IMHO you should not start ‘selling’ DSC, unless you fully understand what it is and how it works.
To be clear, I’m still in the process of learning this technology. And until I can implement it with my eyes closed, I would not try to ‘evangelize’ it to customers.
That said, I would like to reference to what Jeffrey wrote in his famous PowerShell Manifesto:
[ul][blockquote]The traditional approach to management models produces an inconsistent admin experience.[/blockquote]
This quote is interpreted by me like: “In every environment there is possible a jungle of management tools, all with a specific purpose”.
DSC provides you a way to move towards a homogeneous management framework, which can take away the complexity of using a myriad of tools like SCCM, GPO’s, RES Automation Manager, VMware Orchestrator, NetApp Workflow Automation, etc. I’m quite sure that most company’s use either one or a combination of these tools. DSC provides in my opinion a valid alternative to these tools. Of course, you have a learning curve first, but was that different with the other tools available in the company?[/ul]
[ul][blockquote]Monad takes a different approach: it minimizes the cost of automation and provides immediate end-user benefit by providing scenario-based automation extension classes and in-the-box tools that exploit those classes. Monad can support almost any automation schema but strongly encourages the use of standard schemas by providing a set of base classes for specific administrative scenarios. Those base classes include: Navigation, Diagnostics, Configuration, Lifecycle, and Operations.[/blockquote]
Jeffrey is talking here about in-the-box tools which enables you scenario-based automation. This is a strong value proposition. You don’t have to buy extra tools, software, licenses, because it’s already available in the box. As part of Satya’s strategy, he is saying to his engineers that they should provide the tools to their customers to make them as successful as possible. And the PowerShell team is exactly doing that; they provides us with DSC, which allows businesses to automate scenarios in the fields of Release Management, Deployment Management, Configuration Management and Operations Management. And all of this trough a consistent language, which is inherently growing in functionality. And this functionality is only limited to the fantasy of the PowerShell team, the community and YOU.[/ul]
Furthermore, Thomas Limoncelli wrote some nice stuff about Automation in his book: “System Administration - The Practice of System and Network Administration”
[ul]One of the six Basic Principals is Automation:
[blockquote]Automation means using software to replace human effort. Automation is critical. Automation improves repeatability and scalability, is key to easing the system administration burden, and eliminates tedious repetitive tasks, giving SAs more time to improve services.[/blockquote]
DSC is delivering automation to you in the form of a Desired State. This Desired State is automating the well-known, predictable and stable computer system which makes your SAs and customers happy. You are able to set-and-forget the configuration of a system trough DSC, and therefore concentrate on improving stuff for your customers. The built-in component of DSC in Windows Server is providing you exactly this, the Make It So Engine [ooops… I mean the Local Configuration Manager [LCM], thanks Jeffrey :] ].[/ul]
[ul]In the book is a mention of “First-Class Citizens”, which are the platforms that receive full support. This means training for the platform to be able to provisioning and support these platforms. Most customers I encounter have either Windows or a specific taste of Linux. Instead of having training for both platforms, you can leverage DSC to provisioning these two big platforms. DSC is also able to put a Linux system in a desired state.[/ul]
And for some more obvious reasons:
[ul]DSC saves you money. Because DSC enables you to automate processes, and this saves time. But is is a general automation truth.[/ul]
[ul]DSC prevents you to make mistakes. Because of the thinking process involved into developing DSC documents, you are forced to come up with a flawless installation/configuration, which can used repeatably. [/ul]
[ul]But also because DSC uses a declarative format, and not an imperative format, you are able to say WHAT has to happen, not HOW. This prevents to put in wrong parameters with wrong values.[/ul]
I could go on with more arguments, but the key point is that DSC is here to stay, and become big.
To put it in a metaphor: You have a Ferrari, but not yet the highways. There are few highways on where you can drive, and in the future only more highways will be constructed.
And as a last advice, If you try to ‘sell’ DSC, don’t use words only. Show to a customer what you can achieve with an, for example, installation of SQL on a Windows Server using DSC. And tell how much time this saves, and put a calculation about money with it.
I think you can construct a nice pitch talk from all the comments in this thread, and let us know please!