Windows PowerShell DSC Resource Kit Community Edition

During the Christmas holiday the Windows PowerShell team published a holiday gift to the community: The Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration Resource Kit.

The resource kit contains a module with 8 DSC Resources for managing domain membership, websites, Hyper-V VMs, VHDs, switches and so on. The resources is prefixed with “x” – where the “x” stands for experimental, meaning these resources are provided “as is” and are not supported through any Microsoft support program or service. It is also stated that anyone can adapt the resources, but it is suggested to rename them with your own naming convention like Contoso_cWebsite.

The DSC Resource Kit is now published on PowerShell.orgs DSC Repository on GitHub, where the “x” has been renamed to “c” (short for “community”):

Resource

Description

cComputer

Name a computer and add it to a domain/workgroup

cVHD

Create and managed VHDs

cVMHyperV

Create and manage a Hyper-V Virtual Machine

cVMSwitch

Create and manage a Hyper-V Virtual Switch

cDNSServerAddress

Bind a DNS Server address to one or more NIC

cIPAddress

Configure IPAddress (v4 and v6)

cDSCWebService

Configure DSC Service (aka Pull Server)

cWebsite

Deploy and configure a website on IIS

This means anyone in the community now can contribute with bug fixes or additional functionality.

 

Thanks to the PowerShell Team for shipping the DSC Resource Kit! Since the Resource Kit is named “DSC Resource Kit – Wave 1” its also likely to see more releases coming out.

Book recommendation: The Phoenix Project

I just finished reading The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win:

 

The story is about Bill Palmer, an IT Manager at a company called Parts Unlimited. The company is considering outsourcing IT or splitting up the company, due to many failures in operations and projects. The competitors has launched new and innovative services, while Parts Unlimited stays behind and loses customers. The company initiates a new IT project code named The Phoenix Project in order to catch up with the market and save the company. During the book common scenarios in many IT departments everyday life is observed such as much firefighting and not being able to keep up with projects. As often before, internal IT projects which would have mitigated many of the problems is not prioritized. Getting more people is not an option according to the CEO, and would unlikely resolve the issues as we learn during the story. We learn how to think about IT, how cloud computing can be leveraged, as well as the importance of practices like ITIL and interdepartmental communications such as between developers and operations. Many times during the book I thought of how this relates to Windows PowerShell in terms of being able to automate manual repetitive work, as well as having consistent procedures for operations such as deployments. Specifically, technologies such as PowerShell Workflow and Desired State Configuration is coming to mind when Im thinking about how to solve many of the challenges.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who will be working with IT in the coming years, it really is an eye-opener. No matter what your role in IT is, I think you will learn something which can help you and your business going forward.

 

Related links

2014 Winter Scripting Games

The 2014 Winter Scripting Games, beginning in the middle of January, gives you the opportunity to test your Windows PowerShell skills and get feedback from Subject Matter Experts. New this time is the ability to form teams and collaborate on the given challenges, which in practice will simulate a real world scenario where you collaborate with your colleagues.  Each team will need to have at least 2 persons. There will be judges for scoring the events as well as coaches offering comments and advice to the teams. Personally I will be contributing to the games as a coach, which I`m really looking forward to. I will also write articles on my blog giving advice on my observations during the games. If you want to participate, be sure to read the 2014 Winter SG Players Guide.

You can find more information in the following articles over at powershell.org:

 

Also be sure to check the 2014 Scripting Games category every day during the games in order to stay updated on the latest announcements. Alternatively you can subscribe to the RSS feed.

Of course, you could also fetch the RSS feed using Invoke-WebRequest:

$result = Invoke-WebRequest -Uri http://powershell.org/wp/category/announcements/scripting-games/feed
$result.rss.channel.item | Format-Table title,pubdate,link -AutoSize

image

 

For those of you based in Norway I would also be very happy if you would like to join our local MTUG Script Club team for the games, you can find for information here. There will also be a practice event available starting to accept entries on January 6th.

Good luck to everyone and have fun!

2014 Microsoft MVP Award

On January 1st I got an e-mail from Microsoft stating that I am renewed as a PowerShell MVP for another year:

Dear Jan Egil Ring,
Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2014 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in PowerShell technical communities during the past year.

This is the 4th time I receive this award, and I am very honored and privileged to be part of this amazing community. Windows PowerShell 4.0 was released last year as part of Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, with a very broad PowerShell coverage. New features such as Desired State Configuration opens up for even more possibilities. Im looking forward to contribute and interact with the PowerShell community in 2014, as we see that PowerShell and automation in general is becoming more and more important.

Resources

About the MVP Award Program

Windows PowerShell MVP Awardees

Jan Egil Rings MVP Profile