Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I believe stackexchange runs on IIS and windows server.

I understand windows server doesn't have anything similiar to chef/puppet, but it does have powershell and probably other things I am not aware of.

How much configuration management can be done on a windows server so I could fire up a ec2 instance and run scripts to get the server configurated.

Configured in terms of:

  1. patches/updates
  2. IIS settings
  3. setup a application in IIS
  4. turn on/off services that I need/don't need

Note: this is a pure web server, so basically just need to setup a IIS website, turn of unwatned services, get the o/s up to date with patches etc.

(Other than configuring a front end web server and then creating a custom AMI)

share|improve this question
I'd be curious to know which way you ended up deciding to go. I've been doing this for over two years now and agree with you that the open source solutions are limited and therefore the services I've linked to below. Still always interested in ow others are solving the same issues – Ameer Deen Oct 7 '11 at 18:52
didn't end up going just yet, still confused :) – codecompleting Oct 18 '11 at 21:20
just a quick note: Chef and Puppet can now manage windows servers. – Thomas Apr 13 '15 at 15:43
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Some options:

You can do all of the above using RightScale's free developer account and infact that's what I do for a living; focus on building Windows solutions on public clouds.

Here (revised link) is some information on running a chef client on Windows and you could probably test this using the hosted chef solution opscode provides free for under 5 nodes.

Use Cloudformation by Amazon Web Services

Kaavo also offers a service that allows configuration management of your cloud instances and works with Windows

Roll your own using Powershell remoting but probably not worth the pain.

DISCLAIMER: I work for RightScale.

share|improve this answer
Was Powershell Desired State Configuration designed to accomplish the same thing? It's something new in PS 4.0 that I'm beginning to study. – NealWalters Jan 15 '15 at 21:08

Within 30 minutes or less for all the above. I just did what you said and configured a sql server today.

Use an ami that comes with IIS and ASP.NET and launch. Takes few minutes. You will wait 5 min to get your windows password for remote login.

Then you login remotely and run updates/patches. Configure IIS and upload your app.

Ameer has mentioned a good option too but I'm a do it myself kind of guy. I like to waste time in trying to figure out stupid stuff.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.