Hey Admins! Windows System State Analyzer (Beta)
Windows System state analyzer tool
Helps create snapshots of the computer—some of which include fixed drives, services, drivers and the registry. Users can create two snapshots at different points in time and compare them to view differences. A detailed report could be generated at the end of a compare operation.
Microsoft is starting to release some tools to validate system configurations and verify server application/driver compliance for the Windows Server 2008 logo and certification program.
What does this mean for you? It means you now have a tool that you can use to take a snapshot of your server, save the output to a snapshot file, and then compare it to another snapshot from the same system, or another system all together and compare the differences.
Granted it can be quite verbose (detailed report), but in my test I flipped a few registry keys for diagnsotics, and started a couple of services and they showed up in the quick report as expected.
Why is this useful to me? You can configure your domain controller with all the registry keys you like, drivers you want on a certain platform (DL380 G2), services enabled/disabled and directories you want unchanged. Save that snapshot for a rainy day when you get an escalation on another DC. You know what your good DC looks like (You have the snapshot) now you can compare that to DC that is not working correctly and see if some of the settings are different.
When I ran the DCs in MSIT, variance was one of the things that was hard to keep under control. You'd turn something on for troubleshooting, or more likely turn something off and now you have differences in your service. I think this tool could be helpful in reducing some of the varianc.