP

Create self-signed certificate

1)    Log in to domain joined server, or PC and open windows power-shell session as administrator.
2)    Execute following

$validtill=Get-Date
New-SelfSignedCertificate -Subject *.rebeladmin.onmicrosoft.com -NotAfter $validtill.AddDays(365) -KeyUsage DigitalSignature, KeyEncipherment -Type SSLServerAuthentication -DnsName *.rebeladmin.onmicrosoft.com

In here you can replace rebeladmin.onmicrosoft.com with your managed domain name.

This will generate the self-sign certificate.

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Export the SSL Certificate

Now we have the certificate, but we need to export it to use to enable secure LDAP.
1)    Log in to the PC or Server which generated certificate as administrator
2)    Go to run > mmc

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3)    File > Add/remove Snap-in

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4)    Select Certificates and click on button Add

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5)    Then select the Computer Account and click next

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6)    Select local computer and click on finish

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7)    Click on OK to open the certificate mmc

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8)    Then in console go to Personal > Certificates and you can see the new self-signed certificate we just created in previous step

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9)    Right click on the certificate and click on All tasks > export

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10)    Then its start the certificate export wizard, click on next to start

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11)    In this window select option “Yes, export the private key” and click on next
12)    Leave the .pfx option selected and click next

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13)    In next window define a password and click on next

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14)    Then define the location to save the file and click on next

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15)    Click on finish to complete the export process

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Enable Secure LDAP

Now we got the SSL exported and ready. Now it’s time to enable the secure LDAP.
1)    Log in to the azure portal and load the Azure Domain Services configuration page for your relevant directory

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2)    Then to the domain service section and click on “configure certificate” button

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3)    Then brows for the .pfx file we just exported and provide the password, then click ok to proceed

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4)    After few minutes we can see the secure LDAP is enabled

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5)    The next step is to enable the secure LDAP connection over the internet for your managed domain. For that click on the “Yes” for the option “Enable secure LDAP access over the internet” and the click save

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6)    After few minute we can see the feature is enabled and also displaying the public ip address which can use on this.

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7)    If you wish to use secure ldap over the internet you need to create DNS entry in your dns provider and create A record to point domain to the public ip address its given.

Hope this was helpful post and if you have any question on this feel free to contact me on rebeladm@live.com

Step-by-Step Guide to manage Azure Active Directory Domain Service (AAD-DS) managed domain using Virtual Server

In my last two blog post I explain how to enable Azure Active Directory Domain Service and how to configure it properly. If you still not read those you can find those in following links.

Step-by-Step Guide to enable Azure AD Domain Services

Step-by-Step Guide to enable password synchronization to Azure Active Directory Domain Services (AAD DS)

In this post I am going to demonstrate how to add a virtual server which is setup on azure in to the managed domain and how to use Active Directory administration tools to manage the AAD-DS managed domain.

One thing I need to make clear is since it’s a managed domain services you do not going to have same manageability as in house domain controller.

According to Microsoft

Administrative tasks you can perform on a managed domain

•    Join machines to the managed domain.
•    Configure the built-in GPO for the 'AADDC Computers' and 'AADDC Users' containers in the managed domain.
•    Administer DNS on the managed domain.
•    Create and administer custom Organizational Units (OUs) on the managed domain.
•    Gain administrative access to computers joined to the managed domain.

Administrative privileges you do not have on a managed domain

•    You are not granted Domain Administrator or Enterprise Administrator privileges for the managed domain.
•    You cannot extend the schema of the managed domain.
•    You cannot connect to domain controllers for the managed domain using Remote Desktop.
•    You cannot add domain controllers to the managed domain.

Create VM

As the first step I am going to setup new VM under the same virtual network as the managed domain.

1)    In order to join VM to the same virtual network, we have to use Azure classic portal to build the VM.
2)    Log in to the azure classic portal > New > Compute > Virtual Machine > From Gallery ( The reason is using this option can define the advanced options)

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3)    Then select the template from the list. I am going to use windows server 2016 TP 5. Click on arrow to proceed.

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4)    In next window provide the info for the new VM (such as name, resources and local admin account) and click proceed arrow.

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5)    In Next window select the Virtual network as same as the one you setup the AAD-DS managed domain. If you do not select correct virtual network you will not be able to connect this vm to the managed domain. Once done, click on button to proceed.

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6)    In next window can add the extensions you like and click to button to setup the vm.

