I will be presenting 2 sessions at PowerShell Summit Europe 2015. The conference will be in Stockholm (Kista), Sweden, on September 14-16.
Registration for PowerShell Summit Europe was opened on February 27th, 2015, you can read the announcement here.
You will have the opportunity to meet many people from the PowerShell community at the conference, as well as members from the PowerShell team at Microsoft.
The topics for my sessions is OneGet/PowerShellGet and PowerShell Desired State Configuration:
Hope to see you at the conference!
On January 24th – 25th the Nordic Infrastructure Conference (NIC) was arranged in Oslo, Norway for the second time.
The goal for the conference is creating a premier event for all IT-professionals in the Nordics, and like the previous editions of NIC, this edition was also a great success with a number of excellent speakers.
I presented a session called “The State of PowerShell Desired State Configuration”:
The first version of Desired State Configuration (DSC), a new management platform in Windows PowerShell that enables deploying and managing configurations, was released in Windows PowerShell 4.0. In this session you will see how DSC has evolved since then, and what`s coming in the next version which will be released later this year.
You can find the recording of the session on YouTube, while slides and demos is available on OneDrive.
Recordings of all other sessions from the conference is available here.
Other PowerShell related videos from the conference
The first day of the New Year has been very exciting for the last 5 years, as I am keeping extra attention to my inbox looking to see if the magic e-mail arrives. This year it did happen as well:
Dear Jan Egil Ring,
Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2015 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in PowerShell technical communities during the past year.
I feel very privileged to be part of such an amazing community which has evolved around PowerShell. Highlights of the past year in addition to online contributions:
A lot of exciting things will happen in 2015 as well, such as the upcoming Scripting Games, the 4th Edition of the NIC conference and PowerShell training classes. A new version of Windows will also be released this year, which means a new version of PowerShell (V5) will also be available. Microsoft is constantly releasing preview versions of PowerShell V5, and thus we have been able to see what is coming with regards to new and exciting features such as OneGet, PowerShellGet & PowerShell Gallery, enhancements to Desired State Configuration, ConvertFrom-String and so on.
There are also a lot of new features in the next version of Windows Server to be excited about, such as Storage Replication and Rolling Hyper-V Cluster Upgrades.
I will still maintain blog.powershell.no for publishing conference slides from my speaker sessions, book reviews and so on, but PowerShell related articles will mainly be posted on PowerShell Magazine. I am also publishing articles related to Microsoft infrastructure on my employer’s blog (Crayon Norway).
I recently finished reading Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration Revealed by Windows PowerShell MVP Ravikanth Chaganti:
The book starts out with an introduction to Windows PowerShell, covering technologies relevant to DSC, such as PowerShell Remoting and CIM.
In the second part the fundamentals is introduced, before advanced DSC concepts and tricks is covered in the last part.
I have worked with DSC and held presentations on the subject since DSC was released in PowerShell 4.0, and I have learned a lot from the book which I haven`t seen or read about before (even in the product documentation).
For example, the details of how to configure a Web Pull Server was very useful. I`ve used the DSC Resource available in the DSC Resource Kit for configuring a Web Pull Server, and not looked at the details covered in the book.
A lot of other useful information is covered, such as how the DSC download managers uses the Get-DscAction, Get-DscDocument and Get-DscModule cmdlets (nice to know for troubleshooting purposes).
The CIM implementation for DSC is also described in details, for example how to use the available CIM methods to perform actions and apply configurations. This knowledge makes it easier to understand how the technology works under the hood.
The first version of DSC was released in PowerShell (Windows Management Framework) 4.0, and there is also some information about the next version, including bugs which has been fixed.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn about PowerShell Desired State Configuration.
On September 4th 2014 I was invited to do a presentation for the Philadelphia PowerShell User Group.
The topic for my session was “Get Started with Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration”, where I covered the following topics:
- The background and goal of DSC
- Configuration models
- Configuring the Local Configuration Manager (demo)
- Configuring a Pull Server using File Download Manager(demo)
- Configuring a Pull Server using Web Download Manager(demo)
- DSC Resources
- DSC in Microsoft Azure(demo)
- PowerShell DSC “V2” (demo featuring what is new in Windows Management Framework 5 based on the 2014 September Preview)
- Related 3rd party products (Chef, Puppet and CFEngine)
A few hours before the meeting the Windows Management Framework 5.0 Preview September 2014 became available, so I prepared a virtual machine with the latest preview in order to give a quick tour of some of the enhancements in the upcoming version.
Resources available from the presentation:
As you might have noticed there have been few updates on my blog in the last months. On March 4th 2014 I was honored to join PowerShell Magazine, and due to this my PowerShell related articles will be published there going forward.
I am also writing Microsoft infrastructure related articles, published on my employer`s blog (Crayon Norway).
This blog will still be used for publishing articles such as conference slides from my sessions, book reviews and so on.
