Preparing a computer to be a Certificate Authority (CA)

The first step in configuring the environment is to identify a computer to be the Certificate Authority server for the Active Directory forest. This computer must be connected to a network with a server that has Windows Server 2008 (or later) Domain Name Service installed, and it must be joined to the Active Directory domain. In most cases, the computer designated to be the CA should not be a domain controller in a live production environment. To configure the computer as a Certificate Authority, you must install Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) and Certificate Services.

Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) are required to handle Certificate Revocation List (CRL) requests made by the authentication service and to provide the virtual directories required to issue and manage certificates.

Certificate Services are required to enable the computer to act as a Certificate Authority (CA) and issue certificates to other computers that join the domain. The Application server role, which installs IIS, and the Certificate Services server role must be on the same computer. Therefore Centrify recommends that you install IIS at the same time you install Certificate Services.