You will no longer have service accounts with static passwords that are not changed on a regular basis. There are no configuration steps necessary to implement MSA and gMSA using Server Manager or the Install-WindowsFeature cmdlet. Both account types are ones where the account password is managed by the Domain Controller. Virtual Accounts, as discussed in Part One, are local computer accounts which must use the domain computer account if they need to reach out and access network resources.. The Managed Service Accounts in Windows2008R2 offered two distinct features. You will not see any output from the command when the root key does not exist: I will now create the KDS Root Key by running Add-KdsRootKey -EffectiveImmediately on my root domain using Windows PowerShell: The output result is a Guid value which indicates command completed successfully. By providing a gMSA solution, services can be configured for the new gMSA principal and the password management is handled by Windows. To determine if the root key exists I run Get-KdsRootKey in my forest root domain and child domain using Windows PowerShell. This would normally involve changing the password in Active Directory and then updating the individual services with the new password to ensure continuation of services. If you are using Windows Server 2012 domain controllers, then you will need to ha… The accounts cannot be used to log onto any servers and can only run services as intended. This is first introduced with windows server 2012. With MSA no one needs to set up the account password or even know it, the entire password management process Is … To facilitate the one-to-many relationship between gMSA and computers this is achieved via the following process: 1. Password management requires no administration overhead as password management is handled automatically using Windows Server 2012 and later versions across multiple hosts. This makes the solution easier to manage since there is no user interaction required to cycle the password on a regular basis. Currently, gMSA is supported: As a data collecting account for the following data sources: Active Directory (also for Group Policy and Logon Activity), Windows Server, File Server (currently for Windows File Servers), SQL Server, SharePoint. Group Managed service accounts provides the same functionalities as managed service accounts but its extend its capabilities to host group levels. What is a gMSA? I use the same command that I used to view the properties of the first account, ensuring I specify the SamAccountName to display the correct account: Get-ADServiceAccount testacc02 -Properties * | FL DNSHostName,KerberosEncryptionType,ManagedPasswordIntervalInDays,Name,PrincipalsAllowedToRetrieveManagedPassword,SamAccountName. The creation will fail if non-existing computer names are specified. This prevents password generation before all Domain Controllers are capable of answering the password requests. Read the post here. gMSAs are not applicable to Windows operating systems prior to Windows Server 2012. The command I use is as follows: Get-ADServiceAccount gmsa-test01 -Properties * | FL DNSHostName,KerberosEncryptionType,ManagedPasswordIntervalInDays,Name,PrincipalsAllowedToRetrieveManagedPassword,SamAccountName. The following table provides links to additional resources related to Managed Service Accounts and group Managed Service Accounts. The SamAccountName attribute defaults to the Name attribute that we specified during creation. GMSA accounts were created to allow a distributed application a secure method of running under the same user context in Windows. Using a gMSA, services or service administrators do not need to manage password synchronization between service instances. Managed group service accounts are stored in the managed service account container of the active directory. I will now update the first gMSA account by modifying the computers that can use the gMSA and also updating the KerberosEncryptionType value. I haven’t found any detailed documents in regards to cross-domain usage of a gMSA account and have not been able to test in different scenarious. In the below example I used Windows PowerShell to view the root key in my child domain and the output did not display the root key. The Managed Service Accounts (MSA) was initially used in Windows Server 2008 R2 to automatically manage (change) passwords of service accounts. The root key only needs to be created once, thus if there are already gMSA accounts in the domain, then there is no need to create the root key. For this reason, AES should always be explicitly configured for MSAs. Once the KDS Root Key is ready for use then you can create group managed service accounts. These are not accounts which can be used to login to a machine, or connect remotely to one via WMI, etc. The group Managed Service Account solves limitation problems because the account password is managed by Windows Server 2012 domain controllers and can be retrieved by multiple Windows Server 2012 systems. Group Managed Service Accounts (gMSAs) provide a higher security option for non-interactive applications/services/processes/tasks that run automatically but need a security credential. When connecting to a service hosted on a server farm, such as Network Load Balanced solution, the authentication protocols supporting mutual authentication require that all instances of the services use the same principal. These keys are periodically changed. A Key Distribution Services (KDS) root key is needed to support password generation for gMSAs. The group Managed Service Account (gMSA) provides the same functionality within the domain but also extends that functionality over multiple servers. Opting to use gMSA instead of a normal service account wherever possible eliminates the need to manage the passwords for these accounts. Domain Controllers require a root key to generate the password for gMSA accounts. Managed Service Accounts Documentation for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, Managed Service Accounts in Active Directory, Getting Started with Group Managed Service Accounts, Managed Service Accounts in Active Directory Domain Services, Managed Service Accounts: Understanding, Implementing, Best Practices, and Troubleshooting, Active Directory Domain Services Overview. The first step to using them is to extend your Active Directory Schema, which is not covered here. This ensure the service account is only used for it’s intended purpose of running a service. 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