Zipping your DSC Resources

When you are setting up a DSC Pull scenario, you will have to zip your DSC Resources in a correct format and by using proper tooling.

At first you need to zip your primary directory, and you have to give your zip file the correct naming. This should be Resourcename_versionnumber.zip (see screenshot below), and then placed in the “C:\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\DscService\Modules directory”.PSDSC_Pull_Server

Please be aware that even though its ‘just a zip file’ not all programs zip the same way, if you for example use 7zip or winrar you could bump into eventid 4104: Failed to extract the module from zipfile.                                            PSDSC_notpropperlyzipped

If you however use the windows native compressing engine, everything will work out fine.PSDSC_zippedok

DSC Resource versioning fixed with WMF5 Production preview!

Last week I blogged about an issue with the DSC resource folder versioning in a DSC Pull scenario. DSC Resource folder versioning issue in a DSC-Pull scenario.

This week Microsoft released a new version of WMF 5.0  which fixes a whole range of issues.

While you still have to zip your DSC Resource without the version folder, the DSC engine now extracts the ZIP file to the corresponding folder version!

DSC Resource zip structure:

PSDSC_Pull_Server

DSC Resource client structure:

PSDSC_Pull_Client:

This means that now, we can use multiple versions of a DSC Resource on the same client. This will help when for example you only want to update 1 partial configuration on a server that uses a newer resource, while not having to update dependent others.

Disable privacy sensitive settings in Windows 10

Recently a minor discussion started with one of my Facebook friends, where people found the new data collecting engines from Microsoft a bit annoying. Personally I find that Windows 10 has alot more features and stability to offer, and that these settings should not be the reason for you to hold back on a better operating system. However I do understand some people’s concerns.

Example article:  http://lifehacker.com/what-windows-10s-privacy-nightmare-settings-actually-1722267229

This made me think, there should be a way to just quickly disable all those annoyances. Below you can find the result of a quick Posh script that takes care this for you.

DisablePrivacySettings_Win10.ps1

DSC Resource folder versioning issue in a DSC-Pull scenario.

Please be aware of the following if you are using DSC Pull with folder versioning in your DSC Resources

In my case, I have a custom DSC Resource named cDNSRecord with the following directory structure: .\cDnsServer\1.1.0.0\DSCResources\cDNSRecord.

It seems that currently as in WMF 5.0 (April 2015 Preview) it is not supported to have resources with folder versioning in a DSC Pull scenario and will most likely end you up with error 4104 in the event log:

ErrorId is 0x1. ErrorDetail is The PowerShell DSC resource % not contain the corresponding MOF file %.

EventID4252-1DSC

A Work-around to this solution is simple:unzip your resource, and remove the folder versioning to for example: .\cDnsServer\DSCResources\cDNSRecord

While you can now use your DSC Resource in a Pull scenario, this does mean that you cannot use multiple versions of a DSC Resource on 1 sever if you use DSC Pull. This also means that if you want to upgrade to a newer version for this DSC Resource you will first need to remove the old version from the C:\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules directory on this specific server.

If you forget to remove the old folder you will most end up with another errorid 4252 in the event log:

Error Message: Installation of module % failed since the module directory already exists at %.Message ID: ModuleDirectoryAlreadyExistsEventID4252-2DSC

This can be resolved by using the AllowModuleOverwrite = $true value in your LCM configuration.

Hopefully this issue will be resolved in a future release of WMF5.

 

Scan Cluster Volume Health

I created this function some time ago already when we did not have the SCOM Management Pack for Windows Clusters imported yet.

This script basically scans a Cluster, to scan its current CSV State, and report you the current size/usage/freespace available.

The output of this script can be used to filter out unhealthy volumes, or volumes that are filling up!

 

Make a SSH Connection using Powershell

Ever needed to connect to a hardware or unix interface from a windows box? For example to manage HP Servers / Interfaces, or to run some code on a Linux appliance?

Over at Powershelladmin.com they have an answer to this: SSH-Sessions powershell module.

Copy the SSH-Sessions folder to your C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Modules directory and then unblock the SSH.Net library using Unblock-File C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Modules\SSH-Sessions\Renci.SshNet.dll

After that you can just Import-module the SSH-Sessions and you’re on your way:

Has your hotfix been installed?

Of course you may wonder, why do you not use SCCM or WSUS to check if your software was installed successfully. Sadly when working in an enterprise environment you do not always have access to all the tooling you require, even though you have administrator access to the servers you need to manage.

Recently I was asked if I could scan all our Hypervisors to see if the latest December update rollup was installed, and if possible to mail it to the team’s functional mailbox.

This resulted in the following simple script:

Now you only need to add your results to an email message using “send-MailMessage”

SCOM Maintenance Mode

Have you ever had the hassle of needing to put multiple servers into SCOM maintenance mode, yet you dont have the Powershell commandlets installed, or you are using an older version of SCOM that just does not do what you would like it to do.

I ran into the same issue with a customer, that was using SCOM 2007R2, while at some days it would really come in handly to place servers into maintenance mode scripted.

The script below can be your answer to this problem. Simply use the function SCOMMaintenanceMode -servername “server” -maintenancemodeminutes “minutes” or even push an array of servers against it. It will first check if maintenance mode is already set and if the current duration is not longer then what you just told the script.