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DevOps, Desired State, and Microsoft Windows
Bruce Payette, Microsoft, Inc.
Historically, Windows has been difficult to automate and configure. The few tools that existed were weak and serious automation required manipulating a plethora of APIs. During the past six years Microsoft has transformed the Windows platform with substantial investments in PowerShell and standards-based management. These investments have dramatically increased the ability of admins (and developers) to automate Windows tasks. With the release of Windows Server 2012, nearly every server task can be automated, locally or remotely, through PowerShell or standards-based management tools.
At the same time, modern IT businesses using agile methods with rapid release cycles found that piecemeal automation was not sufficient. This led to the rise of the DevOps movement, which emphasizes uniform automation, rapid provisioning, and repeatable high-quality IT operations. To deliver these capabilities, new desired state configuration management tools have been developed that take a more structured approach to automation. Unfortunately these tools have not had a high level of success on Windows largely due to a mismatch in management abstractions: UNIX/Linux uses a document-oriented approach whereas Windows uses an API-oriented approach.
This talk will present an overview of ongoing work in the area of Windows manageability, including a look at management abstraction mismatches how to overcome these issues; a discussion of standards-based management efforts including OMI, Microsoft's open source implementation of standards-based management; and an exploration of how we can bridge the gap to produce a world of universal automation that can (eventually) extend to all the components in the datacenter—raw hardware, storage, networking, OSes (Windows and Linux), application frameworks, applications, etc.
Bruce Payette is a Principal Developer in the Server Manageability group at Microsoft. He is a founding member of the PowerShell team, and one of the core designers of the PowerShell language. Bruce has been working on shells and management automation tools for over 20 years and is the author of the bestselling book Windows PowerShell in Action. Bruce, along with Jeffrey Snover and Jim Truher, received the 2012 LISA Outstanding Achievement Award for contributions to the system administration community.
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