PowerShell for Windows Admins

Dec 31 2013   6:15AM GMT

The PowerShell year – 2013

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

This year has been a pretty good year for the PowerShell community. The highlights include:

  • PowerShell 4.0 becomes available
  • A very successful PowerShell Summit in April
  • A community hosted and judged Scripting Games – though as PowerShell is the only accepted language maybe a name change is needed?
  • PowerShell in Depth and PowerShell Deep Dives are published

The big ticket item in PowerShell 4.0 is Desired State Configuration. This functionality was extended at the end of the year with the publication of the  Desired State Configuration Resource Kit Wave 1 -  see the PowerShell team blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/powershell/archive/2013/12/26/holiday-gift-desired-state-configuration-dsc-resource-kit-wave-1.aspx

The most important part of the announcement is that it is wave 1 – meaning we should expect more DSC resources in the New Year.

Looking forward to 2014 what do we expect?

  • More DSC resources
  • 2014 Winter Scripting Games – this time we’re making them a team based event. Should be interesting
  • A PowerShell Summit in Seattle in April
  • A European PowerShell summit later in the year

Assuming you already know the PowerShell basics, or more, where should you be spending your PowerShell time in 2014?

If your work involves creating servers on a regular basis make sure you understand DSC

If you need to administer many servers – look to PowerShell workflow, PowerShell jobs and Scheduled jobs.  These options seem to have slipped out of the limelight lately.

Workflows are different – they use a PowerShell syntax but aren’t pure PowerShell. Some of the rules for using them are a bit strange and need some practice.

PowerShell jobs were introduced in PowerShell 2.0 but have always been overshadowed by remoting. The ability to run PowerShell jobs asynchronously and schedule them makes for a very powerful system for performing bulk tasks overnight.

The last recommendation for 2014 – learn more about CIM/WMI.  A significant fraction of the PowerShell functionality in Windows 8/2012 and later is built on WMI. If you don’t understand how it works you won’t get the best out of it. The OMI initiative is gaining traction which makes CIM an even more important technology to learn.

I’d also recommend experimenting with any of the areas of PowerShell you don’t know so well.

Finally, and most importantly, share what you learn with the rest of the PowerShell community – powershell.org is a very good place to start.

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