Office 365 can present both benefits and challenges for IT administrators. While it offers countless services within a single environment, connection and access issues can plague even the most savvy IT administrator, causing headaches and reduced performance. However, understanding Office 365 and ADFS and using the right monitoring and reporting tools can reduce these headaches and make your organization achieve better outcomes.
Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) is a software component developed by Microsoft that can be installed on Windows Server to provide users with single sign-on access to systems and applications across organizational boundaries. If you know how to set it up and install it, ADFS can be a good identity management option for Office 365. Once you configure ADFS, high availability becomes extremely critical. If your ADFS infrastructure is unavailable, end-users won’t be able to log into Office 365 services. To combat this, it’s important for IT admins to make sure their infrastructures are highly available.
One of the most common issues with ADFS is disconnection. If you’ve ever tried signing into Office 365 or other Microsoft cloud services and failed to connect, you know how frustrating this can be. If users sign into a cloud service with a federated user account, the connection to ADFS will fail if you try to connect remotely or use an email connection to sign in. So, what causes the missed connection? The ADFS service might not be exposed correctly to the Internet, impacting your ADFS server proxy. This causes expired SSL certificates, incorrect IIS authentication endpoint configurations, and/or distrust between the ADFS proxy server and the ADFS Federation Service.
There are three ways to fix these Office 365 issues:
- Try troubleshooting the ADFS SSL certificate issues on the ADFS service by updating the SSL certificate on the proxy service.
- Retune the ADFS proxy server IIS authentication settings to default.
- Rerun the ADFS Proxy Configuration wizard from the Administrative Tools interface.
One way to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot these issues is through the GSX Monitor & Analyzer. It offers one central dashboard and agentless technology to provide the critical information an administrator needs to manage the availability and performance of the service delivered to users, as well as the health of everything that can impact the user experience.
Microsoft Identity Management is core to the performance monitoring of applications. That’s why GSX Solutions developed monitoring capabilities that provide administrators with proactive alerts on performance and system usage, as well as end-user scenarios to test the availability of the service from the end-user perspective. GSX for ADFS collects key performance indicators and usage statistics, giving admins actionable insight to solve business problems. For example, GSX can alert and report on a number of tokens, metadata requests, and artifact resolution requests. GSX not only performs server monitoring, but also mimics end-user actions and performs synthetic transactions on the ADFS environment. The result allows administrators to quickly identify and troubleshoot ADFS issues from a single dashboard, reducing headaches and improving overall performance in your Office 365 environment.