Active Directory

Active Directory is a Microsoft implementation of Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), Kerberos, and DNS technologies that can store information about network resources. Active Directory can serve many functions, but the primary reason for joining the cluster to an Active Directory domain is to perform user and group authentication.

You can join the cluster to an Active Directory (AD) domain by specifying the fully qualified domain name, which can be resolved to an IPv4 or an IPv6 address, and a user name with join permission. When the cluster joins an AD domain, a single AD machine account is created. The machine account establishes a trust relationship with the domain and enables the cluster to authenticate and authorize users in the Active Directory forest. By default, the machine account is named the same as the cluster. If the cluster name is more than 15 characters long, the name is hashed and displayed after joining the domain.

OneFS supports NTLM and Microsoft Kerberos for authentication of Active Directory domain users. NTLM client credentials are obtained from the login process and then presented in an encrypted challenge/response format to authenticate. Microsoft Kerberos client credentials are obtained from a key distribution center (KDC) and then presented when establishing server connections. For greater security and performance, we recommend that you implement Kerberos, according to Microsoft guidelines, as the primary authentication protocol for Active Directory.

Each Active Directory provider must be associated with a groupnet. The groupnet is a top-level networking container that manages hostname resolution against DNS nameservers and contains subnets and IP address pools. The groupnet specifies which networking properties the Active Directory provider will use when communicating with external servers. The groupnet associated with the Active Directory provider cannot be changed. Instead you must delete the Active Directory provider and create it again with the new groupnet association.

You can add an Active Directory provider to an access zone as an authentication method for clients connecting through the access zone. OneFS supports multiple instances of Active Directory on an Isilon cluster; however, you can assign only one Active Directory provider per access zone. The access zone and the Active Directory provider must reference the same groupnet. Configure multiple Active Directory instances only to grant access to multiple sets of mutually-untrusted domains. Otherwise, configure a single Active Directory instance if all domains have a trust relationship. You can discontinue authentication through an Active Directory provider by removing the provider from associated access zones.