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Domain Controller Prep

The Frame platform supports the ability for your workload VMs to join your on-premises or cloud-based Microsoft Active Directory (AD) environment. To use the Domain Join feature, the workload VMs must have network access to your domain controllers.

Supported Deployment Models and Systems

There are a few architectural models to use for connecting your Frame workloads to your AD environment:

  1. If your workloads are in one of the supported public cloud infrastructures, your domain controllers (DCs) can be located in the public cloud or on-premises.

    • If the DCs are on-premises, then an always-on connection from the workload VMs in the public cloud to your on-premises DCs is required. This can be accomplished through a site-to-site VPN, direct connection, or SD-WAN connection. You must bring your own AWS, Azure, or GCP cloud account to establish these types of private network connections since these network connections are setup within the public cloud provider's console. A software client VPN on the workload VMs that require users to authenticate to your on-premises firewall will not satisfy the networking requirements for domain-joined instances.

    • If the DCs are in the public cloud, then you can configure a route from your workload VMs to your DCs. This is typically done with a peering connection between the VPC/VNET containing your workload VMs and the VPC/VNET containing your Domain Controllers.

  2. If your workloads are on Nutanix AHV in your on-premises network, then make sure that the workload VMs can route from the workload VLAN to your domain controllers.

In the above architectural models, you will need to configure your networking and firewall rules to enable all ports and protocols corresponding to Active Directory traffic. Such a list can be found online in Microsoft documentation. Please read through this guide thoroughly before beginning the process of connecting your AD environment with your Frame workloads.


  • Organizational Unit (OU) should not have spaces in it (e.g., FrameAzure1, not Frame Azure 1).
  • Service account must own the OU using “Delegate control."
  • Service Account must be in UPN format (e.g.,

Best Practices

  • Customers are responsible for tracking their service account password expiration date and updating the new password in the Domain Settings for the Frame account before the password expires. If the service account password expires, the Frame account publish will fail since the workload VMs will be unable to join to the domain. Alternatively, customers can configure their service account password to not expire.

  • During installation and initial configuration, inheritance should be blocked on the Frame OUs. When making policy changes, Nutanix recommends customers create a Development/Staging account to test your policies (in a separate OU) before implementing the policies in the OU for the Production Frame accounts.

  • As a best practice, Frame does not recommend restricting remote RPC connections to the Windows Security Account Manager (SAM) on a domain controller to Administrators only. Doing so may introduce issues with renaming computer objects in Active Directory. Delegated rights to the service account will be ignored if this policy is configured.

Domain Controller Preparation Procedure

  1. Log into your domain controller and open up “Active Directory Users and Computers."

  2. Navigate to the “Computers" Organizational Unit (OU), right-click and select “Create a New OU". We recommend that you give this OU a unique name that will help you identify the Frame account that it is tied to. In this example, we have named the OU Frame-DJI-Test.

New OU

  1. In our example, we created a new OU for Frame. Inside of that OU, we created another sub OU with the account name we will be using. This is strongly recommended to prevent confusion for situations where multiple Frame accounts are joined to the same domain.

Sub OU

Create Service Account

  1. Next, we will create a service account to manage the necessary Frame resources. To start this process, we will need to add a new user. It is recommended you create this user where your organization keeps other service accounts. In our example, we will add them directly into the “Users" OU by right-clicking “Users". Select “New" and click “User."

New User

  1. Add the necessary information to help you identify what this service account will be used for. Click "Next."

New Object - User

  1. Set the desired password for the service account. If your organization allows it, it is recommended to set your service account password to "never expire." Make sure to uncheck "User must change password at next logon" and click "Next" and then "Finish."

Set Password

Service Account Password Requirements

The service account password must contain 16 characters, with at least one character out of each category:

  • Uppercase characters A-Z (Latin alphabet)
  • Lowercase characters a-z (Latin alphabet)
  • Digits 0-9
  • Special characters (!, #, %, etc.)

Characters allowed:

  • A – Z
  • a - z
  • 0 – 9
  • @ # % ^ & \ - _ ! + = [ ] { } | : ‘ , . ? / ` ~ ( ) ; < >

Characters NOT allowed:

  • blank space
  • \ backslash
  • $ symbol
  • " (double quotes)
  • Unicode characters

If the service account password expires, the account will not function until the password is updated. The updated password will then need to be set in the Frame Dashboard as well. If an admin attempts to publish from their Frame account with expired domain join credentials, the publish will fail.

  1. Right-click on the newly-created OU and select “Delegate Control…" to open the Delegation of Control Wizard.

Delegate Control

  1. Select your Frame service account.

Service Account

  1. On the "Tasks to Delegate" page, select “Create a custom task to delegate" and click “Next."

Custom Task

  1. On the “Active Directory Object Type” page, select “Only the following objects in this folder” and check “Computer objects.” Then, check “Create selected objects in this folder” and “Delete selected objects in this folder” as shown below.

Object Type


The "Delete selected objects in this folder" checkbox must be checked in order for Frame to be able to automatically clean up stale computer objects from your domain.

  1. On the “Permissions” page of the wizard, with the “General” toggle checked, select both “Change password” and “Reset password.” Complete the wizard by clicking “Next” and then “Finish.”


In some circumstances, you may wish to create separate Frame Service accounts for each OU for greater security, scalability, or convenience. This is also supported. To do so, create a Frame service account for each OU and delegate the same permissions as above.


We recommend setting Loopback Processing Mode on the Frame OU to 'Replace' to help ensure unnecessary and potentially conflicting GPOs (applied to users) are not applied inadvertently. Since your organization may have specific security lockdowns and GPOs, you will need to work with our Support or Solutions Architect teams to ensure that these GPOs do no cause adverse effects to the Frame environment.

Obtain OU Details

Now we will obtain the necessary OU information needed to integrate with Frame. You will be entering this information into your Dashboard in later steps.

  1. In your “Active Directory Users and Computers” console, make sure that “Advanced Features” is checked as shown below. This will enable us to easily retrieve the needed information.

Advanced Features

  1. Next, right-click on the OU and select “Properties.”


  1. Under the “Attribute Editor” tab, double-click “distinguishedName.”

Attribute Editor

  1. Copy this attribute's value to your clipboard and have it ready, as we will need it in order to add your Frame account to your domain in the next guide.

Attribute Editor

Additional Networking, Firewall, and Routing Considerations

As mentioned at the start of this guide, you will need to ensure that all applicable Active Directory ports and protocols are open along this new network path. More information can be found in Microsoft's official documentation.