Virtual Machine Manager 2016: Installation of ’ agent in Windows Server 2016 (Server Core)

This article contains the steps that are required in order to install the Virtual machine Manager Agent via push 2016 on a Windows server 2016 installed in Server Core mode, that is certainly the most common installation option for Hyper-V systems.

Let's start with the specified that during the installation of Windows Server 2016 the wizard asks you to choose one of the following options:

  • Windows Server 2016 that equates all installation ’ Server Core. This is the recommended server installation mode less than special needs which require the use of the user interface or the graphical tools of management as it requires less disk space usage, reduces the potential attack surface and reduces l ’ management effort. This installation mode is not present in the standard user interface (“Server Graphical Shell”) and to manage the server you must use the command line, Windows PowerShell or you can do it from a remote system.
  • Windows Server (Server with the Desktop Experience) that corresponds to an equivalent version ’ Full of Windows Server 2012 R2 with installed the feature “Desktop Experience”.

Unlike previous versions of Windows Server there is the possibility of converting a Server Core installation to a Server installation with the Desktop Experience or vice versa, the only possibility of conversion is to perform a new installation of the operating system.

In Windows Server 2016 You can also use the Nano Server mode (for owners of the Datacenter Edition) for having a footprint further reduced. For more information about Nano Server I invite you to consult the following articles Windows Server 2016: Introduction to Nano Servers and Windows Server 2016: Use Nano Server Image Builder.

Trying to push install VMM agent 2016 on a default installation of Windows Server 2016 (Server Core) you will receive the following error message because it is necessary to make a number of preliminary tasks:

Figure 1 – VMM error 2016 on default installation of WS2016

By checking the details of the error you are directed towards a series of checks that should be carried out and that require different corrective actions.

  1. Ensure ' Host ' is online and not blocked by a firewall.

The first point is obvious and requires that the system is online and that there is no firewall blocking the communication systems from the VMM server.

  1. Ensure that file and printer sharing is enabled on ‘Host’ and it not blocked by a firewall.

Using the following command you can check that by default the firewall rule ‘File and Printer Sharing (Echo Request – ICMPv4-In)’ non è abilitata. Nell’immagine seguente è riportato il comando necessario per consentire questo tipo di traffico in ingresso:

Figure 2 – Gestione regola del firewall ‘File and Printer Sharing (Echo Request – ICMPv4-In)

  1. Ensure that WMI is enabled on ‘Host’ and it not blocked by a firewall.

Similar situation also regarding the firewall rule to allow traffic Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) inbound, default is inactive and you must enable the feature:

Figure 3 – Gestione regola del firewall ‘Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI-In)

  1. Ensure that there is sufficient free space on the system volume.

Of course you need to make sure that on the system volume there is enough disk space for the installation of the VMM agent that requires a few dozen MB.

  1. Verify that the ADMIN $ share on ' Host ' exists. If the ADMIN $ share does not exist, restart ' Host ' and then try the operation again.

During the first phase of push installation of the VMM agent is done copying the setup share ADMIN $ remote server. Windows Server 2016 installed in server core mode is devoid of the File Server role:

Figure 4 – Check for File Server role

By default there is instead the feature to support the SMB Protocol v 1.0 / CIFS which in this case can safely be removed as unnecessary.

To allow access to this share ADMIN $ You then add the File Server role by using the following Powershell command:

Figure 5 – File Server role installation and removal feature for SMB support v 1.0 / CIFS

Terminate these operations you can install the VMM agent push 2016 on a default installation of Windows Server 2016 (Server Core):

Figure 6 – Job of the VMM agent installation successfully completed



In Windows Server 2016 installed in Server Core mode task as simple as the VMM agent push installation 2016 require a careful and timely system setup, Despite this I believe this installation mode is the preferred choice in most deployment of Hyper-V.

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