...building hybrid clouds that can support any device from anywhere
In this post, I want to provide an overview of the “PowerShell Deployment Toolkit”, or PDT. PDT is a set of scripts and knowledge that can be used to deploy… well, probably just about anything, but the samples we provide are for deployment of System Center 2012 SP1. There’s nothing to stop someone from modifying the XML files provided with PDT to deploy something else, but that’s not to say that would be the correct way to deploy other technologies.
Of course, System Center itself provides ways to deploy software or even complete services. Software distribution has been a core capability of Configuration Manager ever since I’ve been working with it – at least 17 years – and it’s certainly true that Configuration Manager has a very sophisticated and reliable way to distribute software to vast numbers of geographically distributed devices. Virtual Machine Manager includes a capability called Service Templates that allows for complete services to be deployed, including the virtualization resources to support those services. Service Templates also allow for servicing of those services.
PDT is absolutely not intended to replace any of those capabilities. Rather, PDT is intended to help solve the chicken and egg problem – I need System Center for all of those advanced software and service deployment capabilities, but without System Center already in place how do I deploy System Center? Internally at Microsoft, with every milestone during development – CTP, Beta, RC, RTM – we rebuild the SCDemo environment to allow our field to learn the new capabilities we are delivering. PDT is the automation we use to do those rebuilds very quickly – usually in 2-4 hours. Yes, just 2-4 hours to deploy all of System Center including SQL and all prerequisites in a highly available configuration including all of the automatable post-setup integration. We want to provide you with the same efficiency.
It is going to take a whole series of posts to explain all of the capabilities of PDT, so I’ll start in this post with a simple overview and sample deployment. PDT requires that the servers that System Center will be deployed to are already running, members of an Active Directory domain, and you have administrator permissions to those servers. They can be physical or virtual, and can even be on any virtualization platform – PDT doesn’t care. They just need to be running Windows Server – and in most cases, that can be either Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2008 R2. The only exceptions to this are that the server for the Virtual Machine Manager Management server must be Windows Server 2012, and the server for the Service Manager SharePoint Web Parts server must be Windows Server 2008 R2. You will also need all the software to be used in the deployment – System Center components, SQL Server, and prerequisite software – downloaded and available in a specific folder structure. Getting that part right is the subject of another post.
PDT is posted to the TechNet Gallery here.
PDT consists of 5 files:
The only one of these files that you should modify is Variable.xml – the sample provided in the initial PDT post in the TechNet Gallery deploys a minimal installation of System Center 2012 SP1 with a single server per component (three for Service Manager), exactly the same way that Unified Installer did for System Center 2012, but with additional roles and integration completed.
Those of you brave enough to try this at this point, just edit Variable.xml replacing the “Variable” entries with appropriate values for your environment, and the “Role” entries with appropriate server names, then run Installer.ps1. If there are roles you don’t want to deploy, just delete those entries from the “Roles” section.
Later posts in this blog will go into detail about how PDT works and how to customize it for your deployment needs.
Sorry if this is a duplicate...
Am I the only one having problems with the Deployment Toolkit?
Over the past week, I have only been able to successfully deploy Orchestrator, Operations Manager, Configuration Manager, and Data Protection Manager. Mostly it has been an exercise in frustration (thank goodness for virtual machines).
There are a number of errors reported in the various log files for the failing components, but it is unclear to me which are significant.
Again, the validation passes with 100% success.
Mark - if you want to email me, I'm happy to work through the issues with you. There's almost always a good explanation - validation does not catch every possible installation error. My email address is in the scripts.
Is there a plan to update this for R2? If I replaced the bits in the SytemCenterSP1 folders with R2 bits would this still work or would I need to further edit the scripts?
Latest PDT (that supports 2012 R2) is here: gallery.technet.microsoft.com/PowerShell-Deployment-822d44c7
It even supports the creation of your Active Directory!
Just to follow up on the problems I was having back in July...
First, thanks to Rob for his assistance sorting things out. Second, the issues I was having were the result of two separate problems.
The first problem was having "special" characters in the password being used for the various accounts. This caused no end of grief. My using *only* alphanumeric characters this problem was solved.
The second problem was the result of service that were supposed to automatically start not starting. In other words, a service's properties indicated it should start when the system was booted, but it did not start; and there was nothing in the error log to indicate why it did not start. (BTW, I have also seen this happen with the POP service used by Exchange.)
The solution to the second problem was to start the services and then re-run the PDT installer. This allowed it to pick up where it left off, and eventually everything was successfully deployed.
I've been asked to set up system for turning out racks of servers (that are never going to connect to the internet), part of which uses the PDT. I started it off before I went home yesterday and came in to find it still running and apparently waiting to install the ReportViewer component/waiting for confirmation of it.
Any suggestions on how to find out where the problem is?
Simon - check the troubleshooting PDT blog post for details on where the logs are - they should help you determine where it is stuck.
I get this error and I can't find any faut
Validating (ActiveDirectory)... Validating role security principals...
System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager security principals
Principal: SystemCenter2012R2DataProtectionManagerAdminGroup... Failed
SERVICES\DPMAdmins is not a valid security principal