Ansible has announced version 1.7 which introduces beta support for Windows systems. Ansible, a configuration management tool, has long been a very powerful tool to manage configuration on Linux systems and now that is being extended to Windows (http://docs.ansible.com/intro_windows.html) through PowerShell Desired State Configuration.
I was introduced to Ansible at my previous company where a co-worker was able to orchestrate and work magic with this tool. I was able to learn quite a bit just from looking over her shoulder and absorbing everything I could from her.
While 1.7 supports Windows as a beta feature, Ansible also announced that Windows will be fully supported in 1.8
Ansible, and other configuration management tools such as Puppet and Chef have introduced a new way to think about how you manage your systems, at least for me as former Windows administration. Along the lines of “pets” and “cattle” – you don’t care what the current state of your system is, you only care about what the final state is. This tool falls in line with my personal beliefs that standardization is a key tenant of IT and ITaaS which helps organizations be secure. After all if your systems are not standard, you can’t validate that they are secure. Ansible helps you achieve that standardization by applying configuration or settings.
Ansible comes in both a paid and a free version for up to 10 hosts, so there is no reason not to get started with Ansible!