PowerShell is indeed a powerful ally. Using its raw command-line power for automation and configuration management has given Windows devotees a fundamental level of precision control for years. PowerShell has been around long enough that there are some incredibly rich and detailed references in the blog world. Here are a few PowerShell blogs you should add to your favorites list.
This is the official word straight from the proverbial horse's mouth—the Microsoft PowerShell team blog. You can pretty much take what you read here and put it right to work without questioning its validity or accuracy.
In a recent post entitled, "A Comparison of Shell and Scripting Language Security," the team describes its current stance on security and the role PowerShell can play. The team writes, "As PowerShell has become more popular, it has also become more popular for unauthorized administrators—also known as 'Attackers.' In any operating system or platform, the power and efficiency you provide authorized administrators is also available to unauthorized administrators. For example, Unix, Linux, and Mac all have dozens of powerful built in compilers, scripting languages, and debuggers. It’s a power user's dream, but also a liability. The PowerShell team has recognized this double-edged sword since the introduction of PowerShell in 2006. In the last 10 years, we’ve invested greatly in both securing and hardening PowerShell. In PowerShell version 5, we really cranked up the dials on making PowerShell security transparent—the results of which we describe in our post, PowerShell ♥ the Blue Team."
By all means check out the security improvements to PowerShell listed in that referenced post. Other recent posts on the official Microsoft PowerShell team blog include everything from availability announcements to specific step-by-step how-to posts:
This is also a Microsoft blog, but is clearly focused more on the how-to angle. Recent posts on this well-done blog include Debugging PowerShell script in Visual Studio Code—Part 1 and Part 2. The posts are clear, well-organized and at a good technical level for enterprise admins.
There's also a four part series on a PSScriptAnalyzer deep dive. Part four leads off with: "PSScriptAnalyzer comes with a total of 45 rules that are based on community best practices. PowerShell team members at Microsoft and the community developed these rules. The built-in rules are a great baseline, and a good starting point that will quickly tell you if a script or module has any glaring flaws before you get too deep into it. That's great, but what if you or your team has some more stringent standards or you want to borrow the PSSA engine to check scripts for some other reason? You'll need a custom rule."
Other current posts include "Cloud operating system deployment: WinPE in Azure." There's also a series called PowerTips, which includes posts on:
- PowerTip: Get a list of security patches installed in the last 90 days
- PowerTip: Get a list of suspended Azure Automation jobs
- PowerTip: Convert from UTC to my local time zone
This is Jeffrey Hicks' PowerShell blog, in which he lists plenty of other training references and books on "the shell." A lot of books he references he has authored or co-authored himself, including the two titles he would consider essential. He also references to two Microsoft blogs mentioned above. On his blog, he writes, "If you want to get up to speed even faster, you can get a copy of my free eBook on PowerShell 4
for beginners that I wrote for Veeam. After that, get a copy of The Windows PowerShell Cookbook
by Lee Holmes. This is a fantastic resource on all the things you can do with PowerShell."
Jeff further recommends, "You should keep up with the official Microsoft PowerShell team and Hey, Scripting Guy! blogs. It also wouldn’t hurt to bookmark the Microsoft Script Center."
For a veteran PowerShell guy (and veteran TechMentor presenter!) like Jeffrey Hicks, this is a good one to follow.
What are your favorite PowerShell blogs? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned for more PowerShell blogs in future posts!
Posted by Lafe Low on April 20th, 2017 at 2:41 PM0 comments
There's nothing quite like information straight from the source. That's exactly what TechMentor delivers this August 7-11 as we return to the Microsoft Campus for another week of straight-from-the-mothership IT learning.
The conversation continues this year with another look at the topics and technologies that are relevant and immediately-usable in your IT datacenter. Like always, each of our sessions is taught by either an independent industry expert who knows and uses their technology in the trenches; or, by one of Microsoft’s “blue badges” themselves. No one knows these topics better, and no one is better equipped to knowledge transfer them to you.
We break the content apart this year into seven major tracks, giving you the opportunity to hone your server and datacenter skills, learn the details of implementing DevOps, dig deep into the biggest client issues of the day, enhance your infrastructure and security positioning, get the real-world and immediately-usable guidance for cloud services, and even brush up on your soft skills. Take a tour through this extensive catalog of courses for all the details.
That's not all, though. TechMentor is also…not…the biggest IT learning conference out there. At TechMentor, we're not large and you're not a number. You'll get one-on-one with our speakers and experts during our Birds-of-a-Feather lunch events, our kick-off Dine A-Round Dinner, and our Wednesday evening Seattle Sunset Cruise, among a week of opportunities.
You're also not bound by the usual 75-minute sessions seen at most other conferences. TechMentor goes deep with morning three-hour Deep Dives along with an entire Monday and Friday of long-form, and in some cases Hands-On, sessions that are not to be missed.
Whether your datacenter has a dozen servers or a thousand; whether they're centralized or distributed globally; whether they're physical or virtual; whether they're on-premises or deployed in the cloud; TechMentor offers cutting-edge education designed to help you get the most from your current investment, while making smart decisions for future technology investments.
Are you ready for an unforgettable week in the middle of everything? We'll see you in Redmond!
Senior Technical Fellow, Adminize
Author Evangelist, Pluralsight
TechMentor Conference Co-Chairs
Posted by Lafe Low on March 24th, 2017 at 5:30 PM0 comments