Manual Chapter : Active Directory User Authentication

Applies To:

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BIG-IQ Centralized Management

  • 7.0.0
Manual Chapter

Active Directory User Authentication

Use my Active Directory Domain Controller to authenticate BIG-IQ users

F5 BIG-IQ Centralized Management can verify user credentials against your company's Active Directory Domain Controller using one of these methods, with certificate validation:
  • StartTLS - (with server certificate validation enabled) This is the recommended and most secure method.
  • LDAPS - Typically used for connections to older servers, such as those running LDAPv2
After you set up BIG-IQ to use your Active Directory as an authentication provider, you can create local users and user groups mapped to the corresponding ones on your domain controller.

Before integrating BIG-IQ with your Active Directory Domain Controller for authentication

Before integrating Active Directory Domain Controller (DC) authentication with the F5 BIG-IQ Centralized Management system, you must gather the following information.
Required information
Notes
Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) of the Active Directory DC
For the SSL server certificate validation to succeed, you must use a FQDN. For example:
activedirectory.example.com
.
The FQDN must match the FQDN in the CN (Common Name) attribute of the subject of the X509 certificate for the authentication server. For example, the server might present a certificate that includes the following subject data:
Subject: C=US, ST=Washington, L=Seattle, O=activedir1, OU=F5 Networks, CN=activedirectory.example.com/emailAddress=activedirectory@example.com
If the value of the host name does not match the FQDN in the CN field, authentication will fail. Specifying an IP address instead of a FQDN results in such a mismatch.
Port of the Active Directory DC
The default port is 389 for StartTLS and 636 for LDAPS, unless otherwise specified. If your Active Directory DC uses an alternate (non-standard port), you need to specify it in the authentication provider settings.
Active Directory DC's SSL certificate
For the BIG-IQ to trust the SSL certificate presented by your Active Directory DC, you must provide a PEM-formatted certificate in the authentication provider settings. To establish the SSL connection to the Active Directory server, the BIG-IQ must trust any one of the SSL certificates in the chain presented by the server during the SSL handshake.
As an alternative to the Active Directory DC's SSL certificate, you can use the issuing CA’s SSL certificate instead. A typical scenario where the issuing CA’s certificate is used instead, is when a domain controller uses multiple servers, each with a different certificate. In this case, all the certificates would have the same issuing CA, often the company’s own CA.
Root Distinguished Name
This is the Root DN for your directory. The BIG-IQ uses it as the starting point in the directory when it searches for users and groups.
Active Directory users
You'll need to create BIG-IQ users and groups that map to the remote users on the Active Directory DC.
User access to certain BIG-IQ screens and features is dependent on the BIG-IQ roles you associate to the user. You can also manage user access based on the roles associated to the groups the user belongs to on your Active Directory server.
To manage access for a user authenticated against the remote Active Directory, choose one of the following options:
  • Add the user to a BIG-IQ role.
  • Create a BIG-IQ group mapped to an Active Directory group the user is a member of and add that group to a BIG-IQ role.
Review the users and groups in your directory's structure and determine where they are located in the organizational units (OUs). Then, decide how you want to map those names to your BIG-IQ users and groups. To authenticate a user against the Active Directory domain controller, you have to provide a User Bind Template in the User Principal Name (UPN) format. For example,
{username}@domainname.example.com
. As an alternative to the UPN format, you can also specify the User Bind Template in the Down-Level Logon Name format. For example,
domainname\{username}
. When a user logs in, BIG-IQ inserts the user name into the template in place of the
{username}
token, and the resulting bind name is used to bind to the directory. For example, user John Smith logs in as user
jsmith
, thus his bind name is
jsmith@domainname.example.com
. He logs in and is correctly authenticated with his user name and password in the directory through this bind name.
Active Directory groups
The Bind User is not required for authentication, but must be provided to search for groups. The bind name is obtained by replacing the {username} token in the User Bind Template with the Bind User. If your company does not allow dedicated bind accounts, any directory user with permissions to search the directory for groups can be used to bind instead.

