If you want to use a remote MDB, the database client SQL Server must be installed on the same computer where you install CA SDM.
We need Client tools on standby server, background server and app servers in Advanced Availability mode. If Conventional mode, we need Client Tools on Primary server.
NB: We need command line utilities when installing or configuring the server (pdm_configure).
What is required by Service Management installer in a SQL Server 2014 or SQL Server 2016 environment ?
Service Desk Manager 14.x or 17.x Windows with SQL Server 2014 or 2016
We need Client tools and Management tools (for command line utilities).
If you don't want to install those components, you may use the
Microsoft® ODBC Driver 13.1 for SQL Server
Microsoft® Command Line Utilities 13.1 for SQL Server®