Practical Desired State Configuration (DSC)

Desired State Configuration is the future of administering Windows servers. This course will teach you how to get started using DSC by providing you with practical real world examples of DSC in action.
Course info
Rating
(24)
Level
Advanced
Updated
Aug 10, 2016
Duration
3h 1m
Table of contents
Course Overview
Introduction and Lab Setup
Using Custom Resources in Your Configurations
Securing DSC: Credentials
Securing DSC: The Pull Server
Building and Administering Active Directory with DSC
Setting up Windows Event Forwarding with DSC
Description
Course info
Rating
(24)
Level
Advanced
Updated
Aug 10, 2016
Duration
3h 1m
Description

The way you are expected to manage and administer Windows servers is changing. In this course, Practical Desired State Configuration (DSC), you'll learn how to use Desired State Configuration by applying it to several real-world scenarios. First, you'll learn how to expand DSC beyond its built-in resources by learning about custom DSC resources. Next, you'll learn how to secure DSC. Then, you'll learn how to build and administer Active Directory with DSC. Lastly, you'll learn how to set up and configure Windows Event forwarding with DSC. When you've finished this course, you'll have the skills and knowledge required to securely bring DSC into your environments.

About the author
About the author

Josh Duffney is an IT Professional turned PowerShell Developer who is fascinated by all things DevOps and automation. He is a Pluralsight author, speaker, blogger, technical writer, and an automation engineer.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Course Overview
Hi, I'm Josh Duffney, and welcome to my course Practical Desired State Configuration. If you haven't already noticed, the way that you manage Windows Server is radically changing. It has shifted from point click GUI tools to defining your infrastructure as code. Desired State Configuration is the future of managing and administering Windows Server. In this course, you'll learn how to apply DCS to real world scenarios. You start off by learning how to expand DSC beyond its built-in resources. Next you learn how to secure DSC followed by two real world examples of using DSC, building and administering Active Directory and setting up Windows Event Forwarding with DSC. By the end of this course, you will have the skills and knowledge necessary to start using DSC in your environments. Before beginning the course, you should be familiar with Windows PowerShell and have some fundamental knowledge of what Desired State Configuration is and how to write DSC configurations. Join me in saying goodbye to server build checklists and hello to DSC configurations that define the instate of your infrastructure.

Introduction and Lab Setup
Hello, and welcome to Practical Desired State Configuration. My name is Josh Duffney, and in this course you will learn how to apply DSC to several real world scenarios. The intent behind this is to provide you practical examples of how you can apply DSC in your environments. Before we begin, let's take a quick look at the prerequisites for his course. First and foremost, intermediate knowledge of PowerShell and PowerShell syntax is going to be required for this course. Without that knowledge, it's going to be rather difficult to follow along. If you haven't already, I highly recommend that you complete the Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration Fundamentals course, as well as the Advanced Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration course. Many of the concepts that you learn throughout those two courses are used throughout this course. Having that advanced knowledge of DSC will greatly help you throughout this course; however, the only true requirement for this course is the intermediate knowledge of PowerShell.

Securing DSC: Credentials
Welcome to Securing DSC: Credentials. In this module, you will learn how to secure the credentials stored within your DSC configurations. You will also learn how to stand up a public key infrastructure using Active Directory Certificate Services. This will allow us to deploy certificates to our machines, and then use those certificates to encrypt the credentials in our DSC configurations. So why secure DSC configurations? Before I show you the answer to that question, let me ask you one. Would you for any reason store your password clear text in a text file and then copy it out to hundreds if not thousands of machines? Hopefully the answer to that question is no. And that's why you want to secure your DSC configurations because you're basically doing just that. When the configuration runs, when it is not using your certificate to encrypt the credentials within that DSC configuration, it generates a MOF file that contains the username and password that you specified in the configurations. So you are basically, not basically, literally copying your credentials out to every system that you apply DSC to, which is obviously very, very bad. Now that we have an understanding of why it is so important to secure these credentials on our configurations, let's take a look at the places that these MOF files could reside that potentially have our passwords and usernames stored in them.

Building and Administering Active Directory with DSC
Welcome to Building and Administering Active Directory with DSC. In this module, you will learn how to build Active Directory domains, how to promote domain controllers within that domain, as well as how to create Active Directory objects such as organizational units, users, groups, and computers all with Desired State Configuration. So why use DSC to build and administer Active Directory? This was the very first thought that I had when I saw that there was a DSC resource for Active Directory. I've been an Active Directory admin for years, and I can count on one hand the number of times I've needed to create a new Active Directory domain in my production environments. With that said, I have a confession to make. For a good portion of my career, I've testing all of my code in production. There has never been an excuse for this, but with DSC there's even less of an excuse. While this module will teach you how to create Active Directory objects into promote domain controllers, the main takeaway I hope you get from this module is how you can take the knowledge you've gained here to stop testing your code in production and use it to build Active Directory test environments.