The scripts I will be posting are largely variants of stuff I wrote for work.  Because of this, they are going to point to some specific places (or will at least default to them) and do some seemingly odd things.  To make this easier to understand and follow I am providing details of a test environment, and the scripts to configure it.  Structurally, it will match the one I work with, but that’s as far as it goes.  This will be enough for the scripts I post to function.  As I branch into other systems, I will give a test structure for those too (Exchange/File Services/Azure/etc.), and hopefully enough scripts to build it.

The most you’ll need for the test environment is two servers and a client (ideally all 2016/w10).  You’ll need a domain controller and a client, but due to the extra security on a DC, I prefer to use a separate server for the application server (file/web/DB services).  If your desktop hardware is fairly up to date, you should be able to host VMs on it in Win10 Pro with Hyper-V or with VMWare Workstation or any other hypervisor that supports Windows 10/2016 guests.  You can often get a month free trial from cloud suppliers (Azure/AWS/etc.), and their prices are generally not too bad, as long as your remember to power everything down before you log out.

Given time and encouragement, I might come up with a full auto-configure script to set this up in Azure, including collecting/installing the tools and modules.  I have not had much contact with PowerShell and DSC, but from what I’ve seen, this should be entirely possible.  And it would be cool.