Friday 11 December 2015

ADFS Server Farm Join Fails with "ADMIN0011: InvalidRequestFault" & “There was an error doing synchronization. Synchronization of data from the primary federation server to a secondary server did not occur”.

I was recently working on a project with a customer to extend their ADFS server farm to Azure for a passive backup in the event of DR.

When I run the command Add-AdfsFarmNode command ADFS returned an almost programmatic error. The error was “ADMIN0011: InvalidRequestFault” which was not very helpful.

The Event Log’s on the server I was trying to join to the ADFS server farm was logging Event 344 “There was an error doing synchronization. Synchronization of data from the primary federation server to a secondary server did not occur”.

The installation with the Add-AdfsFarmNode fails at 80% at the stage “synchronizing local database”.

The first step was to check the health of the ADFS server farm and to check all the relevant configurations such as SPN’s, DNS etc were configured correctly for an ADFS farm join. The following PowerShell command is handy for checking all these at once;


For some reason the command does not run correctly unless you store the ADFS service account in a variable and then call it from the variable, so to run the command you must enter it like this;

$ADFScred = Get-Credentials
Test-AdfsFarmJoin –ServiceAccountCredential $ADFScred –PrimaryComputerName SERVER

As you can see everything test successfully, one thing that is worth noting here as there is some conflicting information around, the ADFS service account SPN should be set to host/ not http/. The ADFS wizard should automatically sets the SPN for you.

The next stage in my troubleshooting was to enable ADFS logging, by default Verbose logging is not enabled for ADFS as every transaction such as a new claim being issued would be logged. Although this article relates to ADFS 2.0 it is relevant for 3.0 as well.

This particular ADFS infrastructure had a number of custom Relaying Party Trusts configured for home-grown applications. At this stage I had to open a support case with Microsoft.

Although I thought I knew ADFS fairly well, I did learn something new about Relaying Party Trusts. A Relaying Party Trust can only have one policy of each type.

PolicyUsage = 0 "Issuance Transform Rules"  
PolicyUsage = 1 "IssuanceAuthorizationRule"  
PolicyUsage = 2 "Delegation Authorization Rule"  
PolicyUsage = 3 "ImpersonationAuthorizationRules" 
PolicyUsage = 4 "StrongAuthenticationPolicy"

By querying the ADFS (WID) database directly Microsoft was able to identify that there was one of the custom Relying Party Trust had stored two entries for IssuanceAuthorizationRule and Delegation Authorization Rule.

To do this run the following PS command;
$stsWMIObject = (Get-WmiObject -Namespace root\ADFS -Class SecurityTokenService)
$connection = new-object$stsWMIObject.ConfigurationDatabaseConnectionString);

$query = @“
SELECT  [ScopeId], [AdfsConfiguration].[IdentityServerPolicy].[Policies].[PolicyUsage],
FROM [AdfsConfiguration].[IdentityServerPolicy].[ScopePolicies]
INNER JOIN [AdfsConfiguration].[IdentityServerPolicy].[Policies]
ON [AdfsConfiguration].[IdentityServerPolicy].[Policies].[PolicyID] = [AdfsConfiguration].[IdentityServerPolicy].[ScopePolicies].[PolicyID]
ORDER BY [ScopeId],[AdfsConfiguration].[IdentityServerPolicy].[Policies].[PolicyUsage]
$command = $connection.CreateCommand();
$command.CommandText = $query;
$result = $command.ExecuteReader();
$table = new-object “System.Data.DataTable”

Identify the duplicate entries;

Scope ID                                                                                   Policy Usage                      Policy ID
7ae60ee4-d27b-e511-80c7-00505689310d                                          0   cd983eb1-d47b-e511-80c7-00505689310d
7ae60ee4-d27b-e511-80c7-00505689310d                                          1   3a317185-d47b-e511-80c7-00505689310d
7ae60ee4-d27b-e511-80c7-00505689310d                                          1   63dc770a-fc91-e511-80c7-00505689310d
7ae60ee4-d27b-e511-80c7-00505689310d                                          2   64dc770a-fc91-e511-80c7-00505689310d
7ae60ee4-d27b-e511-80c7-00505689310d                                          2   3b317185-d47b-e511-80c7-00505689310d
7ae60ee4-d27b-e511-80c7-00505689310d                                          3   7ee60ee4-d27b-e511-80c7-00505689310d
7ae60ee4-d27b-e511-80c7-00505689310d                                          4   7ce60ee4-d27b-e511-80c7-00505689310d

Match a Scope ID to a Relaying Party Trust to identify which one is giving you problems;

$stsWMIObject = (Get-WmiObject -Namespace root\ADFS -Class SecurityTokenService)
$connection = new-object$stsWMIObject.ConfigurationDatabase
$query = "SELECT * FROM IdentityServerPolicy.ScopeIdentities";
$command = $connection.CreateCommand();
$command.CommandText = $query;
$result = $command.ExecuteReader();
$table = new-object "System.Data.DataTable"

The Scope ID translates to your Relaying Party Trust. Interestingly enough if you opened the Relaying Party Trust from the ADFS GUI the secondary Policy Usage entry was not visible. Luckily in this case the problematic Relaying Trust Trust was only for testing and it could be removed without much of a drama.

Although if you are experiencing this issue with a trust you do require, the following steps can be taken to resolve the problem

1.      Stop the ADFS service

2.       Export the Relying Party Configuration with " Get-AdfsRelyingPartyTrust -Identifier <url identifier> 

(The <url identifier> can be any of the identifiers associated with the "Relying Party Trust" in the "[ScopeIdentities] " table)

Disabling the Relaying Party Trust does not work.

3.       From the Primary Server, remove the Relying Party causing the conflict.

4.       Start the ADFS service and attempt an ADFS farm join.

5.       Sync should work now.

Surprising there is no metadata clean up etc. required for ADFS, once you remove (or remove and then re-add) the trust and the duplicate Policy Usage statements are gone everything should sync properly.