What Can I Configure Using Desired State Configuration?

Posted on February 3, 2014 by Damian Flynn in System Center with

As we continue to investigate Desired State Configuration, you may be wondering what you can do with DSC. In short, quite a lot. But the true potential lies in the ability to extend the reach of the tool. Today I’ll go over what you can configure with Desired State Configuration, the resources offered, and we’ll combine these to create a configuration which we can then apply to our nodes to put them in a desired state.

Editor’s note: Need to catch up? Check out our previous articles in this series:

Desired State Configuration and Resource Providers

With the initial release of DSC, Microsoft have included in the package a number of Resource Providers, which define some of the settings which can be managed by the system. Each Resource Provider has a specific purpose, with 12 of these available to be used in our configurations. One of these, the Script provider, allows us to extend the reach of our configuration even further through some simple PowerShell commands:

Resource Name Description
Log Resource to enable easy posting of messages to Logs
Environment Manage environmental variables on the system
Registry Manipulate the local registry settings of the node
File Manipulates files and directories
Archive Unpacks an archive file (.zip) to a specified location.
Package Install and Manage packages, including .MSI and .EXE
Service Change the configuration of services
Process Manage processes on the node
WindowsFeature Manage Windows Roles and Features
Group Manage and Update Local Computer Groups
User Manage and Update Local Computer User Accounts
Script Execute a Windows PowerShell script block – extending the abilities


Using a Provider

To get a better understanding of what each of the providers enables us to configure, we will take a closer look at a simple example for each of the different providers, which we can then leverage to help us generate our initial configuration.













Combining the Resources

With a good idea of what we can do, and with the resources offered for our use, all we need to do now is combine these to create a configuration that we can then apply to our nodes and put them in a desired state.

As a quick and simple example:

There you have it! Join me for the next installment in this series, in which I show you how to create a Desired State Configuration.


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