My contributions on PowerShell Magazine
My contributions on Crayon`s blog
A great feature for learning the underlying PowerShell commands when performing an administrative action in Exchange Server 2007/2010, was the Exchange Management Console which showed the PowerShell commands. In Exchange Server 2013 the MMC-based Exchange Management Console was replaced by the web-based Exchange Management Console, which unfortunately did not show PowerShell commands. With the release of Service Pack 1 for Exchange Server 2013, the Exchange team brought the PowerShell Command Logging feature for providing similar capabilities.
In Exchange Server 2010, we could see the PowerShell commands at the end of the wizard when creating a new object:
We also had the “Show Exchange Management Shell command” button available when performing changes to an existing object:
Pressing the button would show us the PowerShell commands:
In Exchange Server 2013 SP1, the “Show Command Logging” option is available in the help menu in the upper right corner in the Exchange Admin Center:
This will open a new window where all commands from actions made in the Exchange Admin Center will be logged:
As an example, we are creating a new mailbox:
After pressing the Save-button, the PowerShell command for creating the mailbox is shown in the Command Logging window:
As we can see from the above screenshot, the Get- cmdlets is also logged when navigating around in the user interface.
In summary, the new Show Command Logging feature in Exchange Server 2013 Service Pack 1 provides a great way for Exchange administrators to learn how to perform an administrative task in PowerShell by first doing it in the graphical web based GUI, and then looking in the Command Logging window.
During the Christmas holiday the Windows PowerShell team published a holiday gift to the community: The Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration Resource Kit.
The resource kit contains a module with 8 DSC Resources for managing domain membership, websites, Hyper-V VMs, VHDs, switches and so on. The resources is prefixed with “x” – where the “x” stands for experimental, meaning these resources are provided “as is” and are not supported through any Microsoft support program or service. It is also stated that anyone can adapt the resources, but it is suggested to rename them with your own naming convention like Contoso_cWebsite.
The DSC Resource Kit is now published on PowerShell.org`s DSC Repository on GitHub, where the “x” has been renamed to “c” (short for “community”):
Name a computer and add it to a domain/workgroup
Create and managed VHDs
Create and manage a Hyper-V Virtual Machine
Create and manage a Hyper-V Virtual Switch
Bind a DNS Server address to one or more NIC
Configure IPAddress (v4 and v6)
Configure DSC Service (aka Pull Server)
Deploy and configure a website on IIS
This means anyone in the community now can contribute with bug fixes or additional functionality.
Thanks to the PowerShell Team for shipping the DSC Resource Kit! Since the Resource Kit is named “DSC Resource Kit – Wave 1” it`s also likely to see more releases coming out.
I just finished reading The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win:
The story is about Bill Palmer, an IT Manager at a company called Parts Unlimited. The company is considering outsourcing IT or splitting up the company, due to many failures in operations and projects. The competitors has launched new and innovative services, while Parts Unlimited stays behind and loses customers. The company initiates a new IT project code named The Phoenix Project in order to catch up with the market and save the company. During the book common scenarios in many IT departments` everyday life is observed such as much firefighting and not being able to keep up with projects. As often before, internal IT projects which would have mitigated many of the problems is not prioritized. Getting more people is not an option according to the CEO, and would unlikely resolve the issues as we learn during the story. We learn how to think about IT, how cloud computing can be leveraged, as well as the importance of practices like ITIL and interdepartmental communications such as between developers and operations. Many times during the book I thought of how this relates to Windows PowerShell in terms of being able to automate manual repetitive work, as well as having consistent procedures for operations such as deployments. Specifically, technologies such as PowerShell Workflow and Desired State Configuration is coming to mind when I`m thinking about how to solve many of the challenges.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who will be working with IT in the coming years, it really is an eye-opener. No matter what your role in IT is, I think you will learn something which can help you and your business going forward.
The 2014 Winter Scripting Games, beginning in the middle of January, gives you the opportunity to test your Windows PowerShell skills and get feedback from Subject Matter Experts. New this time is the ability to form teams and collaborate on the given challenges, which in practice will simulate a real world scenario where you collaborate with your colleagues. Each team will need to have at least 2 persons. There will be judges for scoring the events as well as coaches offering comments and advice to the teams. Personally I will be contributing to the games as a coach, which I`m really looking forward to. I will also write articles on my blog giving advice on my observations during the games. If you want to participate, be sure to read the 2014 Winter SG Players Guide.
You can find more information in the following articles over at powershell.org:
Also be sure to check the 2014 Scripting Games category every day during the games in order to stay updated on the latest announcements. Alternatively you can subscribe to the RSS feed.
Of course, you could also fetch the RSS feed using Invoke-WebRequest:
$result = Invoke-WebRequest -Uri http://powershell.org/wp/category/announcements/scripting-games/feed
$result.rss.channel.item | Format-Table title,pubdate,link -AutoSize
For those of you based in Norway I would also be very happy if you would like to join our local MTUG Script Club team for the games, you can find for information here. There will also be a practice event available starting to accept entries on January 6th.
Good luck to everyone and have fun!