Part V – Introducing the FoxDeploy DSC Designer

IntroToDsc

This post is part of the Learning DSC Series here on FoxDeploy.com. To see the other articles, click the banner above!


For years now, people have been asking for a DSC GUI tool. Most prominently me, I’ve been asking for it for a longggg time!

My main problem with DSC today is that there is no tooling out there to help me easily click through creating my DSC Configurations, other than a text editor. For a while there, I was hoping that one of the tools like Chef or Puppet would provide the UX I wanted, to click my way through making a DSC Configuration for my machines…but after checking them out, I didn’t find anything to do what I wanted.

So I made my own.

imaage base layer designed Designed by Freepik

Release Version 1.0

Get it here on GitHub!  

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DSC vs. GPO vs. SCCM, the case for each.

This is the showdown, guys. In the world of Windows tooling, which tool do we use?

In this post, we’ll cover the general benefits and pros and cons of SCCM vs DSC, and also consider GPO and MDT as well.

Plenty of people have offered their take on this, including my sempai, Declarative Configuration trailblazer and King Chef of the Realm Steven Murawski. I completely respect his opinion on the matter and encourage you to read it.  Murawski – DSC Which Direction Should we Go?.

My view differs slightly from my peers in that my background is in Enterprise Client Management, and I’ve been deploying SCCM since 2011 for customers into the tens of thousands of desktops and servers.

However, I also love to code, so maybe my perspective will help the concepts gel for you.

In my mind, this debate is not really about which tool is the one-true king to use in all cases, but rather about highlighting the strengths of each and noting when they should be used.  I’ll also describe how you deploy operating systems using each product as well.

It’s all about the evolution of tooling

First the Earth cooled, then we got GPO

For all practical purposes, the first true large scale management tool we had for Windows systems in the modern era was Group Policy, or GPO as it is commonly truncated.  This stemmed from Local Security Policy, which is a fancy GUI to control system settings via special registry keys which are locked down from general user editing. Local Security Policy could be shared among systems in a Workgroup which was a big improvement from setting the same configuration on each system.
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Part IV – DSC – One-Click Domain Controller

IntroToDsc

This post is part of the Learning PowerShell DSC Series, here on FoxDeploy. Click the banner to return to the series jump page!


Hey guys, I haven’t forgotten about you, but it’s been a very busy month here, with me traveling to Redmond ( Microsoft HQ! I have to post a pic!) for some exciting Microsoft meetings and then back and forth to Minneapolis for a new client!

2015-06-02 13.48.56

I didn’t know what to do with my hands in this picture.


I’ve been receiving your messages and have now released the final step in this one-click Domain controller DSC Build. To recap, we left off with a DSC Config that would make our machine a domain controller, but that was it. Continue reading

Part III – DSC – Making our Domain Controller

IntroToDsc

So, it seems that I bit off a huge chunk here in making this a good walk-through, so in this section, we’ll be working again on our configuration from last week and, make this even better.

The Completed Script

What? We’re starting off with the full script?

Yep, I want you guys to have the working code from the beginning, and we’ll work through what we have to add to make this configuration our one-stop-shop for building a testlab. Continue reading

Part II – DSC – Joining our user to the Local Administrators Group

IntroToDsc

This three part series is going to be about twenty parts at the rate I keep forgetting things.

We left off in our last episode with creating our local user, we’ll build on last week’s config by adding our user to the admin group, to kick things off.

By now the process should be familiar:

  • Run Get-DSCResource to see which configuration items are available
  • Be lazy and run Get-DscResource Group | select -expand Properties | Select -expand Name | ForEach { “$_=`”`”” } to get our copy-paste output of the items we need to configure for that resource
  • Copy and paste this into our Configuration Block, below our previous item

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