Vol. 23, #43 - October 28, 2018 - Issue #1205

WServerNews Spotlight: PowerShell DSC


Free Tool for Monitoring Exchange Server Status & Performance 


SolarWinds® Exchange Monitor is a free tool that allows users to monitor Microsoft® Exchange™ Server 2013 and 2016. Get basic information about the server’s metrics, services, and database availability group (DAG) status. Add as many Exchange Servers as you wish. Simply click the “Add Server” button and fill IP address/domain name and credentials.

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Editor's Corner

This week's newsletter focuses on Desired State Configuration (DSC) a feature of Windows PowerShell v.4 and later that allows you to manage various aspects of your IT/dev infrastructure using configuration as code. We'll start with some recommended resources for those who haven't yet dipped their toes into the DSC pond:

TIP: Save this newsletter as a resource for future reference! Please also tell others about WServerNews and how they can subscribe to our newsletter! Thank you! 


PowerShell DSC learning resources

Want to get started working with PowerShell DSC right away? Microsoft Docs has a DSC Quick Start tutorial that walks through creating and applying a DSC configuration from start to finish:


Another great way to learn how to use DSC is with this course by Jeff Hicks which is available from Pluralsight:


There's also this walkthrough by Microsoft MVP Desmond Lee which we published a while back on our TechGenix website:


See also this post from last year by Ashley McGlone who compares Group Policy Objects (GPO) and PowerShell DSC:


At the other end of the spectrum is this GitHub site which is basically a central repository for a host of different PowerShell DSC resources:


There are many useful modules there you can download and customize for purposes of your own IT/dev environment. 

Be sure also to check out the DSC Resource Kit. An updated version of this kit was released in June by the PowerShell Team at Microsoft -- read more here:


And then of course there's Azure DSC which we'll try to cover in more detail in a future issue of WServerNews. But here's a quick sample in this recent article by Marcelo Tamaki on our TechGenix.com website:



Recent articles on PowerShell DSC

Next here are some recent articles I've come across on PowerShell DSC that may be of interest and/or usefulness to many of our readers:

Configuring a PowerShell DSC Web Pull Server to use SQL Database (Ask PFE Platforms)


Pulling Reports from a DSC Pull Server Configured for SQL (Ask PFE Platforms)


Creating symbolic links with PowerShell DSC (Loose Scripts Sink Ships)


Continuous Deployment to Azure Automation DSC Part 1 (AutoMagically)


Finally, there are tons of good articles about DSC on PowerShell.org:


That's it for now, if you have any additional DSC resources they'd like us to share with other readers of this newsletter please email me at [email protected]



Tip of the Week

Got any IT pro tips you'd like to share with other readers of our newsletter? Email us at [email protected]

Does Disabling User/Computer GPO Settings Make Processing Quicker?

Microsoft PFE Graeme Bay explored this subject by setting up a lab to test whether Group Policy processes quicker if you disable the User/Computer sections of a specific policy when they're not needed. Read the results of his testing here on the Ask Premier Field Engineering (PFE) Platforms blog on TechNet:



Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without 

GOT ADMIN TOOLS or other software/hardware you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]

This PowerShell Script exports Active Directory users to CSV:


This PowerShell script lets you "convert" PowerShell scripts into EXE files:


SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is an integrated environment for managing any SQL infrastructure, from SQL Server to SQL Database:



 Ask Our Readers - Tracking our network ops (another response)

Several weeks ago a reader named David asked us this:

What do newsletter readers who manage operations for their corporate network use for tracking configuration change requests, helpdesk support tickets, and such? In another Large Company I worked for we used Request Tracker:


but what else is out there? I'm newly hired and mgmt wants something robust to replace their current collection of bandaids…thanks.

Last week another reader named James responded with:

Try JIRA :-)

This week we received another suggestion from a reader named Martin:

Have a look at Redmine:


Must be a real alternative since Jira has a comparison page!



Factoid - Wasteful expenditure in IT?

Last week's factoid and question  was this:

Fact: Puns are the most elevated form of humor

Question: What is the best (or worst!) pun you've ever heard?

We literally received a deluge of puns in response to this one. Here are a couple of the better ones:

What is the best drink to order if you want to get hammered? An ale. --Bruce

Did you hear about the guy in Paris who almost got away with stealing several paintings from the Louvre? After planning the crime, getting in and out past security, he was captured only two blocks away when his Econoline ran out of gas. When asked how he could mastermind such a crime and then make such an obvious error, he replied: "Monsieur, I had no Monet to buy Degas to make the Van Gogh." And you thought I lacked De Gaulle to tell a story like this! --Michael

We also received this email from Patrick on the subject of puns and whether they are actually funny or not:

Hi Mitch, I live in the UK so we have to deal with bad puns from our national newspapers every day but they do come up with some good ones on occasion. Here's a few examples from the UK and around the World


At the same time, whether or not puns are the most elevated form of humor is debatable considering some of these shockers:


Enjoy either way.

We're still open to sharing a few more good puns here if our readers can try fishing around for some. Why not send us your favorite pun, just for the halibut?


