Many companies struggle with concepts of “cloud networks” and how it relates to their on-premises networks. How do you deploy a firewall in there, with multiple subnets? Do we need multiple VNET’s and what about those subnets? Well, this post is about what you actually need to understand prior to deploying 3rd party firewalls (and/or VNets) and how routing works inside a VNET, and finally the common mistake of comparing an Azure VNET to a Hyper-V/VMWare VNET.
When using Azure as your development platform, or to play with.. you eventually find yourself deleting resources 1 by 1 or entire resource groups.. cause when you delete a VM in ARM (the new portal), it deletes only the VM, but leaves the VHD, the NIC, the public IP, and NGS’s… so what if you could run a script that looks at the unused resources and deletes them for you?
well, look no further.. (but develop with me, based on) the initial script I wrote.. AzureCleanUp.ps1
Hosting applications in Azure usually requires some form of connection to the on-premises networks. You could use Point-to-Site dialup or ExpressRoute, but Site-2-Site VPN’s seems the most use technology, and certainly is cheaper than ExpressRoute connection.
But what if you want to use multiple links for failover? What if your local firewall fails or the internet connection itself? Well, that’s why Azure supports MultiSite VPN’s. While it is capable of having two tunnels from on-premises to Azure with preferences, there is no automatic failover support. That means that if tunnel 1 goes down, tunnel 2 is NOT automatically activated. You need to disable tunnel 1 in Azure itself and only THEN tunnel 2 comes up. Which is annoying, but there is another way to fully automate this.. BGP, Border Gateway Protocol.
A lot of customers on Azure want to use the 3rd party firewalls that are available in the Azure Marketplace. But when it comes to Site2Site VPN connections, sometimes it doesn’t work as expected. Especially when using different vendors on-premises.. Why? let’s find out…
Congratulations!, you got your Enterprise Agreement enhanced with Azure!, now what’s next, you got activation emails and you want subscriptions, but who manages subscriptions? what if the company is rather complex and you don’t want the IT admin in charge of all subscriptions let alone view the company global spending on Azure services? In short, what about the Enterprise Governance on Azure in an EA enrollment?
Apart from each service on the cloud to follow a governance and security model, it is vital that the “cloud” entry points also follow a governance model as determined by the company. After all, while cloud can encompass many services, itself is a service too that generates invoices which need to be controlled to avoid abuse and to ensure oversight is added. In this chapter, we describe the Azure model with regards to governance..
The good thing about new software is that bugs and ‘features’ are removed.. the bad is that sometimes what ever you have blogged about makes either no sense, or even worse it only applies half to it from that point on.
So as AADSync was replaced by AD Connect, I got emails about the configuration of the mD-DS-ConsistencyGuid configuration in AD Connect not correctly working anymore. So, in order to relieve me from those email (you can still send them no worries) but more to make everyone aware of how this works in AD Connect (tested version 184.108.40.206); part two of the mS-DS-ConsistencyGuid as the immutable ID.
Azure Active Directory and thus any relying party on that service (such as Office 365) has two different modes for (your) custom domains that are added to it. Managed and Federated. Managed means that the authentication happens against the Azure Active Directory. The password (-hashes) of the user accounts are in Azure AD and no connection to any (on-premises) Active Directory Domain is made.
Managed domains have the advantage that you don’t require any additional infrastructure, and setting up the identities for logging on to Office 365 for example, is fairly easy. However, it does not support any Single-Sign-On which most companies do want. That is why AAD also supports Federated domains, in this case the authentication for a user happens against the corporate (on-premises) Active Directory through a service called ADFS (Active Directory Federation Services). More information on federated versus managed can be found on the Kloud blog (https://blog.kloud.com.au/2013/06/05/office-365-to-federate-or-not-to-federate-that-is-the-question/)
In this article we are going to take a look at how the federation service can be hosted in Azure (and possibly also on-premises) and what the architectures might look like.
Paul Williams talked in his blog about using another attribute from on-premises Ad’s to act as the ImmutableID for Azure Active Directory (http://blog.msresource.net/2014/03/10/windows-azure-active-directory-connector-part-3-immutable-id/)
While making a very detailed blog entry on why and which attribute to choose, there wasn’t a guide on how to make this work in AADSync.
So a recent project got me thinking about this. In this particular scenario there is already a forest (1 domain) using DirSync to replicate their users to AAD, and the requirement is to prepare for an AD migration, while also adding other users to the same AAD tenant. As usual, user objects might be duplicate between the two forests and we want to use the mS-DS-ConsistencyGuid attribute to be the immutableID.
When you create a new forest or new domain, you use the Domain Admin credentials. Through the use of the “Administrator” account you can control each and every workstation and server. You can install Exchange, System Center products and much much more. But Microsoft is probably thinking twice now about the framework they have chosen wherein the Administrator is master of your infrastructure.
As the Administrator account is so powerful, it’s a sweet spot for hackers, the target to get. And that’s probably why many people rename the administrator account to Guest (and vice versa) or something else. Many others keep the Administrator name but change the password to a very long one including special characters, but even that seems futile, by the discovery of an advanced hacking technique called Pass The Hash.
In a previous post we looked at the ability of creating a Site-2-Site connection from Checkpoint to Azure using a Dynamic Gateway. In this post, we look at client-dialup (VPN) into the Azure network and establish routing between all the sites involved.