Using External Certificate for RemoteApps in .Local Domain
Recently did some Tier 3 support work for another technology company that was trying to setup a Windows Server 2016 RemoteApps server in Azure that would allow connectivity to remote users for their on-premise software. The process started with creating a VPN tunnel between on-premise and Azure, but that is a discussion for a future set of blog posts. Once this connection was in place, the company tried to use an external certificate for RemoteApps setup on the server. This would have been fine if the internal domain had not been a “.local” address scheme. This tutorial assumes that you have already installed Remote Desktop Services on a server and configured it to use the CA provided external certificate.
Change Remote Computer Name
One of the main sticking points that caused issues with security warnings for clients connecting is they would see the warning – “The remote computer could not be authenticated due to problems with its security certificate.” The fix for this has been graciously scripted in PowerShell by someone with the handle “TP” on Technet. The script is called Set-RDPublihedName.ps1 and is used as follows:
Proper Active Directory Group
There were then issues with the login process that caused the following error:
Remote Desktop can’t connect to the remote computer “<End Resource Name>” for one of these reasons:
1) Your user account is not authorized to access the RD Gateway “<RD Gateway Server Name>”
2) Your computer is not authorized to access the RD Gateway “<RD Gateway Server Name>”
3) You are using an incompatible authentication method (for example, the RD Gateway might be expecting a smart card but you provided a password)
This was coupled with Security Log messages – “The Network Policy Server was unable to connect to a domain controller in the domain where the account is located. Because of this, authentication and authorization for the RADIUS request could not be performed.” All this turned out to be the RD Gateway was not in the proper Active Directory Group, so added the server to the RAS and IAS Servers group.
Add URL to IIS
There was then an error about not being able to find the computer name, which turned out to be a setting in IIS. Looking under Sites > Default Web Site > RDWeb > Pages click on Application Settings and change the DefaultTSGateway to the URL of the CA external certificate for RemoteApps.
Fixing RS CAP & RAP
Last error that was received was the following:
Remote Desktop can’t connect to the remote computer “computername” for one of these reasons:
1) Your user account is not listed in the RD Gateway’s permission list
2) You might have specified the remote computer in NetBIOS format (for example, computer1), but the RD Gateway is expecting an FQDN or IP address format (for example computer1.fabrikam.com or 184.108.40.206).
This turned out to be related to the RD Client Access Policy (CAP) & Remote Access Policy (RAP) under the RD Gateway Manager tool and DNS. For RD CAP, make sure that Domain Users is listed, and that Client Computer Group membership is blank. FTor RD RAP, make sure that Domain Users is listed, and that it is set to allow connection to Any Network Resource (This allows remote access). For DNS, make sure it contains a Forward Lookup Zone that points to the URL of the CA external certificate for RemoteApps and has an A record for the internal IP address of the RD server.
If your company is currently moving some of your resources to the Azure cloud or wanting to properly setup your RemoteApps server, then contact us for assistance.