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Connect VM to the Managed Domain

1)    Once New VM is up and running, click on connect to log in to the VM

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2)    Now the server is ready, next step is to join it to the domain.

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3)    In domain, type the managed domain name and type the credentials. The use account used for authentication should be member of AAD DC Administrators group ( I explain on my first article how to setup this group)

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4)    Once connected to the domain, reboot it to complete the process.

Manage domain using AD administration tools

In this step I am going to install AD admin tools using that we can manage the Azure managed domain.
Note – This also can do using desktop operating system as well. Ex- windows 10. To do it, need to install RSAT for windows 10. (https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=45520)

1)    Log in to the server as member of AAD DC Administrators group
2)    Server Manager > Add Roles and Features

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3)    Click next in the wizard

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4)    In next window keep the default and click next

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5)    In next window keep the default and click next to proceed

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6)    On the roles page, keep default values and click next

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7)    In features select Remote server administration tools > Role administration tools > AD DS and AD LDS Tools and then click next to proceed.

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8)    In next window click on install to proceed with the installation

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9)    Once install done go to Server Manager > Tools > Active Directory Users and Computers
Here we can see the AD console which Admins familiar with.

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Hope this is helpful and if you have any question feel free to contact me on rebeladm@live.com

Step-by-Step Guide to enable Azure AD Domain Services

Azure AD, Azure AD Domain Services, On-premises Active Directory, AD-sync ….. All these terms are now start to appear on most of now a days infrastructure projects. Based on the questions I get from the blog also represent still engineers struggle how to implements Azure services with their needs and how to get best benefits out from it. So this article also a series of articles I was doing to cover up Azure AD related services and how to use these services to enhanced your current infrastructure operations.

Azure AD Domain Services

Azure AD Domain Services is in preview for a while now (6 months). Azure AD Domain Services is a managed domain service which provides group policy, LDAP, NTLM/Kerberos Authentication without need of “Domain Controller” in your azure cloud setup.

If you have “cloud-only” service with Azure, this service will allow you to manage your azure identities more affectively. You can deploy the azure ad domain services in to the same virtual network your other IaaS workloads runs. Then these VM can connect to the Azure AD as typical domain join servers and can control those centrally. Also can apply group policies if you like.

If its hybrid setup you can sync your on-premises identities to the cloud and use those along with the azure Iaas workloads.

These are the main features of Azure Active Directory Domain Services (From: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/documentation/articles/active-directory-ds-features/)

•    Simple deployment experience: You can enable Azure AD Domain Services for your Azure AD tenant using just a few clicks. Regardless of whether your Azure AD tenant is a cloud-tenant or synchronized with your on-premises directory, your managed domain can be provisioned quickly.
•    Support for domain-join: You can easily domain join computers in the Azure virtual network that Azure AD Domain Services is available in. The domain join experience on Windows client and Server operating systems works seamlessly against domains serviced by Azure AD Domain Services. You can also use automated domain join tooling against such domains.
•    One domain instance per Azure AD directory: You can create a single Active Directory domain for each Azure AD directory.
•    Create domains with custom names: You can create domains with custom names (eg. contoso.local) using Azure AD Domain Services. This includes both verified as well as unverified domain names. Optionally, you can also create a domain with the built-in domain suffix (i.e. *.onmicrosoft.com) that is offered by your Azure AD directory.
•    Integrated with Azure AD: You do not need to configure or manage replication to Azure AD Domain Services. User accounts, group memberships and user credentials (passwords) from your Azure AD directory are automatically available in Azure AD Domain Services. New users, groups or changes to attributes ocurring in your Azure AD tenant or in your on-premises directory are automatically synchronized to Azure AD Domain Services.
•    NTLM and Kerberos authentication: With support for NTLM and Kerberos authentication, you can deploy applications that rely on Windows Integrated Authentication.
•    Use your corporate credentials/passwords: Passwords for users in your Azure AD tenant work with Azure AD Domain Services. This means users in your organization can use their corporate credentials on the domain – for domain joining machines, logging in interactively or over remote desktop, authenticating against the DC etc.
•    LDAP bind & LDAP read support: You can use applications that rely on LDAP binds in order to authenticate users in domains serviced by Azure AD Domain Services. Additionally, applications that use LDAP read operations to query user/computer attributes from the directory can also work against Azure AD Domain Services.
•    Group Policy: You can leverage a single built-in GPO each for the users and computers containers in order to enforce compliance with required security policies for user accounts as well as domain joined computers.
•    Available in multiple Azure regions: See the Azure services by region page to know the Azure regions in which Azure AD Domain Services are available.
•    High availability: Azure AD Domain Services offer high availability for your domain. This offers the guarantee of higher service uptime and resilience to failures. Built-in health monitoring offers automated remediation from failures by spinning up new instances to replace failed instances and to provide continued service for your domain.
•    Use familiar management tools: You can use familiar Windows Server Active Directory management tools such as the Active Directory Administrative Center or Active Directory PowerShell in order to administer domains provided by Azure AD Domain Services.

