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Why PowerShell Is Important

Jonathan Hassell, Consultant & Author | 9/11/2013 | 21 comments

Jonathan Hassell
No doubt you have been hearing about PowerShell, Microsoft's very powerful, object-oriented scripting language and command-line toolset, a lot lately. PowerShell 4.0 is brand new and its role has been expanded.

Over the past few years, Microsoft has made PowerShell a first class citizen on Windows Server and the preferred way to manage both the operating system and many of its server products. In fact, tools like the Exchange Management Console, the System Center GUI tools, and more are simply graphical front ends to PowerShell script cmdlets. These are generated in the background as you move through the various wizards and screens and executed when you click Finish on the task at hand. PowerShell, put simply, is the future of Windows administration.

And really, the value and appeal of PowerShell is fundamentally about automation. It allows computers to handle the rote work that they are capable of handling, freeing up IT staff to actually create business value. What looks better on a report to your executive committee: that you spent 67 hours last month patching your servers, or you spent 60 hours creating a new customer portal that lets you serve a new market quickly and efficiently? Oh, and that patching still got done, just through automation. You be the judge.

There are many reasons why automating with PowerShell is important, but here are three very important ones:

Automation achieves consistency
Have you ever attempted to deploy more than two or three servers at a time by hand, especially if you are adding workloads like a mail or web server to the base operating system? You either have to keep detailed notes to remember what your settings choices were on one machine so that you can duplicate them on the other machines, or (more likely) you just clicked through and tried to remember your choices.

This results in configuration drift, with a bunch of servers doing similar things but configured differently, and is a recipe for problems. By using PowerShell to do your OS and server configuration, you're ensuring that your script configures each target machine identically, with no differences in setup or operation.

Automation makes smarter use of resources
As an IT professional, you are paid way too much to click through wizards on fifteen different servers. You have skills and knowledge that can be applied in much more useful ways, like solving business challenges, developing new services, and reducing waste. PowerShell allows you to make more intelligent use of your own resources and staff by automating a lot of the systems administration, configuration, and monitoring tasks you used to do by hand. This frees you up to add value where it counts.

PowerShell is quickly becoming the preferred management method in the Microsoft ecosystem.
PowerShell is the only way to get some tasks done. For example, I recently learned that only 65 percent of the functionality of SharePoint 2013 is exposed within the graphical management tools. The remaining third is only configurable via PowerShell cmdlets. Not knowing or learning PowerShell can now actively hinder your ability to properly manage deployments.

For all of these reasons and more, PowerShell is very important and should absolutely be on your list of technologies to learn and become familiar with.

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batye   Why PowerShell Is Important   5/6/2014 12:31:16 AM
Re: Powershell Uses
I think it just chages... or transition process...
J-Lo   Why PowerShell Is Important   11/23/2013 4:56:22 PM
Re: Powershell Uses
There seems to be some issue with the community..... silence is getting on my nerves and I can see a lot of spam comments. I wonder if the site is moved else where and I missed out the information
Tuscany   Why PowerShell Is Important   11/13/2013 11:45:27 PM
Re: Powershell Uses
@J-Lo     I agree.   I hear that this site has been incorporated into the E2 - US site under the Euro tab.   I could not find it, found something similar that lead me right back here.   I am confused now, but if I find out something else - I will pass it on.
J-Lo   Why PowerShell Is Important   11/13/2013 8:59:01 AM
Re: Powershell Uses
"It's about figuring things out and exploring" it keeps the interest level high with risks of user getting frustrated. 
J-Lo   Why PowerShell Is Important   11/13/2013 8:55:20 AM
Re: Powershell Uses
Tuscany, You are welcome. These forums are all about exchanging information and sharing knowledge. I have likely benefited a lot with interactions with you and many members of the community. Strangely, there seems to be silence for quite sometime as I don't see new articles and discussions going on.
Tuscany   Why PowerShell Is Important   10/25/2013 5:32:32 PM
Re: Powershell Uses
"PowerShell is not about sitting there and memorising things, It's about figuring things out and exploring. That's the way you should learn PowerShell and continue to use it."

-Snover

One thing I really like about this article outside of the various pieces of great advice - is this nugget.  I certainly hope others will take note !
Tuscany   Why PowerShell Is Important   10/25/2013 5:16:20 PM
Re: Powershell Uses
Oh and thanks for the Powershell link, I have bookmarked it - I primarily work in the Linux World at the moment but could be thrust back into the Windows World at any time, so it will be good to have some understanding of MS's underlying scripting language.  

J-Lo , you are always a wealth of information Thanks Again !
J-Lo   Why PowerShell Is Important   10/21/2013 4:50:46 AM
Re: Powershell Uses
Thee are easy guides and references available online to give a walk through about powershell. These can be handy tools for any beginner trying to understand basics of powershell. One can be viewed here
Tuscany   Why PowerShell Is Important   10/19/2013 8:29:41 PM
Re: Powershell Uses

@J-Lo    Very true.  There is no easy way around it. Learning anything new takes perseverance and Power Shell is no exception.   I wonder how this challenge ranks among all the rest an individual must conquer through strength of purpose ?

J-Lo   Why PowerShell Is Important   10/19/2013 9:27:07 AM
Re: Powershell Uses
How easy it is to learn is totally subjective, it needs practice and a lot of practice like for using MS excel even to its full potential one needs a lot of time to understand natty gritty of it.
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