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Deployment and configuration

In this sample chapter from Windows Server 2019 Inside Out , author Orin Thomas teaches you how you can use Windows Server images, Windows Deployment Services, Virtual Machine Manager, Desired State Configuration, Puppet, and Chef to deploy and manage the configuration of computers and virtual machines running the Windows Server 2019 operating system.

  • Bare metal versus virtualized

  • Windows images

  • Answer files

  • Windows Deployment Services

  • Virtual Machine Manager

  • Infrastructure configuration as code

  • Desired State Configuration

  • Chef Infra Server

  • Puppet

  • Package-management utilities

Depending on the size of your organization, you might deploy a couple of servers and then leave them in production for years, or, as we saw when it came to the (ongoing) retirement of Windows Server 2008 R2, well over a decade. Other organizations deploy servers on a more frequent basis. Some even use a process where rather than applying software updates to a production server and incurring downtime as the update is applied and the server rebooted, they find it faster to deploy a newly patched computer, to migrate the existing workload to the new host, and then to decommission the original server.

This type of iterative deployment is possible because the tools around managing the configuration of servers have evolved. Today, deploying and configuring a new server is no more bothersome than deploying an application would have been a decade ago. In this chapter, you’ll learn about how you can use Windows Server images, Windows Deployment Services, Virtual Machine Manager, Desired State Configuration, Puppet, and Chef to deploy and manage the configuration of computers and virtual machines running the Windows Server 2019 operating system.

Bare metal versus virtualized

Today, almost all new workloads are virtualized. For most organizations, virtualization hosts are the primary remaining physically deployed server, with almost all other workloads running as virtual machines. Unless you have specific reasons not to virtualize a workload, you should run Windows Server 2019 as a virtual machine (VM) rather than as a physically deployed server.

The security available with shielded VMs addresses one of the final objections that many organizations have had around deploying servers virtually rather than physically. With shielded VMs, you can provide the same level of security to a workload that you can to a physically deployed server sitting in a locked cage in a datacenter.

At present, your best bet when deploying virtualization hosts is to choose the Server Core installation option because this has a smaller installation footprint and a reduced attack surface compared to the Server with Desktop Experience option. When you deploy a Server Core virtualization host, you manage Hyper-V remotely from a privileged access workstation or a tool such as Windows Admin Center or Virtual Machine Manager.