This is one of the most interesting cases ,I worked on recently , So I thought of sharing that with all to provide different angles to a problem we usually work and troubleshoot for resolution. This case was opened with a description as explained in the title i.e. DA clients were not able to connect to the internal network through UAG DA server and we had a mysterious warning about "A client certificate was not provided".

Interesting part is, that lot of other third party consultants had already worked with customer,  Lot of troubleshooting had happened before it came to me. They had changed CA(Certificate Authority) and its Chain, as well client and UAG certificates multiple times, still DA clients would not connect to the internal network through UAG DA server. Another important fact , customer had native IPv6 on his internal network.


Troubleshooting Approach 

I started with basics ,Since we were getting warning about certificate,  checked the certificates on the client and the UAG server and found them correct , then checked the Main mode Security Associations using command netsh advfirewall monitor show mmsa  I found that we did not have Security Association for the corpnet tunnel. I found SA with ComputeCcert and UserNTLM but I could not find SA with Computerkerb and UserKerb.

Example of  output of the command from my own client machine

netsh advfirewall monitor show mmsa

Note : I have removed some personal details from following example

Main Mode SA at 08/11/2012 04:05:17

Auth1:                                ComputerCert
Auth2:                                UserCert
Cookie Pair:                          xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Main Mode SA at 08/11/2012 04:05:17
Auth1:                                ComputerKerb
Auth2:                                UserKerb
Cookie Pair:                          xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

My first suspicion was on the Kerberos tickets, as they are critical for this SA (Security Association) to happen. Question was, is the client machine able to get it from the internal domain controllers or not? So i used my favourite tool, Network monitor and captured network traffic, on the internal NIC of the UAG DA server and Domain controller, while restarting IP helper service on the DA Client machine, as client would try to initiate the Main Mode SAs and would also try to get Kerberos tickets from domain controller through UAG DA server.

Then in the network monitor traces i found that the Client’s requests was forwarded by the UAG DA server, to the domain controller i.e. Syn frame, to initiate the TCP handshake,  but we were not getting any Syn Ack, Back from the domain controller i.e. Domain controller was not answering to UAG DA server back.

When I looked at the Network traces, on the domain controller , I found the root cause of the problem. In the traces on the Domain controller , I found that when domain controller gets the Syn frame from the UAG DA server. It sends the Syn Ack Back,  not to UAG DA server but to another device, When I looked at the Mac address in the network captures for that device , I found that device was another firewall. After looking at that asked customer to check the default gateway on the domain controller and he informed that it was his firewall. I explained him that we need to route this request coming from UAG DA server back through same route, in which it came. We then put a route on domain controller that would route the requests coming from UAG DA server back same route.





This resulted in successful SA establishment of Corpnet access as well. DA clients were able to connect to the internal network as expected.

One simple learning, from this scenario, As discussed before ,Customer was trying to get this issue resolved for a long time , along with some brilliant folks and they checked almost every aspect of the UAG DA deployment. But their focus was coming back to the certificate warning repeatedly,they believed it was somehow  behind this issue.

In such scenarios we can go back to basics and make sure all parts of the chain are connected together.  Never forget the Networking basics and use our best friend Network monitor , It tells you almost everything , Well  at application level, if traffic is encrypted you may not see anything e.g. IPSEC traffic But at network layer level lot of things can be understood.

One of the quotes from Einstein “Doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results”  can inspire us to think differently in similar scenarios.