Set up BIG-IQ to use Active Directory for user authentication

Before setting up BIG-IQ to authenticate users against your Active Directory Domain Controller, gather the information outlined in the section titled,
Before integrating BIG-IQ with your Active Directory Domain Controller
.
You can configure BIG-IQ to use one or more of your company's Active Directory Domain Controller(s) to authenticate users. Some fields are already pre-populated with values that work well for most Active Directory DCs with standard configurations and schemas. Feel free to change these default values as to match setting on your own Active Directory DC, if needed.
  1. At the top of the screen, click
    System
    .
  2. On the left, click
    USER MANAGEMENT
    Auth Providers
    .
  3. Click the
    Add
    button.
  4. From the
    Provider Type
    list, select your
    Active Directory
    .
  5. In the
    Name
    field, type a name for this new provider.
    This must be a unique name, and can be a maximum of 152 characters.
  6. In the
    Servers
    setting
    Host
    field, type or paste the FQDN of your Active Directory Domain Controller and specify the port.
    By default, BIG-IQ uses port 636 for LDAPS and 389 for StartTLS. It's best to leave these defaults.
  7. From the
    SSL
    list, select how you want BIG-IQ to communicate with your authentication provider.
    • StartTLS
      - In almost all cases, you'll want to select this option, because it is the most secure option. You'll want to keep server certificate validation option enabled.
    • LDAPS
      - This is primarily used to connect to older servers, running an older version of the LDAP protocol (LDAPv2).
    • Disabled
      - This option disables SSL and is not secure and not recommended.
  8. Select the
    Validate SSL Certificate
    check box.
    This validates the end host for secure communication between BIG-IQ and your managed BIG-IP devices, as well as communication between BIG-IQ systems in a high availability configuration.
  9. In the
    SSL Certificate
    field, type or paste your SSL certificate in PEM format.
  10. In the
    Bind User Distinguished Name
    and
    Bind User Password
    fields, type the full distinguished name and password for the dedicated bind account with directory search permissions.
  11. In the
    User Bind Template
    field, type or paste the user in the Distinguished Name format
    uid={username},ou=people,o=sevenSeas
    .
  12. In the
    Root Distinguished Name
    field, type the distinguished names (DN) of the root context that contains both users and groups.
    The DN of the root context must be a full distinguished name. BIG-IQ uses it as the starting point in the directory when it searches for users and groups.
  13. For the
    Authentication Method
    setting, specify a method.
    • Simple
      - Select this option to require a user name and password for authentication.
    • None
      - Select this option to ignore the user name and password. This option is not recommended.
    No password authentication is used if you select
    None
    .
  14. For the
    Search Scope
    setting, select an option to specify the depth at which searches are made, relative to the Root Distinguished Name.
  15. In the
    Connect Timeout
    field, type the number of seconds after which the BIG-IQ system stops trying to authenticate a user or user group.
  16. In the
    Read Timeout
    field, type the number of seconds the BIG-IQ system will wait for a response to a query.
  17. The default query for the
    Group Search Filter
    setting works well for most directories that use a standard Active Directory configuration schema.
    This returns all the groups under the Root DN you provide, that match the search term for the
    Remote Group Filter
    setting on the group search screen. Feel free to modify it as needed to match your directory schema.
    For example:
    (&(+[[-[[|(objectClass=posixGroup) (objectClass=groupOfUniqueNames)(objectClass=groupOfNames)) (]]-+[[]]+objectCategory=group)(+[[]]+]]+cn={searchterm}-[[*]]-+[[+[[*]]+]]+))
  18. For the
    Group Membership Filter
    setting, the default value works well for most Active Directory DCs that use a standard schema.
    When authenticating a user, BIG-IQ uses this query to get all of the groups on the Active Directory Domain Controller to which the user belongs. Feel free, however, to simplify it and leave only the one of the three clauses that matches your directory schema. If you change the query, you can use the token
    {userDN}
    anywhere that the user's distinguished name should be substituted in the LDAP query, and the token
    {username}
    anywhere the user’s login name should be substituted.
    On authenticating a user, the BIG-IQ needs to retrieve from the Active Directory all the groups that the user is a member of. It uses the
    Group Membership User Attribute
    query for that. The default value,
    memberof
    , will work well for most Active Directory controllers that use a standard schema. Feel free to modify it as needed to match your directory schema.
  19. If you want to authenticate users with certificates rather than a user name and password, select the
    Enable Client Certificate Authentication
    check box.
    Be sure to test your authentication provider settings before you enable this feature, to make sure BIB-IQ can successfully authenticate against the remote directly. Otherwise, you could get locked out of BIG-IQ.
    • Choose the CA certificate file.
    • Specify the
      Certificate Username Attribute
      so BIG-IQ can extract the user information from the file. In most cases the default CN works.
    • For the
      Certificate Username Filter
      , specify the exact user name. This can be a sub-string, but it has to match what you type here.
    • For the
      Certificate Revocation List
      , you can optionally select one or more files.If you want BIG-IQ to authenticate locally in the event certificate authentication fails,
    • select the
      Enable Local Authentication Fallback
      check box.
  20. If you don't want the authentication provider to display on the BIG-IQ login screen, for the
    Hide Provider
    setting, select the
    Hide provider on login screen
    check box.
  21. To verify these provider settings, type a user and password, and click the
    Test
    button.

