Notes from the lab: VMware vCenter 7u2 ADFS changes

When vCenter 7 introduced ADFS integration I jumped on the configuration part in my lab and set it up with the necessary OAUTH integrations:

Now with vCenter 7u2 there are some changes when you have it in place and are upgrading:

The trust store is changed to VECS and you need to change/add that in vCenter:

Well one would think that everything is nice and dandy after this but I completely forgot that at the time I set the whole ADFS integration part on LDAP and of course no signing requirement in place:

These are the extra changes in my environment and need to be changed in vCenter as well:


Keep in mind that you will need to add a certificate for the LDAPS configuration part, after this the whole configuration should work again.

In my setup I would see a long waiting white screen the first time I would log in, that got resolved after a reboot of the vCenter appliance.

Hope it helps!

Notes from the lab: Microsoft ADFS and VMware UAG

You don’t see many configuration articles around ADFS and UAG and that’s why I would like to share my setup.

First things first, I’m expecting that there is an working Horizon environment with True SSO enabled for access to the desktop. And a working ADFS environment to add a new application to test with.

My setup:
1 x ADFS for internal usage
1 x WAP for external usage
1 x UAG v3.10 – dedicated for ADFS with its own URL
1 x UAG v3.10 – dedicated for WS1 with its own URL
2 x Horizon Connection Servers
2 x Horizon Enrollment Servers

The following articles helped me in setting this up:
https://docs.vmware.com/en/Unified-Access-Gateway/3.10/com.vmware.uag-310-deploy-config.doc/GUID-E4C8B88F-C771-4829-ABBE-12F7FBF517C3.html
https://communities.vmware.com/thread/625006
https://thevirtualhorizon.com/2019/12/14/integrating-microsoft-azure-mfa-with-vmware-unified-access-gateway-3-8/
https://techzone.vmware.com/enabling-saml-20-authentication-horizon-unified-access-gateway-and-okta-vmware-horizon-operational

Setting this up starts with downloading the “/FederationMetadata/2007-06/FederationMetadata.xml” file of your ADFS setup and saving this on your configuration machine

Now go to the UAG admin appliance on the management port https://xxx:9443 and scroll down to the Identity Bridging Settings, select the gear icon of “Upload Identity Provider Metadata” and in the next screen press on the select link where you can upload the metadata file of ADFS.
Now go to the Horizon settings on the top and select the gearbox and in the next screen select more to show the auth methods to be used. For True SSO select SAML. Next select the uploaded Identity Provider which is now visible and click on the “Download SAML service provider metadata”. Save everything and close the admin portal.

Next in ADFS configure a new “Relying Party Trust” claims aware application and import the downloaded SAML service provider metadata file from UAG
When completed edit the “Claim issuance policy” for the application and create a rule with attribute store active directory selected and provide the input for “User-Principal-Name” with “Name ID” as outgoing claim type.
Edit the application and select encryption and click on remove the encryption certificate. This enabled will not give an valid SAML assertion or logon.

This is all that is needed in ADFS, the application can be assigned anyway you want. The last steps are in Horizon itself.

Go to the admin panel of the connection server and configure an SAML 2.0 Authenticator, create one and name it accordingly (don’t forget to enable True SSO on this connector) and make sure it is an static type. Copy paste the federationmetadata.xml content into the SAML Metadata screen and click OK.

Set the delegation of authentication to VMware Horizon (SAML 2.0 Authenticator) to optional or required. The latter prohibits passthrough authentication straight from the servers itself and will always require a SAML assertion.

This is it, afterwards you should see an ADFS logon possible with SSO in place.

Some extra information for any use case with ADFS/Workspace ONE combined then this procedure will not help. For Workspace ONE integration the only working and supported way is to configure VMware Horizon with VMware Access. I’ve tried it configured with VMware Access and the same UAG and you will get an access denied because the SAML configuration is in place at the Horizon Connection Servers instead of the UAG. ADFS can also be integrated with VMware Access and the SSO can be achieved in that way which is a route you would take when using Workspace ONE.

Hope it helps!

Notes from the field: Configuring AFAS Online with Azure

I have a quick win for those who are also in the process of migrating an ADFS configured AFAS Online setup to Azure Active Directory. I’ve already had an support call with them and besides the point they don’t support any troubleshooting IDP setups they did their best which in turn got me to sharing this.

So down to the point, the following article describes the SSO needed part for AFAS Online: https://help.afas.nl/help/EN/SE/plv2_Config_SSO.htm

The parts that need to be adjusted are at the endpoint part, they refer to the federation metadata document which is not the one you need. This needs to be the OpenID Connect metadata document listed at the endpoints. Microsoft now defaults to the /v2.0/ part. (On a side note there might be some situations you will want to use the v1 document which is not listed anymore as an endpoint to copy, to use this just delete the /v2.0/ part and the old version will be used)

The final part is the configuration adjustment in AFAS Online, there when you fill in all the values the documentation states that “Scopes” is an optional field which in turn isn’t. I’ve only got it to work with this filled with email and the same at the claim part.

If you don’t fill out the scopes section it will error out with missing claim “upn” if that is the one you chose or “email”

Hope it helps!

Notes from the lab: Configuring vCenter 7 with ADFS

With the release of vCenter 7 you can now integrate it with Microsof Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)

See the following blog article for an overview:
https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2020/03/vsphere-7-identity-federation.html

See the following configuration articles for a setup overview:
https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/7.0/com.vmware.vsphere.authentication.doc/GUID-C5E998B2-1148-46DC-990E-A5DB71F93351.html
https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/78029

With this information I’ve configured my lab environment to a working SAML based login with a few minor issues.

I had my ADFS setup load balanced through a content switching setup for external access. This is working great for my simple office 365 integration point but not so much if you’re trying to do more.

Like stated in the following article don’t terminate the SSL connection:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/identity/ad-fs/overview/ad-fs-faq

The issue I came across was that vCenter was failing with the validation of the certificate, at first I thought the missing root/intermediates was the cause of this but this was not the case. Even after uploading my internal root/intermediate and the external certificates root/intermediate the SSL validation check would fail. The chain was valid in every case though.

The resolution was to make my internal DNS entry through a SSL-BRIDGE setup to my ADFS server and afterwards I could finish the configuration part without issues.

Now when presented with vCenter logon page if you put in an account from the federated domain it will redirect you accordingly to the ADFS logon point.

Hope it helps!