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One of the things that I do when I build equipment for clients is build two machines, one production, one backup. I'm getting tired of manually re-entering the firewall rules into the backup machine. We didn't use that many rules in the past so the time investment to figure out a method to syncronize them was a waste when I could key them in within 5 or 10 minutes. However now we are using a lot more rules and I worry about keying in something wrong.

So is there a way to export a firewall rules config (inbound and outbound) and import it onto another machine of the same OS and SP revision?

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well, apparently there are links for export and import under the advanced firewall screen when you click on the uppermost node of the treeview. Totally missed those! They are the functional equivalent of the export/import commandline switches. –  TWood Jan 27 '12 at 20:54

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Are the machines in a domain? Why not simply publish the rules using group policies? Or build a startup script which manages the firewall rules?

Anyway, what you probably are looking for is the import/export options of the AdvFirewall subcommand of netsh.

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Normally our client's don't want to push policy to it. They normally don't even include it in their domain. A startup script might be a decent option for me though. Thanks for the link. –  TWood Jan 27 '12 at 20:50

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