Add a BIG-IQ user authenticated by my Active Directory and associate it with a role

Before you add a user authenticated against your Active Directory Domain Controller, you must have your Active Director DC settings configured on BIG-IQ.
Once you decide exactly which users you want to perform certain tasks, you can provide them access to particular areas of BIG-IQ by adding them as local users and assigning them the appropriate built-in or custom roles. You can assign as many roles as required to cover the user's responsibilities.
For the Active Directory-authenticated user to access BIG-IQ, you must put the local user in a BIG-IQ role, or put in a role a local group mapped to one of the user’s groups on the Active Directory Domain Controller.
  1. At the top of the screen, click
    System
    .
  2. On the left, click
    USER MANAGEMENT
    Users
    .
  3. Click the
    Add
    button.
  4. From the
    Provider Type
    list, select your
    Active Directory
    .
  5. In the
    User Name
    field, type the name of the Active Directory user.
  6. In the
    Full Name
    field, type the name to identify the user from BIG-IQ.
    The full name can contain a combination of symbols, letters, numbers and spaces.
  7. For the
    Roles
    setting, from the
    Available
    list, select each user role you want to associate with this user, and move it to the
    Selected
    list.
    Be sure to let your users know that their access to certain parts of the BIG-IQ user interface depends on which role they are assigned.
  8. Click the
    Save & Close
    button.
If this BIG-IQ is part of an HA pair, you must log in to the secondary BIG-IQ system, click
System
->
BIG-IQ HA
, click the
BIG-IQ HA Settings
button, then click the
Log Out & Refresh
button. This procedure is required because BIG-IQ handles users and user groups differently than other data synchronized between BIG-IQ systems in an HA pair. If you don't perform this procedure, this new user cannot successfully log in to the secondary system.

Create an Active Directory Domain Controller-authenticated user group

For the Active Directory-authenticated user to access BIG-IQ, you must put the local user in a BIG-IQ role, or in a role a local group that is mapped to one of the user’s groups on the Active Directory DC.
As an alternative to assigning roles to individual users, you can assign roles through the remote Active Directory groups they are members of. This way, you can establish one set of permissions and manage multiple (Active Directory-authenticated) users' ability to access the BIG-IQ features by assigning them to the group.
  1. At the top of the screen, click
    System
    .
  2. At the left, click
    USER MANAGEMENT
    User Groups
    .
    The User Groups screen opens.
  3. Click the
    Add
    button.
  4. From the
    Auth Provider
    list, select your Active Directory auth provider.
  5. There are two ways to specify the remote group to map to:
    • If you specified a bind user and a group search filter for authentication, then type a term to filter into the
      Remote Group Filter
      field (for example,
      *Engineers*)
      . Alternatively, you can leave it blank, or use the wildcard * to return all groups. Then click the
      Search
      button to view the list.
      The default Group Search Filter query,
      (&(objectCategory=group)(cn={searchterm}*))
      , works well for most Active Directory controllers that use a standard schema. This query returns all the groups under the provided Root DN that match the search term entered as the Remote Group Filter expression on the group search page. You can modify this query as needed to match your directory schema.
    • If you have not configured these options, in the
      Group Distinguished-[[ Name]]-+[[-[[-[[-[[+[[ Name]]+]]-+[[ Name]]+]]-+[[ Name]]+]]-+[[ Name]]+]]+
      field, type the exact name of the group.
  6. Click the
    Save & Close
    button.
If this BIG-IQ is part of an HA pair, you must log in to the secondary BIG-IQ system, click
System
->
BIG-IQ HA
, click the
BIG-IQ HA Settings
button, then click the
Log Out & Refresh
button. This procedure is required because BIG-IQ handles users and user groups differently than other data synchronized between BIG-IQ systems in an HA pair. If you don't perform this procedure, this new user cannot successfully log in to the secondary system.