Hello AskDS Readers. Mike here again. If you notice, Ned posted one of our first Windows Server 2012 RTM blogs a while back (Managing RID Issuance in Windows Server 2012). Yes friends, the gag order has been lifted and we are allowed to spout mountains of technical goodness about Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.
“So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it.” Windows Server 2012 has many cool features that Ned and I have been waiting to share with you. Here is a 50,000-foot view of the technologies and features we are going to blog in the next few weeks and months– in no specific order.
I’ll start by highlighting some of the changes with security, PKI, authentication, and authorization. The Windows Server 2012 Certificate Services role has a few feature changes that should delight many of the certificate administrators out there. With new installation, deployment, and improved configuration– it’s probably the easiest certificate authority to configure.
Windows Server 2012 authentication is a healthy technology with a ton of technical goo just seeping at the seams; starting with the mac-daddy of them all– Kerberos. In a few weeks, we will begin publishing the first of many installments of Kerberos changes in Windows 8/Windows Server 2012. As a teaser, the lineup includes KDC Proxy Server, the latest and greatest way to configured Kerberos Constrained Delegation– “It really whips the lama’s @#%.” We’ll take some exhaustive time explaining some Kerberos enhancements such as Kerberos Armoring and Compound Identity. We have tons more to share in the area of authentication including Virtual Smartcard Readers, and Picture Password logon.
Advanced client security highlights features like Server Name Indicator (SNI) for Windows Server 2012, Certificate Lifecycle Notification, Weak Key Protection (most of which is published in Jonathan Stephen’s latest blog, RSA Key Blocking is Here!), Implicit binding, which is the infrastructure behind the new Centralized Certificate Store IIS feature, and Client certificate hints. Advanced client security also includes a wicked-cool security-enhancement to PFX files and new a PKI module for Windows PowerShell
At some point in our publishing timeline, we’ll launch into the saga of all sagas, Dynamic Access Control. We’ve hosted guest posts here on AskDS to introduce this radical, amazingly cool new way to perform file-based authorization. This isn’t your grandfather’s authorization either. Dynamic Access Control or DAC as we’ll call it, requires planning, diligence, and an understanding of many dependencies, such as Active Directory, Kerberos, and effective access. Did I mention there are many knobs you must turn to configure it? No worries though, we’ll break DAC down into consumable morsels that should make it easy for everyone to understand.
The concept of claims continues by showing you how to use Windows Server 2012’s Active Directory Federation Services role to leverage claims issued by Windows domain controllers. Using AD FS, you can pass-through the Windows authorization claims or transform them into well-known SAML-based claim types.
No, I’m not done yet. I’m going introduce a well-hidden feature that hasn’t received much exposure, but has been labeled “pretty cool” by many training attendees. Access Denied Assistance is a gem of a feature that is locked away within the File Server Resource Manager (FSRM). It enables you to provide a SharePoint-like experience for users in Windows Explorer when they experience access denied or file not found to a shared file or folder. Access Denied Assistance provides the user with a “Request Access” interface that sends an email to the share owner that provides details on the access requested and guidance for the share owner can follow to remediate the problem. It’s very slick.
Wait there is more; this is just my list of topics to cover. Ned has a fun-bag full of Active Directory related material that he’ll intermix with these topics to keep things fresh. I’m certain we’ll sneak in a few extras that may not be directly related to Directory Services; however, they will help you make your Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 experience much better. Need to run for now, this blog post just wrote checks my body can’t cash.
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Mike “There’s no earthly way of knowing; which direction they are going… There’s no knowing where they’re rowing…” Stephens