Many of you know that I am a huge believer in Integrated management/DevOps. I’m huge into automated remediaton and processing. There are numerous third party tools available that assist in detecting and logging changes to IT systems. Freqently these tools are complex, expensive and incomplete. Though these products serve an important purpose oftentimes they add overhead to organizations if these IT shops aren’t organized or disciplined. Configuration management tools are best used to ensure compliance with regulatory entities as well as ensuring that systems meet operational requirements.
Recently Microsoft introduced a free configuration management platform that is intended to become a universal foundation for systems management. Microsoft Desired State Configuration (DSC) is a Powershell-based system that can manage Windows and Linux systems. Soon there will be third-party support for other platforms such as OS X, Dell Force10, Cisco, etc. This free tool is maturing rapidly.
You can either configure once and leave alone, configure once and log when a configuration deviation occurs OR you can configure and auto-remediate. Tools such as TripWire don’t offer integrated remediation.
With DSC you can choose to either “Push” or “Pull” configurations. Operationally, I prefer pull since I can use it to build newly provisioned systems based on criteria. There is little additional overhead since these tools are built into modern Windows instances. All we are doing is utilizing these tools.
If you want to know more about DSC I recommend watching this very educational MVA series
Get ready to lab along with the series since there are several moving parts that are net-new to most IT Ops techs.
I hope that you learn something useful and can apply this to simplify your environment.