"Inventory" existing server for DSC?

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of KevinC KevinC 1 year, 5 months ago.

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  • #20454
    Profile photo of Ryan Young
    Ryan Young
    Participant

    Hey guys,

    So I'm in a perdicament. I'm new in the company I work for, and they have a project to migrate a cloud based server to an in house one. I can't seem to get any straight answers from anyone about the existing server in the cloud other than "Herp a derp, don't install anything new this is production!". Compounding things is we really only have an RDP access to this (to my knowledge).

    Anyway, TLDR:

    I wanna take a current configuration inventory of an existing server running 2012/r2 in a format that is "DSC friendly", so that I can take these DSC configurations and 'clone' them to a test server locally. Again, I do not know with confidence all the nuances of the production server, I am rather hoping that there's a way to leverage DSC to just pull that information for me? Does anyone have an existing script that they can use to take an existing production machine, scan its config and export it to a DSC friendly format?

    Thanks for any input/advice!

  • #20455
    Profile photo of Don Jones
    Don Jones
    Keymaster

    DSC doesn't have a "pull the entire current configuration and document it" feature – and likely never will, given the massive complexity and scale of such a thing. Think about it – "scan it's config" is a huge task. You'd have to dump the entire registry, and all permissions. Every file's permissions. Every service. Every process. The configuration of every piece of running software. It'd be impractical in the extreme, unfortunately – you're talking literally billions of pieces of data.

    Now.. if you want something less than "everything," it might become more practical... but it'll depend on what YOU want. DSC isn't the way to "scan" it, though. DSC is about putting something into a particular state and keeping it that way, less about "discovering" the current state. No doubt there'd be a use for tools that did discovery – but I don't expect MS to produce them.

  • #20456
    Profile photo of Dave Wyatt
    Dave Wyatt
    Moderator

    I haven't personally used the product yet, but this "conversion to Configuration Management" story is what ScriptRock's GuardRail product is supposed to help with. I suspect there are other ready-made solutions out there that could fill the same niche; that's just the one that came to mind first.

  • #20457
    Profile photo of Ryan Young
    Ryan Young
    Participant

    Thanks for the very fast answers/responses. I haven't worked with DSC yet, only really studied it on CBT nuggets and passed my 70-410 exam so I have the 'theory' of it. I thought I'd put the question out there on the idea of "discovery" given the infinite possibilities of powershell, I guessed that "someone" must have already done it haha.

    DSC looks like a great utility for someone starting from scratch. But if I was a consultant with limited time trying to come in and take something existing and push it to something new and shiny the lack of 'discovery' is a downside.

    Being more clear about my actual needs, the target servers are webservers, need to duplicate their roles and existing config (inetpub, other websites, etc are in X DIRECTORY). I haven't even truthfully been given access to this yet/time to poke around in it yet and identify what goes where. I really was just hoping a genius out there had covered the discovery aspect.

    Hope 'discovery' as it's been put becomes a thing at some point, however unlikely that MS would put it out.

  • #21208
    Profile photo of Edwin Ashdown
    Edwin Ashdown
    Participant

    I have built a Powershell DSC Query application, the minimal viable product queries all the features\roles, all the installed packages, all the websites (attributes, bindings, state).
    It is currently alpha and i will be extending it to be able to add custom query's and report on them.

    IF your interested a screen cast is here http://youtu.be/ck8UEOwTRt0

  • #26404
    Profile photo of KevinC
    KevinC
    Participant

    Hi,

    I may be too late to be helpful, but I created an app to convert an existing IIS configuration to DSC.

    https://github.com/kevinsea/dsc-generator

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