Provides a brief introduction to the Windows
PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) feature.
DSC is a management platform in Windows PowerShell.
It enables the deployment and management of configuration data
for software services and the environment on which these services run.
DSC provides a set of Windows PowerShell language extensions,
new cmdlets, and resources that you can use to declaratively specify
how you want the state of your software environment to be configured.
DSC is introduced in Windows PowerShell 4.0.
For detailed information about DSC, see
"Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration" in the TechNet Library at
To use DSC to configure your environment, first define a Windows
PowerShell script block using the Configuration keyword, followed by an
identifier, which is in turn followed by the pair of curly braces delimiting
the block. Inside the configuration block you can define node blocks that
specify the desired configuration state for each node (computer) in the
environment. A node block starts with the Node keyword, followed by the name
of the target computer, which can be a variable. After the computer name, come
the curly braces that delimit the node block. Inside the node block, you can
define resource blocks to configure specific resources. A resource block starts
with the type name of the resource, followed by the identifier you want to
specify for that block, followed by the curly braces that delimit the block,
as shown in the following example.
# Parameters are optional
param ($MachineName, $WebsiteFilePath)
# A Configuration block can have one or more Node blocks
# Next, specify one or more resource blocks
# WindowsFeature is one of the resources you can use in a Node block
# This example ensures the Web Server (IIS) role is installed
# To ensure that the role is not installed, set Ensure to "Absent"
Ensure = "Present"
Name = "Web-Server" # Use the Name property from Get-WindowsFeature
# You can use the File resource to create files and folders
# "WebDirectory" is the name you want to use to refer to this instance
Ensure = "Present" # You can also set Ensure to "Absent"
Type = "Directory" # Default is "File"
Recurse = $true
SourcePath = $WebsiteFilePath
DestinationPath = "C:\inetpub\wwwroot"
# Ensure that the IIS block is successfully run first before
# configuring this resource
Requires = "[WindowsFeature]IIS" # Use Requires for dependencies
To create a configuration, invoke the Configuration block the same way you would
invoke a Windows PowerShell function, passing in any expected parameters you may
have defined (two in the example above). For example, in this case:
MyWebConfig -MachineName "TestMachine" -WebsiteFilePath "\filesrv\WebFiles" `
-OutputPath "C:\Windows\system32 emp" # OutputPath is optional
This generates a MOF file per node at the path you specify. These MOF files specify
the desired configuration for each node. Next, use the following cmdlet to parse the
configuration MOF files, send each node its corresponding configuration, and enact
Start-DscConfiguration -Verbose -Wait -Path "C:\Windows\system32 emp"
USING DSC TO MAINTAIN CONFIGURATION STATE
With DSC, configuration is idempotent. This means that if you use DSC to enact the
same configuration more than once, the resulting configuration state will always
be the same. Because of this, if you suspect that any nodes in your environment
may have drifted from the desired state of configuration, you can enact the same
DSC configuration again to bring them back to the desired state. You do not need
to modify the configuration script to address only those resources whose state has
drifted from the desired state.
The following example shows how you can verify whether the actual state of
configuration on a given node has drifted from the last DSC configuration enacted
on the node. In this example we are checking the configuration of the local computer.
$session = New-CimSession -ComputerName "localhost"
Test-DscConfiguration -CimSession $session
BUILT-IN DSC RESOURCES
DSC provides the following set of built-in resources that you can use in a
configuration script: Registry, Script, Archive, File, WindowsFeature, Package,
Environment, Group, User, Log, Service, and WindowsProcess. The example above
demonstrates how to use the File and WindowsFeature resources. To see all the
properties that you can use with a given resource, place the cursor on the resource
keyword (for example, File) within your configuration script in the Windows PowerShell
ISE, hold down CTRL, and press the SPACEBAR.
"Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration"