Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration Service
Published: June 24, 2013
Updated: October 17, 2013
Applies To: Windows PowerShell 4.0
Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) makes it possible to set up a server as a central configuration server. You can store the configurations of the computers (also known as nodes) in your environment on this server. The server can store the custom DSC resources that the target nodes need for their configuration. This functionality is useful in environments where there are a large number of target nodes to configure, and where you want your target nodes to get the right configuration as they come online, and to check periodically for configuration updates. It is also possible to have a mixed environment where some target nodes are configured to use the pull mode while other nodes use the push mode. The latter is the default, and it requires you to push configuration updates to the target nodes that need them.
You can set up a server with central configurations by adding the Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration Service, which is one of the Windows PowerShell features. For information about the ways you can add a server feature, see Install or Uninstall Roles, Role Services, or Features.
After you set up a server with DSC, you can configure the target nodes in such a way that they periodically check the server for configuration changes. At the intervals that you specify, target nodes check the configuration that is set for them on the server. If the configuration that is specified on the server differs from a node’s current configuration, the node also checks to see whether the new configuration requires DSC resources that are not currently present on the node. If so, it downloads the missing resources from the server. For information about the configuration settings you must specify on a target node, see Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration Local Configuration Manager.