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LinPro-9458 asked ·

ADFS - WAP traficc handle

Hi!

My ADFS solution idea looks like this:

Internet to FW to NLB to WAP1 and WAP2 to FW to ADFS1/ADFS2/ADFS3/ADFS4 to AD.

The NLB distribute the incoming traffic to the WAP servers (Round-robin) and the WAP servers distribute the traffic to the ADFS servers. Now the question is: How does the WAP works? Do they choose a specific ADFS server all the time or do they distribute the trafic (requests) between diferent ADFS servers?

Do I need one WAP for every ADFS server or can I have a WAP serve plenty ADFS servers in a farm?

\EC

adfs
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piaudonn answered ·

WAPs find their ADFS servers (or rather its associated farm) using DNS by resolving the FQDN of the ADFS farm it is attached to.

The WAP are not aware of how many ADFS servers there are. The WAP connect to the ADFS farm by simply resolving the FQDN of the ADFS farm (that you entered when you set up the WAP). Like an clients using ADFS would do.

Let's say the ADFS farm is sts.contoso.com.
Internally, clients resolve that name to 10.0.0.1 which is in fact your load-balancer (if you have any in front of your ADFS, I say "if you have any" because you don't mention it in your message, but I am guessing you have one if you use 4 ADFS servers).
Externally, clients resolve that name to 1.2.3.4 which the IP of your F5.
WAP servers also need to connect to the farm. You can make they use your internal DNS and they will end up on 10.0.0.1. Or you could "hardcode" them to a specific node by creating an entry on their HOSTS file making sts.contoso.com point to the IP of the ADFS node you wish.

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piaudonn answered ·

Hello -

Are you using NLB or DNS round-robin? Neither are great for network load balancing :) The NLB feature on Windows is agnostic of the state of the service running on the top of the stack. So if you stop the ADFS service, unless you are using some automation (or SCOM management pack) the NLB will still redirect some traffic to the node. And DNS round-robin, well, same problem, unless you are using some automation with DNS policies (DNS policies are a Windows Server 2016 feature) you don't know if the user will end up using a healthy node, and if the TTL is high, then the client might even cache the result of a broken node.

You can use the aforementioned two as long as you understand and accept the risks of their associated shortcomings. Ideally you would use a hardware load balancer.

WAPs find their ADFS servers (or rather its associated farm) using DNS by resolving the FQDN of the ADFS farm it is attached to.

Regarding the number of ADFS and WAP and their pairing there are no rules. You can have 3 WAPs and only 1 ADFS servers (weird scenarios if WAPs are only used as ADFS proxy and not used to publish applications), you can have 1 WAP and 3 ADFS servers (if you don't have that many external clients - and that you don't mind the single point of failure). As long as the WAP can talk to the ADFS farm you are good to go. And they don't need to talk to a particular node. As a matter of fact, the WAPs can also reach out to the ADFS servers through the load balancing. Sometimes you can pair WAP and ADFS servers to make troubleshooting slightly easier as you will know that if the user hits WAP 1 they will use ADFS 1.

You want the network latency to be low between the WAP and the ADFS server though. Just to make sure the user's experience is not negatively affected. So if you have ADFS servers across different geographical regions, it might make sense to use (in priority, not necessarily "hardcoded") the local ADFS server.

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LinPro-9458 answered ·

Thanks for your answer Piaudonn! But I don't get the answer I want:

From Internet to FW to NLB (F5) to WAP1 and WAP2 to FW to ADFS1/ADFS2/ADFS3/ADFS4 to AD.

The NLB (F5) distribute the traffic (requests) between the WAP1 and WAP2. But how the traffic goes to the ADFS servers from the WAPs? How choose the WAPs a ADFS server? The WAPs seems not to have a own LB funktion så how do they when they choose if there are many ADFS serves? Do I need an other NLB between the WAPS and the ADFS to get LB?

\EC

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