In my demo today I am going to show how to enable Azure AD Domain Services and how to configure it properly for cloud-only IaaS setup.

I have created Azure AD instance called REBELADMIN already. I will be using it during the demo.

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Setup Azure Virtual Network

I am going to show how to setup new azure virtual network. The azure AD domain service instance also need to assign to the same virtual network as your other service run in order to integrate those resources.

1)    In Azure Classic Portal click on “Networks” option in left side.

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2)    Then click on “Create a Virtual Network

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3)    In wizard type the name for the virtual network and select the location, then click on proceed button to go to next step

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4)    In next page, I am not going to define any DNS servers as I will setup it in later time in this demo, click on proceed button

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5)    In next window it will show the address space, you can either customize or proceed with default. I am going to use default.

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6)    After proceed, its created the new virtual network successfully

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Enable Azure AD Domain Service

Now we got the virtual network setup. Next step is to enable the domain service.

1)    Click on the Azure AD directory instance which needs to enable Azure AD Domain Service (if you not done yet you can do it using New > App Services > Active Directory > Directory )

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2)    Then click on “Configure

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3)    Under the “Domain Services” click on “Yes” button to enable the domain services.

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4)    DNS Domain name of domain services – This option to define the dns domain name. If you do not have domain setup you still can use default azure name which is ends up with onmicrosoft.com.
Connect domain service to this virtual network – in here you can define which virtual network domain service should assign to. I have selected the new virtual network created on previous step.
After changes click on “Save

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5)    Then it will start to activate the service.

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6)    Currently it takes like 30 minutes to get service enabled. Once its setup we can see the DNS server ip address appears. This is important as we need to add these in to virtual network in order to join servers to domain.

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Add DNS server details into Virtual Network

1)    Click on the virtual network where Azure AD domain service also associated with.

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2)    Click on the configure and then add the DNS server info

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3)    Click on Save to submit the changes

Create “AAD DC Administrator” group

Since Azure AD Domain service is managed service you will not get domain admin or enterprise administrator privileges to the Ad instance. But you allowed to create this group and all the members of this group will be granted with administrator privileges to the domain join servers (This group will added to the administrators group in domain join servers).

In order to do that need to load the Azure AD instance again,

1)    Click on the relevant Azure AD instance.

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2)    Click on the “Groups” and then Add Group

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3)    Then in next window type the group name as “AAD DC Administrators” and type as “Security” then click on proceed button. Please note you must use the text on same format in order to get enable this group.

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4)    Then you can add the member as you prefer

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With this our initial configuration is done. The next step is to enable password synchronization to allow users to use their cooperate logins to log in to the domain. I will explain it on my next post as another step-by-step guide.

If you have any questions about the post feel free to contact me on rebeladm@live.com

Step-By-Step Guide to enable Advanced Security Audit Policy: DS Access

More than any other system active directory in an organization important in security perspective. Even a small change in Organization’s AD can cause a major business impact. Preventing any unauthorized access, unplanned change in AD environment should prevent in first place but if similar thing happened in your AD environment you should have enough information to answer questions such as what has changed?, when it happened and who did it ?

As you know the computer security threats are changing every day, sometime the default event logs may not help to answer above questions.  Microsoft understand these modern requirements and with windows 2008 R2 they introduce “Advanced Security Audit Policy”. This give you 53 options to tune up the auditing requirement and you can collect more in granular level information about your infrastructure events.  It is have 10 categories and in this demo I am going to talk about the “DS Access” category which is focused on Active Directory Access and Object Modifications.

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Advanced Security Audit Policy is need to enable via GPO. These events happens records on Domain controllers.  There for the policy should only target the Domain Controllers. This can enabled on “Default Domain Controllers Policy” in AD.

