Posted on: August 9th, 2016 by Nicole Iovine

PowerShellMicrosoft PowerShell has proven to be the most flexible method of automating a variety of administrative tasks on a Windows system — anything that you can do with a mouse and keyboard on a Windows machine can be scripted using PowerShell.

Because of this, administrators commonly utilize PowerShell cmdlets (pronounced: command-lets), which automate tasks such as unlocking passwords, manipulating SQL data and much more.

Since PowerShell has been included as a native CLI into every modern version of Windows, PowerShell provides familiarity for those using it on Windows Server, Windows Desktops or with cloud connected infrastructure.

Windows PowerShell, as its name implies, is a shell that resembles the Windows Command Prompt. Some say that PowerShell could eventually replace the command prompt, while Windows purists believe that command prompt is here to stay. Since the command prompt has been around since the days of DOS, you could argue that the command prompt could have already been phased out by now.

With that being said, both factions believe that PowerShell is the future of Windows Systems Aadministration and that no other shell will come along to replace it. Every Windows System Administrator needs to get intimately acquainted with PowerShell in order to get the most out of their Windows network.

Power and Control Combined with Simplicity

With PowerShell, you can automate the most complex of tasks of your Windows systems using commands called cmdlets.

The best thing about PowerShell is that most Microsoft products can be used in conjunction with PowerShell. For example, you can use PowerShell to insert values into an XLSX Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

When it comes to security and scripting, Micosoft Windows is preconfigured to deny access to PowerShell because systems aren’t configured to run scripts by default. If you wish to enable scripting, you must can either disable the security feature or make it to where only digitally signed scripts can run on your systems.

This built in security feature ensures that PowerShell doesn’t end up becoming the new VBScript. As you may know, VBScript is a powerful language that is now frequently misused for the creation of malicious scripts. Like the command prompt, VBScript isn’t going away anytime soon. However, administrators say that PowerShell is easier to use for everyday Windows tasks.

What You Can Do with PowerShell: Some Powerful Examples

There is no doubt that Windows PowerShell is as powerful as it claims to be, but how can we achieve automation with it? Here are a few ways in which PowerShell can automate your system’s administration.

  • Quick Queries: With the cmdlet Get-Process, you can get a list of all the running processes along with their CPU and RAM usage. But that’s just the first step. With PowerShell, you can set up filters to identify processes that are taking more CPU utilization.
  • Powerful Reports: You can set up another filter to sort these processes by their handle ID and display this data in an interactive grid. This is just an example of how you can use PowerShell to generate automated reports on your system’s performance. In the previous example, we’ve successfully pinpointed which processes are taking up the most CPU resources.
  • Smarter Computing: PowerShell offers a lot of filtering and sorting options. With just a single line of code in PowerShell, you can develop a custom Service Restarting tool to revive any applications that are misbehaving.
  • Task Scheduler: Another way that administrators automate their systems is by using the Task Scheduler. By simply using the task scheduler to run a PowerShell script at a certain time, systems administration can become simple and predictable.

Is PowerShell the Future of Windows Computing?

PowerShell is the present and the future for Windows scripting and automation, and these are some of the reasons why:

  • Multipurpose: It serves as both a scripting language and a command-line shell. You can solve problems easily using existing cmdlets. In fact, you can configure your own cmdlets instead of compiling entire blocks of code.
  • Universal: PowerShell is capable of interacting with diverse technologies. A language that can integrate and work with all these technologies certainly has value going forward.
  • Object-Based: PowerShell gives you incredible flexibility as you can filter, measure, sort, group, and compare (an example of which is given before). It can work with methods and properties instead of relying on raw text.

PowerShell is useful for anyone who is working inside the Microsoft ecosystem, and it’s not just for system administrators. Powershell is supported by Microsoft for cloud and on-premise solutions as well. Since Microsoft is putting all its weight behind PowerShell, it’s safe to assume that Microsoft PowerShell is here to stay.

To learn more about how Microsoft PowerShell can help your busienss automate system administration tasks, give us a call at (833) 482-6435 or click the banner below to schedule a consultation online. As a Microsoft Partner, we look forward to hearing from you!

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