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Vol. 29, #8 - May 13, 2013 - Issue #929
This week's newsletter includes a provocatively-titled guest editorial by Jeffrey Hicks about saying NO to Windows PowerShell in the enterprise. Aren't you curious? Better read on...
Of course, if you REALLY want to pique someone's curiosity, get them to check out Garfield Minus Garfield:
For the last number of years we've been hearing that "PowerShell is the future", and that you need to start learning and using Windows PowerShell. Well, maybe you don't. Maybe it is ok to say "No" to PowerShell in your enterprise. To find out, let's look at a few simple questions.
Are You a Non-Microsoft Shop?
This is a pretty easy one. If you have no servers, or none of them are running a Microsoft Windows-based operating system, then there's no need for PowerShell. If everything in your shop is running some flavor of Unix, Linux or anything else, then PowerShell doesn't bring anything to the party. If you are running non-Microsoft hypervisors and are happy managing it from the hypervisor console or with graphical tools on a client, then you can live without PowerShell. Sure, you might have some Windows based virtual machines, but you can easily have a Windows administrator use a remote desktop session to manage them as necessary. The bottom line is that if you are a Microsoft-free shop, you can pass on PowerShell.
Do You Value Tradition?
Is your shop the kind of place that values tradition? A company that believes we've been doing it this way for 20 years and it has worked just fine. You know the, the kind of organization that isn't a big fan of re-inventing the wheel. Or maybe you are simply comfortable with the wheels you have and see no reason to change.
It is true that PowerShell can be a disruptive technology, which usually brings about change. But for some IT Pros and managers, change is bad. Yes, the procedure for deploying a new system takes 6-8 hours but it has served the company well for 20 years so why should it change? If you are a traditionalist, and content with the status quo, then you can pass on PowerShell.
Are You a Tortoise or the Hare?
Are you an IT Pro, manager or consultant that consider yourself more of the tortoise or the hare? Perhaps your approach is "slow and steady" wins the race. This type of person usually is also a traditionalist. Why rush to get something done? There's time tomorrow. As long as it gets done right, that's all that matters. As a tortoise you probably disdain the hare and his slacker and trendy ways because you know that in the long run, and it might be a long run, your manual and methodical ways will prevail. If this describes you or your organization, then you can pass on PowerShell.
Is it still 2002?
In your organization, are you still predominantly running Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 or even (good heavens) Windows NT? Perhaps your clients are still running Windows XP. Are you still on Exchange 2000 or Lotus Notes 6.0? If you are, I suspect you are also a traditionalist and/or a tortoise. But we have to play the cards we're dealt and if this is your kind of shop, then PowerShell is of no value to you and you can happily say, "I pass."
Is Your Head in the Cloud?
Or perhaps you are at the other extreme and your entire IT operation is in the cloud. Sure, accounts still need to be provisioned, services managed, and reports created. Not to mention the occasional support call to your help desk. But your cloud vendor has given you a nice web page and since you only have a handful of users, servers or applications, how hard can it be? I mean so what if 100 new employees start on Monday and need Office 365 accounts. That's what the IT staff is for. Who needs PowerShell?
IT Pros Have a Job to Do
Which brings me to the last point. Perhaps your organization believes that the work of an IT Pro should be, well, work. That's what they get paid to do. If it takes 30 minutes to provision a new user or 15 minutes to troubleshoot a printer problem, well that's their job. It is not their job to have opportunities to expand their career opportunities, find ways to add value to the company or simply enjoy their work. If this is your corporate culture or organizational philosophy, and I have met management types who share these principals, then PowerShell is definitely not for your enterprise.
So there you have it. A simple test really. As long as you are honest about yourself, your organization and where you intend to be in 5 years, you can safely say no to PowerShell.
About Jeffrey Hicks
Jeffery Hicks is a Microsoft MVP in Windows PowerShell, Microsoft Certified Trainer and an IT veteran with over 20 years of experience, much of it spent as an IT consultant specializing in Microsoft server technologies with an emphasis in automation and efficiency. He works today as an independent author, trainer and consultant. Jeff writes the popular Prof. PowerShell column for MPCMag.com, is a regular contributor to the Petri IT Knowledgebase and 4SysOps, and frequent speaker at technology conferences and user groups. If he isn't writing, Jeff is most likely recording training videos for companies like TrainSignal or hanging out in the forums at PowerShell.org.
