Just days after the official release of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft has now made its new Windows Management Framework (WMF) available as well. The major component here is PowerShell 2.0, which is supported out-of-the-box for the two new operating systems. The download also includes WinRM 2.0 and BITS 4.0.
As Microsoft’s Lee Holmes said in a recent blog post, the Windows Management Framework provides “a consistent management interface across the various flavors of Windows.” What he means is that in addition to Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2, PowerShell 2.0 remoting can now also be used to manage machines running Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003 and Server 2008.
In a nutshell, PowerShell remoting allows administrators to manage machines through PowerShell … well … remotely. In other words, you can now execute PowerShell cmdlets on remote computers. In a preview article on the PowerShell 2.0 CTP from a while back, scripting guru Christa Anderson described the remoting functionality “as a fundamental requirement to make PowerShell widely adopted.” The article is a good read, as it also breaks down other 2.0 features such as new custom cmdlets and script internalization.
Windows PowerShell is a hot topic right now in regards to R2, and even folks who have been resistant to the technology in the past have started to come around. Denny Cherry, a database professional and self-proclaimed PowerShell avoider, echoed this sentiment recently on his SQL Server blog. “Windows 2008 R2 has some great new management features — much of which resolves around PowerShell. If you have been like me and avoided [PowerShell], apparently it is time to get over it. The new management tools look pretty good, and all use PowerShell under the covers,” he wrote.
In a recent InfoWorld article, IT author J. Peter Bruzzese agreed that PowerShell 2.0 functionality should be a key consideration when moving to Windows Server 2008 R2, notably in regards to Active Directory. When talking about the AD Module for PowerShell, he said “This provides command-line scripting for a host of administrative, configuration, and diagnostic tasks. Initially, this worked only if you had an R2 domain controller, but now you can install the free Active Directory Management Gateway Service (ADMGS) from Microsoft.”
So it’s clear that PowerShell isn’t going away, and most IT experts are touting an upgrade to 2.0. If you’re looking to learn more, here are some great PowerShell resources to check out:
- Prof. PowerShell with MCP Magazine’s Jeffrey Hicks (a weekly column with tons of scripting tips and tricks)
- Jonathan Hassell’s Top 25 PowerShell commands for Windows admins (collection of the most popular — and most useful — PowerShell scripts)
- Microsoft’s Windows PowerShell Blog (tons of news and tips straight from the horse’s mouth)
For more on working with Windows PowerShell, visit SearchWindowsServer.com.