Checklist: Setting Up a Federation Server
Updated: February 24, 2012
Applies To: Windows Server 2012
This checklist includes the deployment tasks that are necessary to prepare a server running Windows Server® 2012 for the federation server role in Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS).
Complete the tasks in this checklist in order. When a reference link takes you to a procedure, return to this topic after you complete the steps in that procedure so that you can proceed with the remaining tasks in this checklist.
Checklist: Setting up a federation server
Before you begin deploying your AD FS federation servers, review the; 1.) advantages and disadvantages of choosing either Windows Internal Database (WID) or SQL Server to store the AD FS configuration database 2.) AD FS deployment topology types and their associated server placement and network layout recommendations.
Review AD FS capacity planning guidance to determine the proper number of federation servers you should use in your production environment.
Review information in the AD FS Design Guide about where to place federation servers in your organization
Determine whether a stand-alone federation server or a federation server farm is better for your deployment.
Determine whether this new federation server will be created in the account partner organization or in the resource partner organization.
Review information about how federation servers use service communication certificates and token-signing certificates to securely authenticate client and federation server proxy requests.
Review information about how to update the corporate network Domain Name System (DNS) so that successful name resolution to federation servers can occur.
Join the computer that will become the federation server to a domain in the account partner forest or resource partner forest where it will be used to authenticate the users of that forest or from trusting forests.
Create a new resource record in the corporate network DNS that points the DNS host name of the federation server to the IP address of the federation server.
(Optional) If you will be adding a federation server to a federation server farm, you might have to first export the private key of the existing token-signing certificate (on the first federation server in the farm) so that you have a file format of the certificate ready when other federation servers must import the same certificate.
Exporting the private key is not required when your issued server authentication certificate can be reused by multiple computers (without the need to export) or when you will be obtaining unique server authentication certificates for each federation server in the farm.
After you obtain a server authentication certificate (or private key) from a certification authority (CA), you must then import the certificate file to the default Web site for each federation server.
(Optional) As an alternative to obtaining a server authentication certificate from a CA, you can use Internet Information Services (IIS) to create a sample certificate for your federation server.
IIS: Create a Self-Signed Server Certificate and then complete the procedure Import a Server Authentication Certificate to the Default Web Site
If you will be configuring a federation server farm environment in an account partner organization, you must create and configure a dedicated service account in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) where the farm will reside and configure each federation server in the farm to use this account. By performing this procedure, you will allow clients on the corporate network to authenticate to any of the federation servers in the farm using Windows Integrated Authentication.
Install the Federation Service role service on the computer that will become the federation server.
Configure the AD FS software on the computer to act in the federation server role by using the AD FS Federation Server Configuration Wizard.
Follow this procedure when you want to set up a stand-alone federation server, create the first federation server in a new farm or join a computer to an existing federation server farm.
(Optional) Use the AD FS Management snap-in to add and configure the necessary AD FS certificates required to deploy your design. For more information about when to add or change certificates using the snap-in, see Certificate Requirements for Federation Servers.
If this is the first federation server in your organization, configure the Federation Service so that it conforms to your AD FS design.
From a client computer, verify that the federation server is operational.