Jeff's latest books are:
Learn PowerShell 3 in a Month of Lunches
Learn PowerShell Toolmaking in a Month of Lunches
PowerShell in Depth: An Administrators Guide
You can keep up with Jeff at his blog:
and on Twitter at:
and on Google Plus at:
Send us feedback
Do you find Windows PowerShell useful for managing your Windows servers? What do you use it for? What would you like to do with it? Let us know at email@example.com
PowerTip: Use PowerShell to document the default AD password policy
This week Microsoft Scripting Guy Ed Wilson shows how to use Windows PowerShell to document the default AD Domain password policy.
Question: How can you use Windows PowerShell to document the default AD domain password policy?
Answer: Use the Get-ADDefaultDomainPasswordPolicy cmdlet from the ActiveDirectory module.
Ed Wilson is the bestselling author of eight books about Windows Scripting, including Windows PowerShell 3.0 Step by Step, and Windows PowerShell 3.0 First Steps. He writes a daily blog about Windows PowerShell called Hey, Scripting Guy! that is hosted on the Microsoft TechNet Script Center; for more PowerTips Check out the Hey, Scripting Guy! blog.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a tip you'd like to share with our readers.
This week we have a short article from Pierre Roman, a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft Canada, describing some terrific resources they've developed for helping IT pros get acquainted with Windows Server 2012 at a high level.
During our first cross Canada tour for the Windows Server 2012 IT Camp, earlier this year and the current #CANITPRO Windows Server Camp v2, Anthony Bartolo, Mitch Garvis and myself have been talking with IT pros to see what they needed in terms of learning resources.
They mostly told us that since they are busy keeping the "lights on" in their enterprises and that the time and budgets to get training was getting smaller and smaller. They told us that they wanted a quick recipe book that would get them started.
With that in mind we put together a series of step-by-step high level guides to allow IT pros to get acquainted with Windows Server 2012 at a high level. Those post are high level and a great way to start learning about the new or improved functionality in Windows Server 2012.
We currently have the following content, with more being added every week.
To facilitate your learning you can use the software evaluations (free trials) on TechNet that will allow you to build your own labs to support what you've learned:
On top of all this, the Microsoft Virtual Academy is available to help complete your learning:
So bookmark the CANITPRO blog and come back often:
Thanks! --Pierre Roman
"What would life be like if we had no courage to attempt anything?" --Vincent Van Gogh
Until next week,
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This series of articles by Anderson Patricio reviews the basics of PowerShell. This will help Messaging Administrators and IT Pros build scripts from scratch and learn how to automate tasks in Exchange administration.
Derek Melber looks at the built-in PowerShell security features as well as some additional security you can configure once in PowerShell.
David Davis provides step by step instructions on how to manage Microsoft's Hyper-V from the command line using Powershell.
This is a good every day PowerShell script to count Exchange Mailbox and do some inventory.
This script helps you to get the site name of a computer when you want to do some housekeeping in your active directory.
This script shows you the constructed attributes, also good for some housekeeping actions.
Ravi created a script that should help you to clone a SQL database.
This pdf gives a good overview about performance differences from Oracle Databases running on RAID 5 and RAID 10.
Thanks to Florian Klaffenbach for providing some of the items in this section. Be sure to check out Flo's Datacenter Report:
When making plans to adopt the cloud, it’s essential to consider the implications this move will have on your current data center infrastructure. Inside this tip, discover the key factors to keep in mind when planning your cloud migration, including configuration management, networks and storage.
Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is quickly becoming the next IT buzzword, and as a result, many IT pros are starting to look into what this desktop delivery model can offer their organizations. Inside this tip, explore detailed insights on DaaS and review the top pros and cons of adopting this technology.
Licensing virtual servers is no easy task – fortunately, by following key tips and tricks, you can ease common licensing pain points. Access this guide to explore a Windows Server 2012 virtualization licensing example to learn how to meet requirements without straining staff or budget.
To stay competitive in today’s cloud-driven IT world, VMware is breaking into the cloud computing market – but will their offerings be able to compete with market leaders like Google and Amazon? Find out what to expect from VMware cloud computing inside this tip.
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The new VOLAR-e 1,000 bhp electric supercar from Spain hits 0-62 in just 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph!
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Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press and has published hundreds of articles for IT pros. Mitch is also a seven-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com
Ingrid Tullochis Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also Head of Research for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.