Notes from the field: VMware Access Kerberos integration and Office 365

Okay let’s say you have your setup for VMware Access nicely configured with your directory search attribute configured as userPrincipalName because that’s the modern way with all cloud services etc. and configured your inbound Kerberos authentication through the IDP of the Access connector. Everyone is happy and all is working well with external connections, internal connections, mobile connections and what other type of connections we can think of. Then comes the day Office 365 is going to be integrated and still all is working well externally, mobile as well and then you get some calls regarding users who get a prompt unknown user when accessing the portal through Kerberos logon. You get to the trusty old log view and dig in and see message unknown user entries with the UPN value of your internal domain. Well, turns out that when the search attribute is selected as UPN you cannot switch over to your routable domain which is being used in Office 365 and still expect a working Kerberos logon. The only way this little beauty is going to work if is the search attribute is sAMAccountName. After a GSS support case got this one confirmed this is the only way that will work, or you would need to add a global catalog specifically for the domain in question which means double accounts, dedicated domain controller etc. etc. no one wants that!

To summarize sAMAccountName is the value which will work with almost everything, keep in mind that VMware Access is an IDP so we have the values and can transform it to any other solution as we want but specifically in this case the internal Kerberos and VMware Access have a fitty when it’s userPrincipalName. I did test out two different solutions which also worked and that is using internal certificates to be used as an authentication policy, so you add the ADCS setup as a trusted KDC in VMware Access and then will get your SSO that way or integrate ADFS as an IDP and access policy because then you use the Kerberos flow through ADFS.

To give the users still a nice e-mail-based logon experience add group filters to the access policy and that in turn introduces the user sign-in unique identifier experience which you can set to email.

See the following articles for some reference regarding Kerberos:

VMware Workspace ONE Access: Kerberos Authentication Service – Feature Walk-through

Adding Kerberos Authentication Support to Your VMware Identity Manager Connector Deployment

Managing User Attributes in Workspace ONE Access

Hope it helps!

Author: hheres

IT Pro / Geek