Let’s see how to enable this GPO setting.

In my Demo I am using AD server with Windows 2016 TP4.
1)    Log in to the Server as Domain Admin
2)    Load Group policy management editor using Server Manager > Tools > Group Policy Management
3)    Expand the Domain Controllers OU, then right click on Default Domain Controllers Policy and edit.

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4)    Go to Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Advanced Audit Policy Configuration > Audit Policies > DS Access

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There are 4 subcategories under DS Access. Let’s see what each and subcategory capable of.

Audit Detailed Directory Service Replication

This security policy setting can be used to generate security audit events with detailed tracking information about the data that is replicated between domain controllers. This audit subcategory can be useful to diagnose replication issues.

If its enabled following events will be appear in logs
 

Event ID

Event message

4928

An Active Directory replica source naming context was established.

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An Active Directory replica source naming context was removed.

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An Active Directory replica source naming context was modified.

4931

An Active Directory replica destination naming context was modified.

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Attributes of an Active Directory object were replicated.

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Replication failure begins.

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Replication failure ends.

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A lingering object was removed from a replica.

Audit Directory Service Access

This security policy setting determines whether the operating system generates events when an Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) object is accessed.
These events are similar to the Directory Service Access events in previous versions of Windows Server operating systems.

If its enabled following events will be appear in logs

Event ID

Event message

4662

An operation was performed on an object.

Audit Directory Service Changes

This security policy setting determines whether the operating system generates audit events when changes are made to objects in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). The types of changes that are reported are:
•    Create
•    Delete
•    Modify
•    Move
•    Undelete
Directory Service Changes auditing, where appropriate, indicates the old and new values of the changed properties of the objects that were changed.

If its enabled following events will be appear in logs

Event ID

Event message

5136

A directory service object was modified.

5137

A directory service object was created.

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A directory service object was undeleted.

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A directory service object was moved.

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A directory service object was deleted.

Audit Directory Service Replication

This security policy setting determines whether the operating system generates audit events when replication between two domain controllers begins and ends.

If its enabled following events will be appear in logs

Event ID

Event message

4932

Synchronization of a replica of an Active Directory naming context has begun.

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Synchronization of a replica of an Active Directory naming context has ended.

According to Microsoft best practices https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn487457.aspx i am going to enable

Audit Directory Service Access
Audit Directory Service Changes

Sub categories for both success and failure events. To do that double click on each subcategory and enable audit events.

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After GPO apply now I can see the new events under logs. For testing I added new GPO under IT OU and in logs I can see the detail info about the activity.

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If any question about the post feel free to ask me on rebeladm@live.com

Step by Step Guide to downgrade domain and forest functional level

Till Windows server 2008 R2, forest and domain functional level are not possible to downgrade once it’s upgraded. Well it’s not a problem if you properly plan you active directory upgrades. But sometime it’s save life with difficulties admins face with AD upgrades. With starting windows server 2008 R2 you can downgrade forest and function levels. The minimum level it can downgrade is windows server 2008.

In here on my demo I am using domain controller with forest and domain function level set to windows 2012 R2.

There is no GUI to perform this downgrade. We have to use PowerShell commands to do it.

First, log in to the domain controller as domain admin / Enterprise admin.

Then load PowerShell with Admin rights.

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Then we need to import the AD module.

To do that type Import-Module -Name ActiveDirectory

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Before proceed as confirmation here my domain and forest function levels are set to windows server 2012 R2.

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First I am going to set forest function level to windows server 2008.
To do that,

Set-ADForestMode –Identity “CANITPRO.com” –ForestMode Windows2008Forest

In here my FQDN is CANITPRO.com you can replace it with your domain name.
After run the command ask for the confirmation, type Y or A to confirm the change.

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Next step is to downgrade the domain function level to windows server 2008.
To do that,

Set-ADDomainMode –Identity “CANITPRO.com” –DomainMode Windows2008Domain

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After successfully commands, next step is to confirm the new forest and domain function levels. This time I am using PowerShell.

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If you have any questions feel free to contact me on rebeladm@live.com

Restricted Groups using group policies

In previous post I explain about the different groups we can create in a domain environment. In an organization some time you may need to grant permissions for different users to manage these groups and its memberships. But some time it is better if we can lock some of these memberships for security reasons. For example let’s assume you have a group which have access to financial records of the organization which should only have access to upper management. So membership of the group is important.

