Deploy Work Folder in Azure Cloud


The concept of Work Folder is to store user’s data in a convenient location. User can access the work folder from BYOD and Corporate SOE from anywhere. The work folder facilitate flexible use of corporate information securely from supported devices. The work folder can be deployed on-premises and in Azure Cloud. In this article, I will demonstrate how to deploy Work Folder in Azure. Before that, let’s start with application of Work Folder.

Applications of Work Folder in Corporate Environment

  • Provide a single point of access to work files from a user’s work and personal devices
  • Access the work files online and offline. While accessing offline, the data can be synced back to the Sync Server when the device connected to internet or intranet again
  • Deploy with existing deployments of Folder Redirection, Offline Files, and home folders
  • Use Windows File Server, SMB Share and other CIFS share for example NetApp CIFS share
  • Use file classification and folder quotas, to manage user data
  • Apply security policy and encryption to encrypt Work Folders and use a lock screen password
  • Use Microsoft Failover Clustering with Work Folders to provide a high-availability solution

Enhanced Functionality:

  • Azure AD Application Proxy support
  • Faster change replication
  • Integrated with Windows Information Protection (WIP)
  • Microsoft Office integration

Supported Environment:

  • NetApp CIFS, Windows File Server or Windows SMB Storage as the UNC path of Sync Share
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2016 for hosting sync shares with user files
  • A public certificate or internal certificate domain joined computer
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 level AD DS Schema
  • Windows 10 version 1703,
  • Android 4.4 KitKat and later
  • iOS 10.2 and later

Internal DNS records (CNAME records)

  • workfolders.domain.com pointed to syncserver1.domain.com and sycserver2.domain.com
  • sts.domain.com point to ADFS Servers
  • enterpriseregistration.domain.com pointed to ADFS servers

Internal DNS records (Host A Record)

  • syncserver1.domain.com
  • syncserver2.domain.com

Publishing Work Folder for mobile workforce

  • Access from Internet or use Azure Credentials
  • Web Application Proxy
  • Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) with public DNS record sts.domain.com and enterpriseregistration.domain.com
  • A public DNS record i.e. CNAME = workfolders.domain.com
  • A public certificate from a public CA i.e. CN= workfolders.domain.com SAN=syncserver1.domain.com, syncserver2work.domain.com. There must be private key associated with the certificate which means the certificate must in pfx format before importing into the sync servers.

Deploy Work Folder Server

  1. Log on to Azure Portal, Deploy a Windows Server 2016 from Azure Marketplace. Since we will be using this VM for Sync Share. I would recommend selecting an L series VM which storage optimised VM.
  2. Once the VM is provisioned, attached premium data disk for high I/O and low latency file store.
  3. Build a Windows Server 2016, Configure TCP/IP and Join the server to the domain
  4. Remote into the server using domain admins credential. Open the Add Roles and Features Wizard.
  5. On the Select installation type page, choose Role-based or feature-based deployment.
  6. On the Select destination server page, select the server on which you want to install Work Folders.
  7. On the Select server roles page, expand File and Storage Services, expand File and iSCSI Services, and then select Work Folders.
  8. When asked if you want to install IIS Hostable Web Core, click Ok to install the minimal version of Internet Information Services (IIS) required by Work Folders.
  9. Click Next until you have completed the wizard.
  10. Repeat the steps for all Work Folder Servers.

Install Certificate on the Work Folder Server

  1. On the Windows server 2016 where you want to install the SSL certificate, open the Console.
  2. In the Windows start menu, type mmc and open it.
  3. In the Console window, in the top menu, click File > Add/Remove Snap-in.
  4. In the Add or Remove Snap-ins window, in the Available snap-ins pane (left side), select Certificates and then click Add
  5. In the Certificate snap-in window, select Computer account and then click Next
  6. In the Select Computer window, select Local computer: (the computer this console is running on), and then click Finish
  7. In the Add or Remove Snap-ins window, click OK.
  8. In the Console window, in the Console Root pane (left side), expand Certificates (Local Computer), right-click on the Web Hosting folder, and then click All Tasks > Import.
  9. In the Certificate Import Wizard, on the Welcome to the Certificate Import Wizard page, click Next.
  10. On the File to Import page, browse to and select the file that you want import and then, click Next.
  11. Notes: In the File Explorer window, in the file type drop-down, make sure to select All Files (*.*). By default, it is set to search for 509 Certificate (*.cert;*.crt) file types only.
  12. On the Private key protection page, provide the password when you exported the certificate, check Mark the Private Key exportable for future use, and check import all extended properties.
  13. On the Certificate Store page, do the following and then click Next, Select Place all certificates in the following store and click Browse.
  14. In the Select Certificate Store window, select Web Hosting and click OK.
  15. On the Completing the Certificate Import Wizard page, verify that the settings are correct and then, click Finish.
  16. Repeat the steps for all Work Folder Servers.

