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Load Balancing Microsoft ADFS

Microsoft ADFS provides simplified, secured identity federation and Web single sign-on (SSO) capabilities for end users who need access to applications within an AD FS secured enterprise, in federation partner organizations, or in the cloud. AD FS is a Web Service that authenticates users against Active Directory and provides them access to claims-aware applications. These applications are typically used through the client’s web browser. The applications can be on-premises, off-premises, or even hosted by other companies.

The load balancer is deployed in front of the Federation Servers and Federation Proxy Servers to provide load balancing and fail–over functionality. Clients then connect to a Virtual Service (VIP) on the load balancer rather than connecting directly to the AD FS servers. These connections are then load balanced between the associated Federation Servers to distribute the load according to the load balancing algorithm selected.

Here’s an example deployment architecture:

Please refer to our Load Balancing ADFS Deployment Guide for further information on load balancing ADFS 2 and load balancing ADFS 3.

Useful Links:

ADFS Deep Dive
Understanding Key AD FS Concepts
Claims-based Authentication: Internal Access
Claims-based Authentication: External Access
Federated Web SSO Example
Hardware Load Balancer Health Checks
Load balancing the ADFS farm

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