How to Identify Your Azure AD Connect Server

How to locate the Azure AD Connect server

Azure AD Connect is the synchronization service that will make sure your local Active Directory and Office 365 are kept in sync.

Maybe it’s been a while since you installed Azure AD Connect. Or maybe you’ve taken over the administration of someone else’s undocumented mess?

To identify the Azure AD Connect server in your domain run the following PowerShell command:

  1. Get-ADUser -LDAPFilter "(description=*configured to synchronize to tenant*)" -Properties description | % { $_.description.SubString(142, $_.description.IndexOf(" ", 142) - 142)}

(the script requires that the Active Directory PowerShell module is available on your system)

If the Azure AD Connect installation was performed according to defaults the output will be the server name of the Azure AD Connect server, e.g. something like this:

PS C:\> Get-ADUser -LDAPFilter "(description=*configured to synchronize to tenant*)" -Properties description | % { $_.description.SubString(142, $_.description.IndexOf(" ", 142) -142)} DC-01

How Does That Work?

In a default installation your Azure AD Connect server creates an AD synchronization account named “MSOL_[12 hex chars].

This account is configured with a description property similar to this:

Account created by Microsoft Azure Active Directory Connect with installation identifier f501fa0aee0340a0b9c1a93ddc6e7d19 running on computer DC-01 configured to synchronize to tenant This account must have directory replication permissions in the local Active Directory and write permission on certain attributes to enable Hybrid Deployment.

The above PowerShell script simply searches for a description field similar to this and extracts the server name.

For simplicity The PowerShell script assumes the server name appears at char 142. This may change in the future.


Easy Administration of Office 365

If you don’t enjoy the experience of doing Office 365 administration you’re part of a large group of Windows administrators:

  • Local user accounts are managed in good old Active Directory Users & Computers
  • Office 365 licenses are managed in the Azure portal
  • Office 365 mailboxes are managed in Azure Exchange Admin Center
  • On-prem Exchange properties are managed on the otherwise useless on-prem Exchange server
  • Certain Office 365 mailbox configurations are only available via PowerShell
  • Azure AD Connect synchronizations are managed in the Azure AD Connect server

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