14 minutes read

Windows Azure Pack Tenant Public API Authentication Options

Web services, as we’ve learned throughout this series, are integral to the workings of Windows Azure Pack. Every UI exposed to the user connects to the backend via web service, every resource provider is managed by Windows Azure Pack through their own web services, and 3rd party functionality can be tied in through web services. It’s an SOA world. Last time we looked at the Tenant Public API and how it uses client certificates for authentication. Client certificates are paradoxically complex beasts while also being the easiest authentication method for 3rd parties to use. This is because you don’t really…

20 minutes read

Windows Azure Pack Authentication Part 2

Last time we looked at how Windows Azure Pack authenticates users in the Admin Portal. In this post we are going to look at how authentication works in the Tenant Portal. Authentication in the Tenant Portal works exactly the same way authentication in the Admin Portal works. Detailed and informative explanation, right? Actually, with any luck you’ve read, and were more importantly, able to decipher my (probably overly complicated) explanations in the last post. The reason for that is because we’re going to go a bit deeper into the configuration of how authentication is configured.  If that’s actually the case then…

16 minutes read

Windows Azure Pack Authentication Part 1

Recently Microsoft released their on-premise Private Cloud offering called Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server. Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server is a collection of Windows Azure technologies, available to Microsoft customers at no additional cost for installation into your data center. It runs on top of Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 and, through the use of the Windows Azure technologies, enables you to offer a rich, self-service, multi-tenant cloud, consistent with the public Windows Azure experience. Cool! There are a fair number of articles out there that have nice write ups on how it works,…

5 minutes read

Whitepaper: Active Directory from on-premises to the cloud

A new whitepaper was released last Friday (Jan 11/2013) that discusses all the various options for dealing with identity in cloud, on-premise, and hybrid environments: Active Directory from on-premises to the cloud. It takes a look at how Windows Azure Active Directory is making a play for cloud identity, as well as how it works with hybrid/on-premise scenarios. Here’s the overview: Identity management, provisioning, role management, and authentication are key services both on-premises and through the (hybrid) cloud. With the Bring Your Own Apps (BYOA) for the cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, the desire to better collaborate…

17 minutes read

Windows Azure Active Directory Federation In Depth (Part 2)

In my last post I talked a little bit about the provisioning and federation processes for Office 365 and Windows Azure Active Directory (WAAD). This time around I want to talk a little bit about how the various pieces fit together when federating an on premise Active Directory environment with WAAD and Office 365. You can find lots of articles online that talk about how to configure everything, but I wanted to dig a little deeper and show you why everything is configured the way it is. Out of the box a Windows Azure Active Directory tenant manages users for…

8 minutes read

Introduction to Windows Azure Active Directory Federation Part 1

Earlier this week Microsoft released some interesting numbers regarding Windows Azure Active Directory (WAAD) authentication. Since the inception of the authentication service on the Windows Azure platform in 2010, we have now processed 200 BILLION authentications for 50 MILLION active user accounts. In an average week we receive 4.7 BILLION authentication requests for users in over 420 THOUSAND different domains. […] To put it into perspective, in the 2 minutes it takes to brew yourself a single cup of coffee, Windows Azure Active Directory (AD) has already processed just over 1 MILLION authentications from many different devices and users around…

12 minutes read

Self-Serving Single Sign On

When I wrote Enough with the Pain of Passwords someone told me it was completely self-serving. Actually, it was. My day job is building a commercial Single Sign On product so I’m terribly biased toward people using it. I quite like my job, and I really like my product so I’m more than happy to get people to buy our stuff. This doesn’t actually change how I feel about passwords though. I hate passwords. In current form they are an archaic mechanism for authentication and that mechanism is more often than not flawed. Archaic is, I think, an appropriate word…

1 minute read

An Interesting Poll on ADFS and Office 365

As we prepared to launch a new product offering, Dana Epp decided to pose a question to some people on LinkedIn. The question was simple: When you deployed ADFS and DirSync for Office 365 the first time, how long did it take you to get it working? Here are the results (as of Monday morning, 9/17):   The first time I set it up, it took me about 3 days because at the time I had no clue what I was doing (insert joke here). This, I think, is the case for a lot of people as you can tell…

9 minutes read

Enough with the Pain of Passwords

Passwords suck. This is a well known fact. Of course, we have conditioned ourselves to using passwords in painful ways so we accept this fact and move on with our lives. Except, I can’t take it anymore. Every week it seems there’s another breach, and every week there’s yet another security guru spouting the need for better-stronger-more-secure passwords. If you create a “strong” password that meets xyz requirements then it will take 42.3 bajillion years to crack regardless of what hash algorithm the application is using. The problem with this though is that “strong” passwords are ridiculously hard to remember…

0 minutes Less than a minute read

Windows Live and Windows 8

So. I guess I wasn’t the only one with this idea: http://www.syfuhs.net/post/2011/02/28/making-the-internet-single-sign-on-capable.aspx Sweet. Announced earlier today at the Build conference, Microsoft is creating a tighter integration between Windows 8 and Windows Live.  More details to come when I download the bits later tonight.