Restricted group policy is the answer for that. Using group policy you can specify the membership and enforce. So no one can add or remove members.

Let’s see how we can do it in domain environment.

For the demo I created a group called “Remote Clients” and made usera and userb members of it.
But for the demo I need to restrict the group membership and only use testa user as a member.

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To do it go to server manager > tools > group policy management

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Then go to the OU you wish to apply restrict group policy. If it’s going to apply for the organization you can make it global policy as well. Then right click on OU name and select “Create GPO in this domain an link it here

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Then provide the name for new policy and click ok.

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Then go to the OU again and right click on the new GPO and click on edit.

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Then go to Computer Configuration\Policies\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Restricted Groups folder
Right click on it and click “Add Group

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Then go and select the group you need to add, in my demo its Remote Clients. Then click ok.

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Then it gives option to add members to the group. Also if this group should need to be added as member of another group.

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In here I added user testa and I need to force the membership only to this user.

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Now it’s all done. Next time when policy applied it will overwrite the current membership.

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If you have any question feel free to contact me on rebeladm@live.com

Step-by-Step Guide to install Active Directory on Windows server technical preview 2

Microsoft released Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 2 for the public. I am sure most of you already got the news. In this article I am going to demonstrate how we can install AD in Windows server 2016 TP2.

You can download windows 2016 TP2 from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-server-technical-previewit

You can deploy it using .iso or .vhd file. If you notice, installation no longer allows to select the GUI option during the installation. It gives 2 options to select from, one is goes as core version and the one with administrative tools gives ability to use admin tools such as server manager. If you like to install GUI you need to install it using server manager or using command Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell –Restart -Source wim:E:\sources\install.wim:4

In here E: is the DVD with the windows server 2016 source files.

What is new in AD DS?

Well it may be too early to look for what is going to be in windows server 2016 in AD end. But here is the few new features, enhancements available for TP.

Privileged Access Management – This PAM feature allows to mitigate security concerns in AD environment which cause by techniques such as pass-the-hash, spear fishing etc.

Azure AD Join – This enhance identity experience for businesses. Including benefits such as SSO, access organizational resources, MDM integration etc.

Microsoft Passport – Microsoft Passport is a new key-based authentication approach organizations and consumers that goes beyond passwords. This form of authentication relies on breach, theft, and phish-resistant credentials.

Deprecation of File Replication Service (FRS) and Windows Server 2003 functional levels – Although File Replication Service (FRS) and the Windows Server 2003 functional levels were deprecated in previous versions of Windows Server, it bears repeating that the Windows Server 2003 operating system is no longer supported. As a result, any domain controller that runs Windows Server 2003 should be removed from the domain. The domain and forest functional level should be raised to at least Windows Server 2008 to prevent a domain controller that runs an earlier version of Windows Server from being added to the environment.

Complete description about these features can find on https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt163897.aspx

Let’s gets started. In here my demo I am using windows server 2016 TP2 with GUI.
Log in to server as administrator. Then load server manager.

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Then go to Manage > Add Roles and Features

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In the wizard click on next.

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In installation type selection, let the default selection run and click on next.

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For the server selection leave the default and click on next.

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From the role selection window select “Active Directory Domain Services” click next. Then it will ask to add the dependent features. Click on add features button. Then click next.

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In the features selection will keep the default selection and then click next to continue.

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Then it gives description window about AD DS. Click next to proceed.

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Then in next window click on install button to install AD DS role.

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Once it is finished, click on link “Promote this server to a domain controller”

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Then it will open up the new wizard for the AD DS configuration. In here I am going to deploy new forest, so do the relevant selection and fill information and click on next.

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In next window select the forest function and domain function level, to “Windows server technical preview” and then add the domain controller capabilities such as DNS, then submit the DSRM password and click next.

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Then click next to complete DNS delegation.

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In next window we can specify the Netbios name and then click next to continue.

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In next window select the paths for database installation etc. then click next.

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Then it gives option to review the configuration, and click next to continue.

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Once prerequisite check is done, click on install to proceed.

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Then it starts the installation process. It will reboot server automatically once completed.
Once reboot, we can see AD DS is configured and functioning as expected.

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This completes installation process. The steps are very similar to with AD DS installation on windows server 2012.

If you have any issues feel free to contact me on rebeladm@live.com