.\Matthew Long

{An unsorted collection of thoughts}

Thoughts after the “Managing Windows Servers using Powershell V2” Technet event

Posted by Matthew on February 18, 2009

It’s been just over a week since myself and a colleague attended a Technet event in London centred around managing Windows servers (and, to a greater extent, everything) using Powershell V2. I thought it was about time I A) post my thoughts about what was discussed there and B) actually kept up with this blog.

The event itself was very informal, hosted as it was by James o’Neil [MS Evangelist] and Richard Siddaway [MVP] so it was blessedly low on marketing and high on content.  I think overall it somewhat actually deviated away from “Using Powershell V2” to “Using Powershell with Windows 2008 R2” which is an important but sutble difference.  There was an offer of free pizza afterwards (the Powershell user group were meeting directly afterwards) but myself and my associate didn’t have the time.

The two things I really took away from it were that :

  1. Contrary to my previous blogpost were I spoke about Powershell remoting limitations, Server 2003 and Windows XP will be capable of hosting / receiving remoting commands at V2 release.
  2. Every Module / Provider / Snapin you add to your system dramatically streamlines the way you work with interlinking or tiered systems.

I’ll give you an example for No. 2 that was mentioned at the Event – You lose one of your webfarm boxes that happens to be running Server 2008 and is serving content using IIS7 (ok, so it’s not actually a realistic example for most webfarms, but stay with me..).  Using Powershell you can provision some resources on your ESX/HyperV host, load a VM template and have a box running Server within minutes, add the IIS feature and move content & config onto it from one of your machines in the farm, configure and add it into the Network Load Balancing setup for the Farm and start it serving content.  From one interface.  On your desktop.  From one script, if you like.

I think Richard Siddaway said it best “Powershell itself isn’t important.  It’s the Providers and Modules, and how you use them, that’s important”.

Off the back of this, I went and got hold of the VMWare, Exchange and SQL2008 providers & snapins and I have to say i’m finding my poor rdp shortcut underused and seeming lacklustre…

I may post the adventures involved in installing the SQL Powershell features on a non SQL server box, as it wasn’t as easy as it should be…

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