Install SMA on Server 2016 Core – Step by Step

I’ve been doing some investigation into the different situations you use configuration management vs orchestration recently. A tool I’ve been looking into for orchestrating support processes, common tasks and automating fixes is Service Management Automation (SMA). It is essentially Azure Automation for the private cloud and with everything Microsoft these days, Azure Automation/SMA are of course PowerShell based and PowerShell is pretty much the best.

I’ve always resented having a GUI server OS for infrastructure. So with any new services I’m designing at the moment, I try to get it on Server Core, unless it definitely won’t work.

This was the case with SMA, but I couldn’t find any definite information on whether it was supported on Core, online. By testing it, I found it is and I’ve written this Step-by-step guide to help anyone who tries to do the same. Enjoy! :/


VM Details




As the diagrams outline, you need 3 VMs running Windows 2016, the 2 SMA servers running server core and a Windows Azure Pack machine running Desktop Experience. Once you have those 3 server up and running we can get started. Honestly, I didn’t try getting Azure Pack on core… to be complete, I maybe should have but… meh, I’ll see if I can before production and update the post.


Windows Azure Pack

Required Media:

  • Microsoft Web Platform


  • Open PowerShell as administrator
  • Disable IE Enhanced Security

$AdminKey = "HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{A509B1A7-37EF-4b3f-8CFC-4F3A74704073}"
$UserKey = "HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{A509B1A8-37EF-4b3f-8CFC-4F3A74704073}"
Set-ItemProperty -Path $AdminKey -Name "IsInstalled" -Value 0
Set-ItemProperty -Path $UserKey -Name "IsInstalled" -Value 0
Stop-Process -Name Explorer

  • Install IIS

Install-WindowsFeature  "Web-Server","Web-Asp-Net45","Web-Net-Ext45","Web-ISAPI-Ext","Web-ISAPI-Filter","Web-Performance","Web-Dyn-Compression","Web-Basic-Auth" -IncludeManagementTools

  • Download the latest version of Microsoft Web Platform Installer and install
  • Search for and install Microsoft Azure Pack: Portal and API Express
  • Browse to https://localhost:30101/ which is the configuration page
  • On the Database Server setup page, point it at the local installation of SQL as the express installer includes SQL – Choose SQL authentication and create a passphrase (Keep that safe)



  • SQL Server 2016 Standard media
  • Service account
    • SQL Service account – eg.\SCSMA_svc


  • Open PowerShell as administrator
  • Install SQL


  • Enable remote access:
    • run SQLCmd.exe
    • Run:

EXEC sys.sp_configure N'remote access', N'1'

  • Start Brower Service

sc config SQLBROWSER start= auto
net start SQLBROWSER

  • Add firewall inbound rule

netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name = SQLPort dir = in protocol = tcp action = allow localport = 1433 remoteip = localsubnet profile = DOMAIN

Runbook/Web Service


  • System Center Orchestrator 2016 Media

Once you’ve mounted the Orchestrator Media, cd into the SMA folder and run the following:

msiexec /i PowershellModuleInstaller.msi

msiexec.exe /i WebServiceInstaller.msi /L*v C:\SMAInstall\WebServiceInstaller.log CREATEDATABASE="Yes" SQLSERVER="SMADB01" SQLINSTANCE="SCSMA" DATABASEAUTHENTICATION="Windows" SQLDATABASE="SMA1"

msiexec.exe /i WorkerInstaller.msi /L*v C:\SMAInstall\WorkerInstaller.log SQLSERVER="SMADB01" SQLINSTANCE="SCSMA" DATABASEAUTHENTICATION="Windows" SQLDATABASE="SMA1"

With that installed and setup, all that needs to happen is registering SMA with the azure pack server installed at the start.

With Microsoft putting more and more focus onto headless server infrastructure, learning to be comfortable without a server GUI is definitely a must!

Install SMA on Server 2016 Core – Step by Step

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