It takes time to deploy System Center. It takes a long time to deploy the entire suite. So you can imagine that I only ever (if that) have bits of System Center deployed. That’s why it was great to see that Microsoft’s Rob Willis had written a “hydration” kit to deploy a complete System Center demo environment using PowerShell scripts and XML metadata files called the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit.
I want to stress that word: DEMO. This kit is not to be used for deploying a production system. Out of the so-called-box (a zip file really) it deploys an architecture that should never ever be used in production. It’s designed to be able to run on a laptop (a large one) and it does things that any System Center expert would choke at. But it will deploy, with very little effort, an environment that is fit for performing demonstrations.
In the zip you’ll find a few files:
- Variable.xml: This file describes the System Center installation. You can customize this as required (time zones, domains, passwords, etc) – and that’s probably a good idea after you’ve done a test install to see what the PDT does.
- Downloader.ps1: This script will download
all thesome of the required pieces to deploy your System Center suite. All of them! The newest version even pulls down the new Windows Azure Pack!You’re going to be manually downloading System Center and Windows Server 2012 R2 as pointed out by Reidar Johansen here.
- VMCreator.ps1: This script will create the Hyper-V VMs required for your demo environment.
- Installer.ps1: This script will deploy and configure System Center from your downloads.
Before you ask, yes, the kit does download/install WS2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2, and all of the dependencies (about 11,000 MB at the time of writing). It’s a monumental piece of work that should be a time saver for those wanting to quickly build new demo environments.
I’m running this kit for the first time right now. I’ll blog about my experience as time goes by.