Book Image

Active Directory Administration Cookbook

By : Sander Berkouwer
Book Image

Active Directory Administration Cookbook

By: Sander Berkouwer

Overview of this book

Active Directory is an administration system for Windows administrators to automate network, security and access management tasks in the Windows infrastructure. This book starts off with a detailed focus on forests, domains, trusts, schemas and partitions. Next, you'll learn how to manage domain controllers, organizational units and the default containers. Going forward, you'll explore managing Active Directory sites as well as identifying and solving replication problems. The next set of chapters covers the different components of Active Directory and discusses the management of users, groups and computers. You'll also work through recipes that help you manage your Active Directory domains, manage user and group objects and computer accounts, expiring group memberships and group Managed Service Accounts (gMSAs) with PowerShell. You'll understand how to work with Group Policy and how to get the most out of it. The last set of chapters covers federation, security and monitoring. You will also learn about Azure Active Directory and how to integrate on-premises Active Directory with Azure AD. You'll discover how Azure AD Connect synchronization works, which will help you manage Azure AD. By the end of the book, you have learned about Active Directory and Azure AD in detail.
Table of Contents (16 chapters)

Raising the forest functional level to Windows Server 2016

Just like the Active Directory DFL, the FFL also determines the availability of new Active Directory functionality. Where the DFL dictates the minimum version of Windows Server to run as domain controllers, the FFL dictates the minimum version of the DFL in the Active Directory forest.

The new functionality that is unlocked by raising the FFL includes the following:

  • Privileged Access Management (PAM) that requires the Windows Server 2016 FFL
  • Active Directory Recycle Bin that requires the Windows Server 2008 R2 FFL
  • Linked-value replication that requires the Windows Server 2003 FFL

Getting ready

Microsoft recommends raising the FFL from the Active Directory domain controller that holds the Domain Naming Master FSMO role.

To locate this domain controller, run the following command on any domain-joined device, member server, or domain controller:

netdom.exe query fsmo

Alternatively, use the following PowerShell commands on a domain-joined system that has the Active Directory module for Windows PowerShell installed:

Import-Module ActiveDirectory

Get-ADForest | Format-List DomainNamingMaster

Required permissions

Use an account that is a member of the Enterprise Admins group in the Active Directory forest for which you want to raise the FFL.

How to do it...

On domain controllers running Windows Server with the Desktop Experience, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to the domain controller holding the Domain Naming Master FSMO role.
  2. Open Active Directory Domains and Trusts (domain.msc).
  3. In the left navigation pane, right-click Active Directory Domains and Trusts, and then click Raise Forest Functional Level.
    The Raise forest functional level window appears:
  1. From the Select an available forest functional level drop-down list, select the desired FFL, and then click Raise.

Alternatively, you can use the following two lines of PowerShell:

Import-Module ActiveDirectory

Set-ADForestMode Windows2016Forest

Replace with values for your Active Directory environment.

How it works...

When a domain controller operates, it references the FFL to know how it can optimally interoperate with other domain controllers in the Active Directory forest. Additionally, when you want to enable optional Active Directory features, the msDS-Behavior-Version attribute is referenced to see whether it's a permittable action.

When a new Active Directory domain is added to an Active Directory forest, the available DFLs for the domain are shown, based on the msDS-Behavior-Version attribute for the forest too.

If there is a domain running a DFL that does not meet the requirements of a certain FFL, the level is grayed out in Active Directory Domains and Trusts and the level cannot be raised to this level. When you try to raise the FFL using Windows PowerShell or other programmatic means, it will error out.