Vol. 29, #8 - May 13, 2013 - Issue #929

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Say No to PowerShell in the Enterprise

  1. Editor's Corner
    • Say No to PowerShell in the Enterprise
    • Tip of the Week
    • Recommended for Learning
    • Quote of the Week
  2. Admin Toolbox
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
  3. Events Calendar
    • Americas
    • Europe
  4. Webcast Calendar
    • Register for Webcasts
  5. Tech Briefing
    • PowerShell 101 for Messaging Administrator and IT Pros
    • PowerShell Security
    • How to Administer Microsoft Hyper-V from the command line (CLI)
    • #PSTip Count the number of mailboxes per department
    • #PSTip Get the AD site name of a computer
    • #PSTip List all Active Directory constructed attributes
    • #PSTip Generate T-SQL script for cloning a SQL database
    • Comprehending the Tradeoffs between Deploying Oracle Database on RAID 5 and RAID 10 Storage Configurations
  6. Windows Server News
    • How a cloud migration affects existing data center infrastructure
    • Desktop as a Service explained: What DaaS customers need to know
    • How to calculate proper Windows Server 2012 virtualization licensing
    • VMware hosting must embrace cloud stack heterogeneity
  7. WServerNews FAVE Links
    • This Week's Links We Like. Fun Stuff.
  8. WServerNews - Product of the Week
    • Monitor Terminal Server Activity with Remote Desktop Reporter

 

Monitor Terminal Server Activity with Remote Desktop Reporter

You monitor your hardware, you monitor your logs ... so why aren't you monitoring your Remote Desktop sessions? Organizations around the world depend on Microsoft Remote Desktop Services for telework and remote administration, but few if any monitor the activity that takes place on them.  Remote Desktop Reporter agentlessly collects information on user activity & productivity (active vs idle time), running applications, RDP bandwidth usage, performance metrics, and much more, providing you with comprehensive reports when needed. Any Windows user, whether connected to a server or workstation, can have their RDS activity fully audited. Discover the true productivity of teleworkers and the health of your terminal servers today!

Download your fully functional 30-day trial of Remote Desktop Reporter today.

 

Editor's Corner

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:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919222576

Say No to PowerShell in the Enterprise

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.

Conclusion

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
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919231842

Learn PowerShell Toolmaking in a Month of Lunches
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919237467

PowerShell in Depth: An Administrators Guide
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919241936

You can keep up with Jeff at his blog:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919247061

and on Twitter at:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919251826

and on Google Plus at:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919256154

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 protected]

Tip of the Week

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 [email protected] if you have a tip you'd like to share with our readers.

Recommended for Learning

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.

Step-By-Step Series

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:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919333077

On top of all this, the Microsoft Virtual Academy is available to help complete your learning:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919335624

So bookmark the CANITPRO blog and come back often:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919337827

Thanks! --Pierre Roman

Quote of the Week

"What would life be like if we had no courage to attempt anything?" --Vincent Van Gogh

Until next week,
Mitch Tulloch

Note to subscribers: If for some reason you don’t receive your weekly issue of this newsletter, please notify us at [email protected] and we’ll try to troubleshoot things from our end.

 

Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

Monitor and report on Terminal Server activity and Remote Desktop sessions throughout your network.  Audit teleworker productivity, application use, RDP traffic, and much more.  Download now.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367920139394

Free Tool: Idera Server Backup Free – fast, disk-based continuous data protection for Windows and Linux servers – backs up and restore files in seconds
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367920142723

Running Hyper-V? Download Altaro Hyper-V Backup – Free for 2 VMs for WServerNews subscribers, forever. No catch. No sales pitch.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367920147316

Download SolarWinds completely free Alert Central to consolidate and manage IT alerts, alert escalation, and on-call scheduling to help ensure all your alerts get to the right people at the right time.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367920150363 

Experience media on your computer, home theatre PC, tablet, or other connected device:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367920152957

 

Events Calendar

Americas

Europe

Add your event

PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]

 

Webcast Calendar

Register for Webcasts

 Add your Webcast

PLANNING A WEBCAST you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]

 

Tech Briefing

PowerShell 101 for Messaging Administrator and IT Pros (MSExchange.org)

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.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919397062

PowerShell Security (WindowsSecurity.com)

Derek Melber looks at the built-in PowerShell security features as well as some additional security you can configure once in PowerShell.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919401140

How to Administer Microsoft Hyper-V from the command line (CLI) (VirtualizationAdmin.com)

David Davis provides step by step instructions on how to manage Microsoft's Hyper-V from the command line using Powershell.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919405265

#PSTip Count the number of mailboxes per department (Shay Levy, MVP/IT Pro)

This is a good every day PowerShell script to count Exchange Mailbox and do some inventory.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919411155

#PSTip Get the AD site name of a computer (Shay Levy, MVP/IT Pro)

This script helps you to get the site name of a computer when you want to do some housekeeping in your active directory.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919414859

#PSTip List all Active Directory constructed attributes (Shay Levy, MVP/IT Pro)

This script shows you the constructed attributes, also good for some housekeeping actions.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919419280

#PSTip Generate T-SQL script for cloning a SQL database (Ravikanth Chaganti, MVP/IT Pro)

Ravi created a script that should help you to clone a SQL database.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919423296

Comprehending the Tradeoffs between Deploying Oracle Database on RAID 5 and RAID 10 Storage Configurations (Dell)

This pdf gives a good overview about performance differences from Oracle Databases running on RAID 5 and RAID 10.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919428499

Thanks to Florian Klaffenbach for providing some of the items in this section. Be sure to check out Flo's Datacenter Report:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919432734

 

Windows Server News

How a cloud migration affects existing data center infrastructure

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.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367931799705

Desktop as a Service explained: What DaaS customers need to know

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.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919441171

How to calculate proper Windows Server 2012 virtualization licensing

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.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919445452

VMware hosting must embrace cloud stack heterogeneity

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.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919449203

 

WServerNews FAVE Links

This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff

GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]

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Giraffes take on high diving in '5m80', a funny animated short film by Nicolas Deveaux.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919454062

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!
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919458671

Seasonal changes on the sand dunes of Planet Mars as captured by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919467953

Humorous trombone performance that builds up as it goes along:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919473140

Alice Fredenham impressed the Britain's Got Talent judges and audience with her acoustic rendition of 'My Funny Valentine'.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1367919479937

 

WServerNews - Product of the Week

Monitor Terminal Server Activity with Remote Desktop Reporter

You monitor your hardware, you monitor your logs ... so why aren't you monitoring your Remote Desktop sessions? Organizations around the world depend on Microsoft Remote Desktop Services for telework and remote administration, but few if any monitor the activity that takes place on them.  Remote Desktop Reporter agentlessly collects information on user activity & productivity (active vs idle time), running applications, RDP bandwidth usage, performance metrics, and much more, providing you with comprehensive reports when needed. Any Windows user, whether connected to a server or workstation, can have their RDS activity fully audited. Discover the true productivity of teleworkers and the health of your terminal servers today!

Download your fully functional 30-day trial of Remote Desktop Reporter today.

WServerNews - Editors

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.