Getting started with Azure Desired State Configuration

Automation is a key element for any undertaking that desires to stay its servers’ fleet constant and arranged during their lifecycle. Companies the usage of Microsoft Azure can benefit from PowerShell Desired State Configuration, which is a declarative platform in response to PowerShell the usage of IaC (Infrastructure as a Code), and it’s in the similar class of extra well known configuration gear corresponding to Puppet and Chef.

There are a number of benefits when opting for Desired State Configuration (DSC) as the primary device for the Infrastructure as a Code on your group. Here are one of the vital key pieces:

  • It is in response to PowerShell and it makes use of a declarative platform, this means that much less code than conventional PowerShell scripts.
  • It is supported via Microsoft running methods (since Windows Server 2008 R2).
  • It is supported on Linux, together with all main distributions (Red Hat, SUSE, Oracle, Debian, CentOS, and Ubuntu Server).
  • Azure automation supplies all of the construction blocks for Desired State Configuration. Basically, you simply wish to create/import the configuration and assign it to the VMs.
  • It works with Azure VMs, on-premises serves, and different cloud compute assets.
  • Using Azure DSC we have now the pull mode.

There are two tactics to configure Desired State Configuration the usage of push and pull. Using push, the motion begins from the buyer, which mechanically applies the configuration. When the usage of Azure automation DSC, we have now a pull structure, the place the buyer is controlled from a central location (pull server).

Each DSC node has an LCM (native configuration supervisor), and this carrier is answerable for associating the node with the pull server, refreshing settings, and so on.

Creating an automation account

The first step towards a Desired State Configuration is developing an automation account. There are a few learn how to create such an account the place we will deploy simply the automation account. In different eventualities we will benefit from OMS and use the similar procedure to create alternate monitoring and replace control (for Windows and Linux).

In this newsletter, we will be able to stay it simple; we’re going to create a easy automation account. Let’s get started: Logged directly to the Azure Portal, click on Create a Resource, sort in Automation and make a choice the primary access this is equipped via Microsoft A brand new blade will seem at the proper aspect. Click on Create.

Note: You can use the similar automation account later to combine with OMS.

The introduction procedure is simple. Define a reputation (we will be able to use a useful resource team referred to as RG-OMS) to retailer that automation account and a area. Click on Create when able.

By default, two authentication entries are created mechanically: Run As and Classic Run As account, they usually create the desired permission to control ARM (Azure Resource Manager) assets the usage of runbooks. Keep in thoughts that automation accounts are used for a number of elements, corresponding to DSC, stock, replace control, alternate monitoring, and runbooks.

Desired State Configuration

Having the automation account created, the cloud administrator can take a look at all existent accounts the usage of automation accounts in Azure Portal (Item 1 within the symbol under). Inside of every automation account, we will be able to have 4 pieces designated to control the Desired State Configuration, which can be DSC nodes, DSC configurations, DSC configurations gallery and DSC node configurations.

Desired State Configuration

Managing Desired State Configuration and DSC nodes

Although the good judgment says to begin via defining some nodes for DSC, the right kind manner is first defining the DSC configurations. Click on DSC configurations, and click on on browse gallery. A listing of all existent DSC to be had at the neighborhood might be indexed. We are going to choose WindowsIISServerConfig from the listing.

A brand new blade with the code might be displayed. Pay consideration to the yellow sq. — this is all this is wanted on DSC to put in the internet server function on a Windows Server. The following segment defines some explicit settings of the web page. Click on import to carry this DSC configuration to our automation account. A brand new blade containing the identify and a box to offer an outline will seem. Click on OK.

Desired State Configuration

Click on DSC configurations merchandise, and the DSC configuration that we have got simply imported might be indexed. Click on it, and click on on collect, and at the discussion field, click on on sure.

Note: That is our first configuration and there aren’t nodes in the environment. However, if the present configuration is in use via nodes and we collect adjustments, the ones adjustments will have an effect on the nodes.

Desired State Configuration

The procedure would possibly take a couple of moments relying at the measurement of the configuration report. Before going additional, ensure that the method is flawless. In our instance under, we will see an error when loading a module referred to as xWebAdministration. That is not unusual when the usage of DSC configuration from the gallery.

Desired State Configuration

We put in a DSC configuration, which calls for a module that we shouldn’t have in our automation account. In order to put in a brand new module, return to the automation account, and click on on modules gallery, sort within the module being loaded within the DSC configuration, and import it.

Note: If you will have a customized module, you’ll click on on modules and cargo the report for the module manually.

Desired State Configuration

After putting in the desired modules, return to the DSC configuration merchandise and collect once more the DSC configuration. When you get the standing finished, then we will take a look at the DSC node configurations merchandise and we will be able to have a node configuration for that exact DSC configuration.

Desired State Configuration

Managing DSC nodes

After including the DSC configuration and compiling the DSC node configuration, our ultimate step is to affiliate the DSC node configurations to the VMs.

To affiliate a VM, click on on DSC nodes, then click on on Add Azure VM. In the brand new blade, make a choice the specified VM (Item 1), within the subsequent blade click on on attach (Item 2), and within the ultimate blade make a choice the DSC configuration node that we generated within the ultimate step. Click OK.

Desired State Configuration

Wait for the method so as to add the brand new server As a part of the method an extension might be added to the chosen VM.

In the listing of DSC nodes, we will be able to have a listing of all DSC nodes and their standing. In the picture under, we will see that the server ucboxdns01 is compliant, this means that that each one settings that we outlined within the DSC configuration have been carried out and are in position on that present server.

Desired State Configuration

If we would like extra main points, click on at the desired node and detailed knowledge can also be validated. When settling on one of the crucial stories (left aspect) the record presentations main points corresponding to which subcomponent is in compliance (in our case we have now IIS function, web page settings. and app swimming pools settings).

Desired State Configuration

If we take a look at the servers that experience that DSC node assigned, they’ll have IIS put in and the settings that we outlined within the DSC configuration.

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