System Administration

Adaz – Automatically Deploy Customizable Active Directory Labs In Azure

Adaz - Automatically Deploy Customizable Active Directory Labs In Azure

[sc name=”ad_1″]

This project allows you to easily spin up Active Directory labs in Azure with domain-joined workstations, Windows Event Forwarding, Kibana, and Sysmon using Terraform/Ansible.

It exposes a high-level configuration file for your domain to allow you to customize users, groups and workstations.

dns_name: hunter.lab
dc_name: DC-1
username: hunter
password: MyAdDomain!
organizational_units: {}

- username: christophe
- username: dany
- dn: CN=Hunters,CN=Users
members: [christophe]
username: localadmin
password: Localadmin!
- name: XTOF-WKS
local_admins: [christophe]
- name: DANY-WKS
local_admins: [dany]
enable_windows_firewall: yes


  • Windows Event Forwarding pre-configured
  • Audit policies pre-configured
  • Sysmon installed
  • Logs centralized in an Elasticsearch instance which can easily be queried from the Kibana UI
  • Domain easily configurable via YAML configuration file

Here’s an incomplete and biaised comparison with DetectionLab:

Adaz DetectionLab
Public cloud support Azure AWS, Azure (beta)
Expected time to spin up a lab 15-20 minutes 25 minutes
Log management & querying Elasticsearch+Kibana Splunk Enterprise
Audit policies
YAML domain configuration file
Multiple Windows 10 workstations support
VirtualBox/VMWare support
osquery / fleet


Powershell transcript logging


IDS logs




  • Detection engineering: Having access to clean lab with a standard is a great way to understand what traces common attacks and lateral movement techniques leave behind.
  • Learning Active Directory: I often have the need to test GPOs or various AD features (AppLocker, LAPS…). Having a disposable lab is a must for this.





Getting started


  • An Azure subscription. You can create one for free and you get $200 of credits for the first 30 days. Note that this type of subscription has a limit of 4 vCPUs per region, which still allows you to run 1 domain controller and 2 workstations (with the default lab configuration).
  • A SSH key in ~/.ssh/
  • Terraform >= 0.12
  • Azure CLI
  • You must be logged in to your Azure account by running az login. Yu can use az account list to confirm you have access to your Azure subscription


  • Clone this repository
git clone
  • Create a virtual env and install Ansible dependencies
# Note: the virtual env needs to be in ansible/venv
python3 -m venv ansible/venv 
source ansible/venv/bin/activate
pip install -r ansible/requirements.txt
  • Initialize Terraform
cd terraform
terraform init


Optionally edit domain.yml according to your needs (reference here), then run:

terraform apply

Resource creation and provisioning takes 15-20 minutes. Once finished, you will have an output similar to:

dc_public_ip =
kibana_url =
what_next =
###  WHAT NEXT?  ###
Check out your logs in Kibana:
RDP to your domain controller:
xfreerdp /v: /u:hunter.labhunter '/p:Hunt3r123.' +clipboard /cert-ignore
RDP to a workstation:
xfreerdp /v: /u:localadmin '/p:Localadmin!' +clipboard /cert-ignore
workstations_public_ips = {
"DANY-WKS" = ""
"XTOF-WKS" = ""

Don’t worry if during the provisioning you see a few messages looking like FAILED - RETRYING: List Kibana index templates (xx retries left)

By default, resources are deployed in the West Europe region under a resource group ad-hunting-lab. You can control the region with a Terraform variable:

terraform apply -var 'region=East US 2'



I will heavily rely on the number of thumbs up votes you will leave on feature-proposal issues for the next features!

Suggestions and bugs

Feel free to open an issue or to tweet @christophetd.

[sc name=”ad-in-article”]