How to use Azure Ad Join on Windows Server 2019

How to use Azure Ad Join on Windows Server 2019? & Gateway Access

Just like Microsoft Windows 10, the Microsoft Server 2019 also lets you make use of Azure AD authentication. We will guide you through the process for using the Azure AD join. If you have been using the Azure environment for your organization, it may be a great idea to opt for the Azure Ad Join under your Windows Server 2019 member servers. How about letting us go through the steps and process in greater detail.

The Essential Roles in Gateway Access on Microsoft Windows Server 2019

Windows Server essentially uses two administrative roles in the Windows Admin Centre “Project Honolulu”. The Gateway users are allowed to connect with the Windows Admin Centre gateway service. They cannot change the access permissions and will not be able to change the authentication mechanism. They can only access the servers assigned to them. In order to achieve this, you will need to setup WAC to leverage AD authentication for gateway access.

The Gateway Administrators are those who have been assigned with the responsibility to configure rules on who gets the access to the gateway and the authentication mechanism used for the purpose. The administrators have the authority to view and set the access settings under the Windows Admin Centre.

How to use Azure Ad Join on Windows Server 2019?

In case your organization makes use of Azure Active Directory or Azure AD (or AAD), you can make use of the extra layer of security to the Windows Admin Center. You can place a request for Azure AD authentication for accessing the gateway.

When Azure AD authentication is enabled, users who attempt to access the Windows Admin Centre will receive the prompt for entering the credentials. They will also need to enter the credentials to indicate that they are the members of Local users or Local administrators group of the Windows Admin Center gateway machine. Once that done, you will get a prompt to get the additional Azure Active Directory authentication prompt. Once this has been put in place, you are free to use Azure AD application in Azure.

Here are the steps involved in configuring the Azure AD authorization:

  • Go to the Windows Admin Centre Settings and click on Access
  • You should find the option for toggling the switch to Use Azure Active Directory to add a layer of security to the gateway.
  • Make sure you have registered the gateway to Azure. If you have not done that already, you can do it at this stage.
  • Go to Windows Admin Center Azure AD application. You can do so through the hyperlink provided. You will find the hyperlink only if you have enabled the Azure Active Directory authentication.
  • You should also be able to find your Azure Directory under Azure Active Directory > Enterprise applications > All applications. Search for WindowsAdminCenter
  • Under Properties tab, look for the User assignment required an option. Configure the setting to Yes
  • Under the Users and Groups tab, choose the option for Add user. You can assign a user role or the administrator role for each of the user.

After enabling the Azure AD authentication, your gateway service should restart. Ensure that you have refreshed your browser. Each of the users you have assigned will be prompted to sign in to the Windows Admin Centre gateway using the Azure Active Directory identity. The users along with being the members of the Azure AD should also be the members of local users.

The Pros and Cons of Using Azure Ad Join

Now that you have understood the essence of Azure Ad Join and authentication, it should be a good idea to follow the Pros and Cons that the technique offers you. Let us understand the Pros and Cons to a clear extent.

The Pros

One of the best options that Azure Ad Join offers you is the self-service experience that it provides you with. You will be able to join your devices to the company network infrastructure, thereby providing you access to the tasks on the move.

Another advantage that you stand to gain with the Azure Ad Join is the anywhere and anytime connectivity as long as you are connected to the internet. This should be an excellent option if your organization has a considerable number of mobile users who have been implementing the services and Windows 10 systems across multiple locations as part of their work schedule.

You will also stand to gain a lot as an administrator as well. Using the Azure AD Join will let the users take the benefits of all the features associated with Azure AD in the first place. Some of those benefits will include enterprise roaming, single sign-on, better security, and access to Windows Store for Business.

The Cons

Not many organizations may be ready to move to the cloud. The implementation and expansion of cloud services will need a lot of awareness as such. It may not be a complete enterprise directory service as such.

The Azure Ad Join is a service specifically designed for the small and mid-sized businesses that do not have an on-premise active directory infrastructure built explicitly for the Windows Server.

The Concluding Thoughts

Well, that was all we had for the concept of Azure AD Join and its focus on Windows Server 2019. We assume we have been able to assist you in making the best use of Azure AD Join for enhanced performance.

If you have used Azure AD Join under Windows Server 2019, feel free to share your thoughts and inputs with us. Your ideas will help us reach the best conclusions concerning the usage of Azure AD Join with Windows Server.

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