Bind the Certificate:

  1. Log on to a jump box where IIS Management Console is installed, Open IIS Management Console, Connect to Work Folder Server. Select the Default Web Site for that server. The Default Web Site will appear disabled, but you can still edit the bindings for the site and select the certificate to bind it to that web site.
  2. Use the netsh command to bind the certificate to the Default Web Site https interface. The command is as follows:

netsh http add sslcert ipport=<IP address of Sync Share Server>:443 certhash=<Cert thumbprint> appid={CE66697B-3AA0-49D1-BDBD-A25C8359FD5D} certstorename=MY

Create Active Directory Security Group

  1. You need minimum two AD security groups for Work Folder. One for Work Folder Admin and another for Work Folder Sync Share. For this article, let’s assume we have a Sync Share. We will create two Security Groups named FS-HRShareUser-SG and FS-HRShareAdmin-SG
  2. Make sure these security group scope is Global not Universal. In the Members section, click Add. The Select Users, Contacts, Computers, Service Accounts or Groups dialog box appears.

Create a Sync Share

  1. In Server Manager, click File and Storage Services, and then click Work Folders.
  2. A list of any existing sync shares is visible at the top of the details pane. To create a new sync share, from the Tasks menu choose New Sync Share…. The New Sync Share Wizard appears.
  3. On the Select the server and path page, specify where to store the sync share. If you already have a file share created for this user data, you can choose that share. Alternatively you can create a new folder.
  4. On the Specify the structure for user folders page, choose a naming convention for user folders within the sync share. Select either User alias or User alias@domain
  5. On the Enter the sync share name page, specify a name and a description for the sync share. This is not advertised on the network but is visible in Server Manager
  6. On the Grant sync access to groups page, specify the group that you created that lists the users allowed to use this sync share.
  7. On the Specify device policies page, specify whether to request any security restrictions on client PCs and devices. Select either Automatically lock screen, and require a password or Encrypt Work Folders based on your requirements.
  8. Review your selections and complete the wizard to create the sync share.

Setup a Tech Support Email Address

  1. In Server Manager, click File and Storage Services, and then click Servers.
  2. Right-click the sync server, and then click Work Folders Settings. The Work Folders Settings window appears.
  3. In the navigation pane, click Support Email and then type the email address or addresses that users should use when emailing for help with Work Folders. Click Ok when you’re

Publish Work Folder using ADFS Server

You can set up and configure the relying party trust for Work Folders, even though Work Folders hasn’t been set up yet. The relying party trust must be set up to enable Work Folders to use AD FS. Because you’re in the process of setting up AD FS, now is a good time to do this step.

To set up the relying party trust:

  1. Log on to ADFS Server. Open Server Manager, on the Tools menu, select AD FS Management.
  2. In the right-hand pane, under Actions, click Add Relying Party Trust.
  3. On the Welcome page, select Claims aware and click Start.
  4. On the Select Data Source page, select Enter data about the relying party manually, and then click Next.
  5. In the Display name field, enter WorkFolders, and then click Next.
  6. On the Configure Certificate page, click Next..
  7. On the Configure URL page, click Next.
  8. On the Configure Identifiers page, add the following identifier: https://workfolders.domain.com/V1. This identifier is a hard-coded value used by Work Folders, and is sent by the Work Folders service when it is communicating with AD FS. Click Next.
  9. On the Choose Access Control Policy page, select Permit Everyone, and then click Next.
  10. On the Ready to Add Trust page, click Next.
  11. After the configuration is finished, the last page of the wizard indicates that the configuration was successful. Select the checkbox for editing the claims rules, and click Close.
  12. In the AD FS snap-in, select the WorkFolders relying party trust and click Edit Claim Issuance Policy under Actions.
  13. The Edit Claim Issuance Policy for WorkFolders window opens. Click Add rule.
  14. In the Claim rule template drop-down list, select Send LDAP Attributes as Claims, and click Next.
  15. On the Configure Claim Rule page, in the Claim rule name field, enter WorkFolders.
  16. In the Attribute store drop-down list, select Active Directory.
  17. In the mapping table, enter these values:
    • User-Principal-Name: UPN
    • Display Name: Name
    • Surname: Surname
    • Given-Name: Given Name
  18. Click Finish. You’ll see the WorkFolders rule listed on the Issuance Transform Rules tab and click OK.
  19. In the AD FS snap-in, select the WorkFolders relying party trust, On the properties, choose the Encryption tab, Remove the certificate encryption
  20. Choose the Signature tab and make sure the Work Folder Certificate was imported
  21. Click Apply, Click Ok.

