Last week I had to setup a small Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) farm that will be used to allow Single Sign-On (SSO) with Office 365. Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) is a solution developed by Microsoft to provide users an authenticated access to applications, that are not capable of using Integrated Windows Authentication (IWA). Required by the customer was a two node ADFS farm located on the internal network, and a two node ADFS Proxy farm located at the DMZ.
A customer reported a weird problem with his NetScaler Gateway. Upon the first load of the website, they got an error “Cannot complete your request”. After clicking OK the error disappeared and does not occured again after reloading the website. Only after closing and re-opening the browser. I got this message in Firefox and Internet Explorer, but not from a remote machine, e.g. my PC at the office. Patrick Terlisten/ vcloudnine.
In May 2018, Citrix released their new Citrix Certified Expert - Networking certification, which completet the networking certification path at the upper end (blog post on training.citrix.com). The track starts with the Associate (CCA-N), the lower-level certification is a requirement for achieving the higher-level certification, continues with the Professional (CCP-N), and ends with the Expert (CCE-N) certification. This is pretty cool, and I’m very happy that Citrix now offers the CCE-N, because the expert-level certification was missing all the time.
While building a small Citrix NetScaler… ehm… ADC VPX (I really hate this name…) lab environment, I noticed that the fan of my Lenovo T480s was spinning up. I was wondering why, because the VPX VM was just running for a couple of minutes - without any load. But the task manager told me, that the VMware Workstation Process was consuming 25% (I have a Intel i5 Quad Core CPU) CPU.
Sometimes you have to replace SSL certificates instead of updating them, e.g. if you switch from a web server SSL certificate to a wildcard certificate. The latter was my job today. In my case, the SSL certificate was used in a Microsoft Exchange 2016 deployment, and the NetScaler configuration was using multiple virtual servers. I’m using this little script for my NetScaler/ Exchange deployments. When using multiple virtual servers, replacing a SSL certificate using the GUI can be challenging, because you have to navigate multiple sites, click here, click there etc.
By accident, I found a heartbeat/ VLAN issue on a NetScaler cluster at one of my customers. The NetScaler ADC appliances have three interfaces connected to a switch stack. Two of the three interfaces were configured as a channel (LAG). This is a snippet from the config: set channel LA/1 -tagall ON -throughput 0 -lrMinThroughput 0 -bandwidthHigh 0 -bandwidthNormal 0 ... bind vlan 10 -ifnum 1/3 bind vlan 10 -ifnum LA/1 -tagged bind vlan 54 -ifnum LA/1 -tagged bind vlan 55 -ifnum LA/1 -tagged On the switch stack, the port to which interface 1/3 is connected, is configured as an access port.
Some days ago, I have implemented one-time passwords (OTP) for NetScaler Gateway for one of my customers. This feature was added with NetScaler 12, and it’s a great way to secure NetScaler Gateway with a native NetScaler feature. Native OTP does not need any third party servers. But you need a NetScaler Enterprise license, because nFactor Authentication is a requirement. To setup NetScaler native OTP, I followed the availbe guides on the internet.
In addition to my shortcut blog post about Meltdown and Spectre with regard of Microsoft Windows, VMware ESXi and vCenter, and HPE ProLiant, I would like to add some additional information about HPE Storage and Citrix NetScaler. When we talk about Meltdown and Spectre, we are talking about three different vulnerabilities: CVE-2017-5715 (branch target injection) CVE-2017-5753 (bounds check bypass) CVE-2017-5754 (rogue data cache load) CVE-2017-5715 and CVE-2017-5753 are known as “Spectre”, CVE-2017-5754 is known as “Meltdown”.
Exchange has known the concept of internal and external URLs for the different services (Outlook Web Access, OAB, EWS, ActiveSync etc) since Exchange 2007. And it’s still confusing people. The internal URL is the URL, that is used to access the desired service from the intranet. The external URL represents the URL that is used to access the service from the internet. Best practice is to use the same URL (the external) for both, use a certificate from a public CA, and use split DNS to access the external domain from the inside of your network.
Last friday I passed the 1Y0-351 (Citrix NetScaler 10.5 Essentails and Networking) exam with a pretty good score. The exam was necessary, not only because I will do much more NetScaler projects in the future, but also because Citrix has made it mandatory to have a CCP-N in your company to to sell Citrix NetScaler. Preparation My employer booked me a 5-day course (CNS-220 Citrix NetScaler Essentials and Traffic Management). Very nice, although I already had experience with NetScaler deployments.