Handling Plain Text Credentials in PowerShell DSC

Many resources for Desired State Configuration require credentials to successfully execute the specified task. For example, if you are copying files or directories using the file resource, the Local Configuration Manager needs appropriate credentials to access the source location. This is a crucial requirements when the configuration is applied on a workgroup host and the source location is inaccessible by the system account. In this post, I will explain how to use credentials in the configuration.

Useful Resources to Teach Yourself PowerShell DSC

When learning about DSC you will likely read dozens of articles and try to make sense of them. I will give you a head start and point you to the most helpful articles that I have used in the past.

Injecting PowerShell DSC Meta and Node Configurations

In large environments, you will need to automate the meta configuration necessary to kick off the local configuration manager. Microsoft has published a lengthy article about injecting a meta as well as a node configuration into VMs and VHDs. I will present a such easier method fully integrated and supported by the LCM. This article only describes which location can be used to inject MOFs.

Are You Separating Configuration and Environment Data in PowerShell DSC? You Should!

I have invested quite some time into learning about PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC). After reading many posts about DSC, I am still missing a comprehensive example that discusses working with configuration data. I will present two variants of the same example to demonstrate how parameters can be passed to a DSC configuration. In addition I will provide some thoughts about advantages and disadvantages of both methods. The content is closely related to separating configuration and environment data.

Upgrading XenApp/XenDesktop 7.5 to 7.6 may fail when using SQL Mirroring

When you are using SQL Server Mirroring to implement high availability for the XenApp database, you may see that a site upgrade fails while moving from XenApp 7.5 to 7.6.

Displaying RDS Event Log Messages with PowerShell

When you are tracing issues in Remote Desktop Services (RDS), you will have to look for events across several event logs. This makes it very hard to bring the individual events in the appropriate order to analyze the issue at hand.

Setting up a Desired State Configuration Pull Server with Non-English Locales

When I started working with Desired State Configuration (DSC), I decided to use a pull server because I do not want to touch every machine. Configuring a pull server is a one time configuration identical on all machines. Unfortunately, I stumbled across a problem with my German locale which required fixing in the DSC module responsible for setting up the pull server in IIS.

Minimal Permissions for RunAs Account When Integrating vCenter in VMM

For System Center Virtual Machine Manager to manage vCenter and connected ESXi hosts it requires an account with appropriate permissions in vCenter. Unfortunately, Microsoft states that an administrative user is required without enumerating the exact permissions necessary for integrating vCenter in VMM. Still VMM offers very detailed error messages mentioning the exact permission required to complete the given task. I have endured some pains to determine a very reduced set of permissions. Although this must still be considered work in progress, the result offers more security than using a full administrator.

The Case of the Limited Status of ESX Hosts in VMM

When adding an VMware ESX host to System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), it may show a status called “OK (Limited)”. Although it looks like an error, the issue can be left unresolved depending on your requirements. Let me elaborate …

Fifth Time MVP for Remote Desktop Services

I am honored and proud to announce that I have been awarded the Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Remote Desktop Services (RDS). This has been the fifth time in a row!