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Windows PowerShell for the Busy Admin

Beginning on Monday, March 12, 2012, Ed Wilson, The Scripting Guy, will start a new series of Learn Windows PowerShell Live Meetings titled “Windows PowerShell for the Busy Admin”. You need to sign up now to ensure that there will be a slot for you to attend these free meetings. Sessions will be recorded and available at the TechNet Script Center Learn PowerShell page.

Session 1: PowerShell SmowerShell or: Why Bother to Learn Windows PowerShell

In this session, Microsoft Scripting Guy ,Ed Wilson, discusses the fact that in addition to being the management future for Microsoft products, Windows PowerShell offers a number of compelling reasons for learning it. These reasons include the following: it is powerful and provides the ability to collect and to consolidate information from multiple remote systems into a centralized view of the data. It is safer than many other tools, and offers the ability to prototype a command prior to the command execution. There is also a confirmation mode that will allow a network administrator or other IT Pro the ability to selectively step through a group of commands to cherry pick commands to execute or ignore. Windows PowerShell also has built in logging that provides documentation of not only what commands are executed, but the resultant output from those commands. In addition, Windows PowerShell contains numerous features to promote a high level of discoverability and intuitive usability. This session is heavy with practical tips and demonstrations.

Session 2: Heard It Through the Pipeline or: How to Compound PowerShell Commands for Fun and Profit

One of the most basic and one of the most powerful features of Windows PowerShell is the pipeline. By using the Windows PowerShell pipeline, one can take a basic set of cmdlets and build a nearly infinite assortment of useful commands. And yet, all of this boils down to using the pipeline to perform essentially four types of activities. The first is to use the pipeline to retrieve items and to work on them. The second is to use the pipeline to filter out data. The third basic use of the pipeline is to persist information. Lastly, the use of the pipeline to format output. In this session, all four basic uses of the pipeline are covered with a heavy dose of demos.

Session 3: Sole Provider? Not Hardly or: A Look at Windows PowerShell Providers

One of the revolutionary concepts in Windows PowerShell is the idea of PowerShell providers. Windows PowerShell providers provide a singular way to access different types of data that are stored in different locations. Default providers include a file system, registry, alias, variable, function, and environmental variable. This means that one can use Get-Item to access content stored in any of these locations. Not only that, but these providers are extensible, which means that Microsoft teams (and non-Microsoft developers) can create additional providers.

Session 4: The Main Event or: PowerShell Does Event Logs

Regardless of one’s position, it seems that at some point or another everyone will be involved in looking at event logs. And why not…especially since Windows has such great logging support. Whether it is for security reasons, troubleshooting reasons, or general Windows health monitoring, the logs contain nearly all of the required information one seeks. In this session, Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, discusses the classic and the newer ETW style of logs, and looks at the tools that are used with each type of log.

Session 5: More than Remotely Possible or: Using PowerShell to Manage the Remote Desktop

Let’s face it, even though there are lots of commercial products out there that assist in managing desktops,or servers, most are very complex, and they require a dedicated support team to manage them. Even in organizations where such tools exist, the teams agenda, and the front-line admin’s agenda often clash. For adhoc situations, using Windows PowerShell to manage remote machines fills-in the gray area. In this session, Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson,discusses using Windows PowerShell to manage remote machines.

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