Now let's move on to this week's factoid:

Fact: The U.S. Air Force has been spending $1,280 apiece to replace in-flight reheating cups after their handles were found to break easily.


Question: What's the worst example you've seen firsthand as an IT professional of utterly wasteful expenditure? (If it happened at the company where you work you can refer to it as Contoso Ltd.)

Email your answer to [email protected]



Conference calendar

North America

>> Got an IT conference happening in North America that you'd like to promote in our newsletter? Email us at [email protected]

PASS Summit 2018 -- Nov. 6-9 in Seattle, Washington


SharePoint Fest -- Dec. 3-7 in Chicago, Illinois




>> Got an IT conference happening in North America that you'd like to promote in our newsletter? Email us at [email protected]

VMworld Europe -- Nov 5-8 in Barcelona, Spain


Cybersecurity Leadership Summit -- Nov 12-14 in Berlin, Germany


European SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure Conference -- Nov 26-29 in Copenhagen, Denmark


Directions EMEA -- Oct. 31-Nov. 2 in The Hague, Netherlands


Global Office 365 Developer Bootcamp -- Nov. 16 in Rome, Italy


Global Office 365 Developer Bootcamp -- Nov. 22 in Bern, Switzerland


Update Conference -- Nov. 22-23 in Prague, Czech Republic


European SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure Conference -- Nov. 26-29 in Copenhagen, Denmark




>> Got an IT conference happening in Australia or Asia that you'd like to promote in our newsletter? Email us at [email protected]

No conferences listed at present.


New on TechGenix.com

Digital footprints: Control how much the Internet knows about you

The digital footprints you leave on the web can make shopping easier — and privacy impossible. Here's how to take control of your online information.


Top 7 Kubernetes startups to watch in 2018-2019

As the world moves to the cloud, Kubernetes becomes essential. These seven Kubernetes startups are innovating around the idea of Kubernetes a Service.


How you can become a data security analyst

With the number of attacks on data rising with every passing year, the job of data security analyst has become crucial at many companies.


Export your Intune policies for later use at another client

As more businesses move to the cloud, here's a step-by-step guide how to use Intune to export some of the policies that were used for on-premises systems.


Want to connect VMs to Log Analytics? Use this PowerShell script

This simple but powerful PowerShell script will allow you to connect a virtual machine to a Microsoft Azure Log Analytics workspace.



Fun videos from Flixxy

A New Way To Explore Venus

A NASA plan of a manned mission to place two astronauts above he Venusian surface for 30-days after a 110-day trip to Earth's nearest neighbor:


Gold Medal Freestyle Indoor Skydiving - Kyra Poh

Kyra Poh's winning freestyle indoor flight from the 2018 Wind Games held in Empuriabrava, Spain:


Franky Zapata And His Flyboard At The Formula 1 Grand Prix Singapore

Franky Zapata is demonstrating the incredible flying capabilities of the 'Flyboard Air' during the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Singapore:


Boogie Woogie Gold Medal Winners - Sondre and Tanya

Sondre Olsen-Bye and Tanya Georgiievska - Gold Medal Winners at the Boogie Woogie World Cup in Frauenfeld, Switzerland:



 More articles of Interest

Compare EKS pricing to other managed Kubernetes services

Given that AWS' Elastic Container Service (EKS) for Kubernetes has recently become available, many enterprises still need to wrap their heads around the offering – and, more specifically, EKS' pricing model. Read more about the pricing breakdown here.


Deloitte CIO survey: Traditional CIO role doesn't cut it in digital era

A Deloitte CIO survey showed that CIOs must be at the forefront of their companies' digital strategies to be a successful technology-enabled business. Find out more results from the survey here.


Legacy roots still hinder Oracle and IBM cloud strategies

As IBM and Oracle look to shift away from legacy systems and hone in on IaaS, it won't be a clean cut. Still, each vendor has its sweet spot in the overall cloud market. Read more here.


Achieve reactive microservices architecture with minimal effort

Reactive systems philosophy lends itself to microservices architecture because it stresses four core principles of responsivity, resilience, elasticity and message-driven communication. Learn more here.



Need help from the IT pro community?

WServerNews goes out each week to more than 500,000 IT pro subscribers worldwide! That's a lot of expertise to tap into. Do you need help with some technical problem or are looking for expert advice on something IT-related? Ask Our Readers by emailing your problems and/or questions to us at [email protected] 


Send us your feedback!

Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at [email protected]


WServerNews - Product of the Week

Free Tool for Monitoring Exchange Server Status & Performance 


SolarWinds® Exchange Monitor is a free tool that allows users to monitor Microsoft® Exchange™ Server 2013 and 2016. Get basic information about the server’s metrics, services, and database availability group (DAG) status. Add as many Exchange Servers as you wish. Simply click the “Add Server” button and fill IP address/domain name and credentials.

Download Free Tool

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 and has been author or series editor for almost fifty books mostly published by Microsoft Press. Mitch is also a ten-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 Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also manages research and marketing for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.