Set relying part trust options

These commands set options that are needed for Work Folders to communicate successfully with AD FS, and can’t be set through the UI. These options are:

  • Enable the use of JSON web tokens (JWTs)
  • Disable encrypted claims
  • Enable auto-update
  • Set the issuing of Oauth refresh tokens to All Devices.
  • Grant clients access to the relying party trust

Set-ADFSRelyingPartyTrust -TargetIdentifier “https://workfolders.domain.com/V1&#8221; -EnableJWT $true

Set-ADFSRelyingPartyTrust -TargetIdentifier “https://workfolders.domain.com/V1&#8221; -Encryptclaims $false

Set-ADFSRelyingPartyTrust -TargetIdentifier “https://workfolders.domain.com/V1&#8221; -AutoupdateEnabled $true

Set-ADFSRelyingPartyTrust -TargetIdentifier “https://workfolders.domain.com/V1&#8221; -IssueOAuthRefreshTokensTo AllDevices

Grant-AdfsApplicationPermission -ServerRoleIdentifier “https://workfolders.domain.com/V1&#8221; –AllowAllRegisteredClients

Enable Workplace Join

To enable device registration for Workplace Join, you must run the following Windows PowerShell commands, which will configure device registration and set the global authentication policy:

Initialize-ADDeviceRegistration -ServiceAccountName domain\svc-adfsservices$

Set-ADFSGlobalAuthenticationPolicy -DeviceAuthenticationEnabled $true

Set up AD FS authentication

To configure Work Folders to use AD FS for authentication, follow these steps:

  1. Log on to Sync Share Server. Open Server Manager.
  2. Click Servers, and then select your Work Folders server in the list.
  3. Right-click the server name, and click Work Folders Settings.
  4. In the Work Folder Settings window, select Active Directory Federation Services, and type in the ADFS URL. Click Apply. In the test example, the URL is https://sts.domain.com.

Publish the Work Folders web application

The next step is to publish a web application that will make Work Folders available to clients. To publish the Work Folders web application, follow these steps:

  1. Import Work Folder Certificate into WAP Servers
  2. Open Server Manager, and on the Tools menu, click Remote Access Management to open the Remote Access Management Console.
  3. Under Configuration, click Web Application Proxy.
  4. Under Tasks, click Publish. The Publish New Application Wizard opens.
  5. On the Welcome page, click Next.
  6. On the Preauthentication page, select Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS), and click Next.
  7. On the Support Clients page, select OAuth2, and click Next.
  8. On the Relying Party page, select Work Folders, and then click Next. This list is published to the Web Application Proxy from AD FS.
  9. On the Publishing Settings page, enter the following and then click Next, use these values:
  1. The confirmation page shows the Windows PowerShell command that will execute to publish the application. Click Publish.
  2. On the Results page, you should see the application was published successfully.

Configure Work Folders on the client

To configure Work Folders on the non-domain join client machine, follow these steps:

  1. On the client machine, open Control Panel and click Work Folders.
  1. Click Set up Work Folders.
  1. On the Enter your work email address page, enter either the user’s email address (for example, user@domain.com) or the Work Folders URL (in the test example, https://workfolders.domain.com), and then click Next.
  2. If the user is connected to the corporate network, the authentication is performed by Windows Integrated Authentication. If the user is not connected to the corporate network, the authentication is performed by ADFS (OAuth) and the user will be prompted for credentials. Enter your credentials and click OK.
  3. After you have authenticated, Click Next.
  4. The Security Policies page lists the security policies that you set up for Work Folders. Click Next.
  5. A message is displayed stating that Work Folders has started syncing with your PC. Click Close.
  6. The Manage Work Folders page shows the amount of space available on the server, sync status, and so on. If necessary, you can re-enter your credentials here. Close the window.
  7. Your Work Folders folder opens automatically. You can add content to this folder to sync between your devices.

To configure Work Folders on the domain joined client machine, follow these steps:

  1. Configure using GPO, use Go to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Work Folders > Specify Work Folders settings.
  2. Specify Work Folder URL as workfolders.domain.com
  3. Apply the GPO to selected OU.

Relevant Article:

Work Folder FAQ

NetApp CIFS shares not mounting to Windows Server 2012

 

Author: LM Publications

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