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DSC Desired State Configuration

Keeping servers in a known configuration state can be a challenge in any environment. With multiple administrators and the opportunity to change settings comes the ability to potentially disable any feature or function on a server. PowerShell 4.0 introduces automated configuration management in the form of Desired State Configuration. DSC uses script-based configuration files that you create using PowerShell ISE. These are converted into MOF files that are used to set or check the configuration of a server using the Start-DscConfiguration cmdlet.

Create configuration scripts An extension to the PowerShell language 
 Use PowerShell language and cmdlets to create and deploy configurations Create and manage server configuration files
A local configuration manager does the heavy lifting Ensures servers are always configured the way you need

Prevent server configuration “drift” Separate configuration from implementation “Continuous” server deployment Manage servers on-site or in a cloud Leverage your existing PowerShell skills

Desired State Configuration (DSC) is the last major component of the Monad Manifesto which brought us Windows PowerShell. DSC will change the way you manage your datacenter. Instead of managing a server, you will manage its configuration. DSC is known as a “make it so” technology. You will define a desired server configuration and the server will make it happen. This session will provide an overview to DSC


The main difference between these above two Images, is that they show that DSC supports both pushing configuration to sets of nodes from a central point, as well as having those nodes pull configuration on a periodic basis, from a central point, called the Pull Server. This ability to support both push and pull deployment of configuration is extremely useful, and something that Group Policy has always lacked. Group Policy provides a pull-only model of configuration distribution, making it ill suited to environment where you absolutely need to know that configuration changes arrived at their destination at a specific time, and succeeded. Managing configuration in Server environments is a perfect example of this kind of deterministic requirement. Conversely, pull is a great mechanism for transient machines, such as machines in the cloud or mobile clients coming on and off the network. Pull distribution is also ultimately more scalable since pulls can be staggered across many thousands of machines, just as Group Policy works today. The Pull Server itself is simply a web-based endpoint that you can deploy as a feature on any Windows Server running the Windows Management Framework 4.0. It appears as a feature when you configure a server using, for example, Server Manager, under the Windows PowerShell section.

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