DSC, the right tool for…

So I just got back from the very first European PowerShell Summit, Just one word to describe it… AWESOME!!!

We had a DSC (Desired State Configuration) hackathon Monday evening of the  Summit. It was just really cool interacting with Lee Holmes ,Steve Murawski, Don Jones & Richard Siddaway.

The main take away from the Summit is that DSC is going to change how we design, deploy and administer Infrastructures, in the cloud or private. DSC was THE recurring theme every day of the Summit.

Now as a PowerShell enthusiast you could easily get carried away with DSC. While I do understand and appreciate the added value DSC will give us, it’s not a wildcard for every problem/issue in your Infrastructure… Yet! :-).

“if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”

So I asked Richard Siddaway what his take on DSC is. Richard’s advice is simple: “Make sure you understand and use the right tool for the right job”. I couldn’t agree more!

DSC is the next step in the evolution of IT Administration. DSC is also going to thin out the IT admin crowd considerably. The “click generation” admins is coming to an end.

When you think DSC, think of Infrastructure components that need to stay the same indefinitely. Routers & Switches? Definitely!!! Web Server / Citrix / Hyper-V farms ? Oh yeah!!!
Now I’m all excited, what’s next (I got my hammer ready!!!)?

Basically anything you can or want to configure on a system/component/node, you can do so with DSC, but should you?

Let’s consider something as trivial as getting an IP address. With DSC you could deploy NIC configurations right? No more dynamic IP Addresses, it’s static all the way!!! Sure you could do that, but would you want to? Of course not. Having said that, DSC is really interesting when it comes to DHCP Server Options, Scopes & Reservations. How often do you redesign your network? Not very often I hope… Here’s where DSC will shine.

When it comes to configuring anything ask yourself: “will this state stay so indefinitely?” If the answer is yes then you should be thinking of DSC.

It’s good to embrace new technology as DSC, just don’t throw the old out yet. Every new version of PowerShell is an improvement on the former and one day it will be the only tool you’ll ever need. But until that time “Make sure use the right tool for the right job…”




PS. Be sure to get a copy of the DSC Resource Book at powershell.org. It’ll give you a better understanding about DSC and how to get started… It’s something you need to learn!


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