Provisioning Services 7 and Server 2012 Group Managed Service Account

Citrix released Provisioning Services version 7 (PVS7) with support for running on Microsoft Windows Server 2012.  Server 2012 has a really nice new feature called Group Managed Service  Accounts (gMSA).  Even though Citrix had to test installing PVS7 on Server 2012, I found out that Citrix never tested using gMSA for the Stream or SOAP services.  This article is my attempt to see if PVS7 will allow the use of a gMSA for the Stream and SOAP services.

I have absolutely no idea if PVS7 running on Server 2012 will work with a gMSA or not.  Citrix says it should work but the articles I have read from Microsoft make it seem like the application must be written to support and work with gMSA.  You will find out the same time I do whether this experiment will work.

To get more information on gMSA, please read this TechNet article.

There are three requirements to use a gMSA:

  1. At least one Windows Server 2012 Domain Controller.
  2. A Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8 computer with the ActiveDirectory PowerShell module, to create/manage the gMSA.
  3. A Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8 domain member to run/use the gMSA.

I installed a Server 2012 Domain Controller into my lab environment and I will use it to create and manage the gMSA.

Step 1: Create the Key Distribution Services (KDS) Root Key

The KDS Root Key is used by the KDS service on domain controller to generate passwords.  On my Server 2012 Domain Controller, I will run from an elevated PowerShell session:

Add-KDSRootKey –EffectiveImmediately

Figure 1

Figure 1

The TechNet article says the key can take up to 10 hours to replicate and take effect.  Since I only have one Server 2012 domain controller and only two domain controllers in my lab, I am not worried about the replication time.  By the way, it took almost one hour in my lab before the key was usable!

Step 2: Create and configure the gMSA

I am going to create a Security Group containing my two PVS7 servers.  This security group will contain the computer accounts allowed to use the gMSA.

Figure 2

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 3

Figure004

Next, my two PVS7 servers need to be restarted to know they were added to the security group.

From the elevated PowerShell session on my Server 2012 domain controller, I run:

New-ADServiceAccount –Name PVS7StreamSOAP –DNSHostName PVS7StreamSOAP.websterslab.com –PrincipalsAllowedToRetrieveManagedPassword “PVS7gMSAGroup”

Note: The Name is a NetBIOS name that must not be more than 15 characters.

Figure 5

Figure 5

The gMSA now appears in the Managed Service Accounts OU in Active Directory Users and Computers.

Figure 6

Figure 6

Step3: Configure the gMSA on the PVS7 host

Note: The following requires the Active Directory module for Windows PowerShell be installed on the PVS7 host.  It can be uninstalled after the test is successful.

From an elevated PowerShell session on the PVS7 server, I will run the following two cmdlets:

Install-AdServiceAccount PVS7StreamSOAP

Test-AdServiceAccount PVS7StreamSOAP

Figure 7

Figure 7

The Test-AdServiceAccount should return True.  If it returns False, a verbose error message should be included.

Now for the time of truth.  Is this going to work in PVS7 or not.  Start the Provisioning Services Configuration Wizard and go to the User account screen.  The TechNet article says the trick is to use a “$” after the gMSA and leave the password blank.

Figure 8

Figure 8

Let’s see what happens when I click Next?????

What do you know, it let me continue, but we are not done yet.

Figure 8

Figure 8

DOH!!!  I guess PVS7 will NOT work with Server 2012’s Group Managed service Accounts after all!  Total Bummer.

Figure 10

Figure 10

Figure 11

Figure 11

Figure 12

Figure 12

Citrix should fix this pronto.  Actually, this should have been in PVS7 from the initial design for Server 2012 support.  gMSA offers several features that would be very useful in a PVS implementation.  Too bad Citrix doesn’t support gMSA at this time.  I hope this gets fixed fast.

Thanks

Webster

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About Carl Webster

Webster is a Sr. Solutions Architect for Choice Solutions, LLC and specializes in Citrix, Active Directory and Technical Documentation. Webster has been working with Citrix products for many years starting with Multi-User OS/2 in 1990.

View all posts by Carl Webster

2 Responses to “Provisioning Services 7 and Server 2012 Group Managed Service Account”

  1. Lars Says:

    Hi Carl,

    since this article is indeed already a bit older, I would like to know if you’ve looked at the issue again.

    Best regards,

    Lars

    Reply

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