Using Group-Managed Service Accounts With SQL Server

Wayne Sheffield has a post on using gMSA with SQL Server:

A gMSA is a sMSA [standalone managed service account] that can be used across multiple devices, and where the Active Directory (AD) controls the password. PowerShell is used to configure a gMSA on the AD. The specific computers that it is allowed to be used on is configured using some more PowerShell commands. The AD will automatically update the password for the gMSA at the specified interval – without requiring a restart of the service! Because the AD automatically manages the password, nobody knows what the password is.

Not all services support a gMSA – but SQL Server does. During a SQL Server installation you can specify the gMSA account. The SQL Server Configuration Manager (SSCM) tool can be used to change an existing SQL Server instance to use a gMSA. After entering the gMSA account you simply do not enter a password. The server automatically retrieves the password from the AD.

This is a nice way of improving service account security in a scenario where, for example, you can’t or don’t want to use virtual service accounts.

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