logo-powershellDidn’t make it to TechEd this year? Don’t worry!  This month, we are releasing a new article that highlights the Best of TechEd every workday.  In today’s article I look at Windows Server 2012R2 Desired State Configuration (DSC).

I actually missed the announcement of DSC at TechEd and it wasn’t until I returned home that my good friend and Microsft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Steve Murawski told me about this announcement. Steve is a brilliant Server Admin and also a PowerShell fanatic. I have not seen him this excited about a new technology in Windows Server.  

When Desired State Configuration is run it looks for the server to be configured a certain way. If it is not configured that way it configures it. If the server is already configured that way then it just continues. This is a very powerful tool which can prevent configuration drift. Your server will be configure the way you set and will keep getting set back that way even if someone attempts to change it.

If you manage Windows Servers then you really want the power and simplicity of Desired State Configuration.

The main goals in building DSC were to:

  • Simplify Configuration
  • Prevent Configuration Drift
  • Enable Continuous Deployment
  • Create an ecosystem

If you want to understand more I have two links for you to check out. The first is the session from TechEd 2013 by Jeffrey Snover and Kenneth Hansen. I have the link directly below. The second link is for a hands on lab from TechEd 2013 that has you configure servers using DSC.


Desired State Configuration in Windows Server 2012 R2 PowerShell link:

  • 8:36 – Demo PowerShell Code to Install IIS and Explain the syntax
  • 21:15 – Demo of how it can fix your mistakes –(fixes two webservers in seconds)
  • 26:55 – Demo – per node information and differences
  • 32:30 – Demo expanding to 3 servers from 2 with a simple text edit.
  • 37:40 – Success – 3 Servers now running Smile 
  • 38:45 – How does this work –
  • 42:16 – Eric Winter SCVMM “the Cloud OS Virtual Machine Role” working with DSC
  • 47:25 – Julian Dunn from OpsCode.com
  • 1:07:30 – The Pull Model vs Push Model


Online hands on lab for Desired State Configuration

Enjoy! – Brian