For me, the most exiting thing to have come out of Microsoft’s TechEd this year is the new PowerShell v4 feature called Desired State Configuration (DSC). Being able to deploy countless servers, and be assured that they all will have exactly the products you want installed, the way you want them installed, as soon as you want them installed — all with a few lines of scripting code — is priceless. I know it’s been a couple months now since it was announced, but if you’re anything like me, you’re just really digging in to the Server 2012 R2 features as you get spare time… and the power of these new features really start to sink in…
If you want to add a server configured like all the rest? You add a line in an input file. You want to add a product to hundreds of servers or change a configuration item? You add a few lines in what is effectively a PowerShell function. I just can’t help but think how PowerShell has come sooooo far in making a farm of Windows servers as easy as managing a farm of Linux servers has always been the shell and shell tools, or with certain management tools like Puppet and others! And the Puppet and Chef folks are on board too, as their products start to make best use of these new capabilities.
For all the info you need to get started (if you haven’t already), make sure to check out the TechEd session, “Desired State Configuration in Windows Server 2012 R2 PowerShell”:
…And also catch up on the PowerShell.org blog announcement. Then, go download the Server 2012 R2 bits and get going!