Well I blogged about the desired configuration monitoring guides the day before the updated tool was released for download on the web. That’ll teach me to be so efficient :-) Well the SMS 2003 Desired configuration monitoring tool is available for download. It appears really well suited for Exchange in conjunction with the ExBpa, (The report data is transferred from the XML database using the ExBpa UI) but should be used for all of your server roles in your organisation. The nice thing about it is, when you’ve loaded the template, the DCM goes and identifies all of the areas that deviate from your defined configuration as specified in your XML template. You need to be running SQL 200 or above for the database, and the .NET framework.
All you have to do is install the DCM tool, create the DCM manifest with the authoring tool, modify the settings from the original template (using the DCM guide) and create the SMS 2003 package (and deploy it of course). There’s an excellent document on TechNet explaining how the DCM works here and some good documentation on how you create a new configuration and saving it to an XML config file.
Go and have a play – its easy enough to configure (and the UI means I don’t need to venture too much in to command line territory or XML editing) and the report highlights everything thats wrong with your system. My test run was fine as it was a brand new build machine which hasn’t been tweaked at all – which isn’t a fair representation of real life I know but hey, I’d just built it!
Thanks to Benjamin for nagging me to try this – very useful…