15. 03. 2018 Alessandro Romboli EriZone & OTRS, NetEye

Microsoft ADFS service and Non-Claims-Aware applications

Microsoft ADFS service is widely used for integrating Web Applications with Microsoft Active Directory.
Since Windows Server 2012 R2, it can also integrate Non-Claims-Aware applications.
This configuration is very interesting because ADFS can still be the single point of user authentication, and the whole configuration is much easier as a Claims one.

Architecture

The whole architecture is very similar to the one for Claim-Based authentication (see my previous Blog entry): it requires at least one Web Application Proxy (previously named ADFS Proxy) and one ADFS Server. The latter can be hosted on the Domain Controller itself.

The architecture

There is only one drawback: the Web Application Proxy server MUST be Active Directory Domain Joined, too.
This requirement is due to the fact that a Web Application Proxy server needs to impersonate the user and perform a Kerberos authentication towards the published Web Application.
The whole backend authentication scheme must be based on Kerberos, as this is the only kind of authentication supported by ADFS for Non-Claims Apps.
Each Web Application has to publish a Kerberos SPN (Service Principal Name) in Active Directory, and the Web Application Proxy server must be able to perform Kerberos Constrained Delegation, so that it can impersonate the user when accessing the Web Application.

Authentication Scheme

A user coming from the Internet can still get a Claim with his identity: this claim is contained in a digitally signed Token (SAML Token), which will be used in accessing the entire suite of Web Applications, Claims Aware and not.
A user will still need to authenticate once with the Web Application Proxy server.
When accessing a Non-Claims-Aware web application, the Web Application Proxy server has to convert the user SAML Token into a Kerberos one, although the user is not aware of this change.

Authetication Scheme

Users coming from the internal network don’t need to authenticate themselves towards ADFS: they can perform direct authentication towards the Web Application using Kerberos or NTLM authentication.

EriZone and NetEye

EriZone and NetEye servers can be easily integrated into your Active Directory Kerberos architecture with a keytab file.
A keytab is used in situations on mixed networks, where Microsoft Active Directory Domain is the KDC (Key Distribution Center) providing enterprise directory services for a heterogeneous network comprised of both Windows and non-Windows systems (such as Linux and Java-based application servers), and where it is desirable that AD users accessing some service (for example, HTTP) on a non-Windows system can be silently authenticated (not challenged for credentials) in that system using their AD username. Since such a system might not participate in the AD domain in any other way, there must be some common authentication mechanism to allow this process to work. The Kerberos single sign-on (SSO) protocol accomplishes this task. Kerberos SSO from Linux and Java-based systems to Active Directory is accomplished via multiple components, such as SPNEGO, GSSAPI, the SPN (Service Principal Name), and the keytab.
In this configuration, EriZone and NetEye servers can be accessed with SSO through ADFS as Non-Claims-Aware applications.

Kerberos and complex architectures

The Kerberos authentication protocol is very powerful and can be used with complex architectures.
User impersonation performed by the Web Application Proxy can also extend to backend servers: for example, the Web Application can access a backend Reporting Services module, which takes data from a backend MS SQL Server.
Kerberos is able to manage this authentication propagation without requiring the user to authenticate himself again.

ADFS with non claim aware applications

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Alessandro Romboli

Alessandro Romboli

System Integration Consultant at Würth Phoenix
My name is Alessandro and I joined Würth-Phoenix early in 2013. I have over 20 years of experience in the IT sector: For a long time I've worked for a big Italian bank in a very complex environment, managing the software provisioning for all the branch offices. Then I've worked as a system administrator for an international IT provider supporting several big companies in their infrastructures, providing high availability solutions and disaster recovery implementations. I've joined the VMware virtual infrastructure in early stage, since version 2: it was one of the first productive Server Farms in Italy. I always like to study and compare different technologies: I work with Linux, MAC OSX, Windows and VMWare. Since I joined Würth Phoenix, I could also expand my experience on Firewalls, Storage Area Networks, Local Area Networks, designing and implementing complete solutions for our customers. Primarily, I'm a system administrator and solution designer, certified as VMware VCP6 DCV, Microsoft MCP for Windows Server, Hyper-V and System Center Virtual Machine Manager, SQL Server, SharePoint. Besides computers, I also like photography, sport and trekking in the mountains.

Author

Alessandro Romboli

My name is Alessandro and I joined Würth-Phoenix early in 2013. I have over 20 years of experience in the IT sector: For a long time I’ve worked for a big Italian bank in a very complex environment, managing the software provisioning for all the branch offices. Then I’ve worked as a system administrator for an international IT provider supporting several big companies in their infrastructures, providing high availability solutions and disaster recovery implementations. I’ve joined the VMware virtual infrastructure in early stage, since version 2: it was one of the first productive Server Farms in Italy. I always like to study and compare different technologies: I work with Linux, MAC OSX, Windows and VMWare. Since I joined Würth Phoenix, I could also expand my experience on Firewalls, Storage Area Networks, Local Area Networks, designing and implementing complete solutions for our customers. Primarily, I’m a system administrator and solution designer, certified as VMware VCP6 DCV, Microsoft MCP for Windows Server, Hyper-V and System Center Virtual Machine Manager, SQL Server, SharePoint. Besides computers, I also like photography, sport and trekking in the mountains.

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