A few months back, I wrote an introductory article on Desired State Configuration (DSC) with PowerShell 4.0 and Windows Server 2012 R2 …

Why R2? Automated Server Self-Provisioning and Remediation with Desired State Configuration (DSC) in PowerShell 4.0

Windows Server 2012 R2 includes a new version of the PowerShell scripting language, PowerShell 4.0. One of the most interesting new features in PowerShell 4.0 is Desired State Configuration (DSC).  DSC is a declarative management system inside Windows PowerShell 4.0 that enables servers to self-provision themselves during initial deployment and also self-remediate their configuration if it should fall out of compliance with their assigned “desired state”.

DO IT: Click HERE to read this Step-by-Step introduction if you missed it …

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In this article, I’ll provide an introduction to a new PowerShell DSC Resource Kit that has recently been released with support for 14 new DSC resources …

What’s new in DSC?

Since my original DSC article, our PowerShell team has been busy at-work with extending the available resources that can be leveraged with Desired State Configuration past the original core set of resources. Recently, the team released an updated PowerShell DSC Resource Kit that includes 14 additional resource modules for using DSC to easily configure and interact with:

  • Active Directory domains, domain controllers and user accounts.
  • Computer node names and workgroup/domain names
  • Networking settings, such as IP addresses and DNS server addresses
  • System security settings, such as User Account Control, IE Enhanced Security and Windows Firewall rules
  • Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) components, including Session Collections and Remote Apps.
  • SMB shared folders
  • Windows Server Failover Clustering
  • Hyper-V virtual machines, virtual hard disks and virtual switches
  • SQL Server instance, database and high availability settings
  • IIS Websites, Application Pools and Virtual Directories
  • DSC diagnostic logs
  • Creating and testing DSC resources via a new DSC Resource Designer
  • Configuring a DSC “Pull Server

Get started with the new PowerShell DSC Resource Kit!

You can download the new PowerShell DSC Resource Kit on TechNet, along with a sample of a DSC configuration using these new resources, at the link location below.

You’ll also need a running instance of Windows Server 2012 R2 to try out all the new resources in your lab – and, we provide a couple options that make it super-easy to get this up and running quickly in your lab …

In future articles, I'll provide additional sample DSC configurations that leverage the other new resources that have been added with this new PowerShell DSC Resource Kit.

What are your plans for DSC?

Do you have particular plans or a unique idea for leveraging Desired State Configuration in your environment? Be sure to share your questions, comments and feedback below!

-Keith