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PowerShell Windows System AutomationWhen you’re looking for a flexible method of automating administrative tasks on a Windows system, you need to look into PowerShell. Just about anything you can do with a mouse and a keyword can be scripted and automated using the PowerShell program.

Administrators looking to automate important minute but important tasks like unlocking passwords or manipulating SQL data often rely on PowerShell, in part because it has been included as a native CLI into every modern version of Windows. It’s a program written to interact perfectly with the Windows system and works well for companies utilizing Windows Server, Windows Desktop, or cloud-connected infrastructure.

It’s possible that, sooner or later, the PowerShell program will end up replacing the basic command prompt itself. As the command prompt has been around since the “good old days” of Windows DOS, it is likely that sooner or later it will be phased out and replaced, with PowerShell being a top candidate.

Whether you’re for or against the replacement of the command prompt, just about everyone believes that PowerShell is the future of Windows systems administration. To get the most out of automating your Windows network, you’ll need to get PowerShell.

A Simple Program That Gives You Power and Control

With PowerShell, you can automate the most complex of tasks of your Windows systems using commands called Cmdlets (or “command-lets”). Most Microsoft products can be used in conjunction with it — for example, you can use PowerShell to insert values into an XLSX Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

When it comes to security and scripting, Microsoft 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.

Why does this particular security feature exist, if PowerShell was written with Windows in mind? Well, it’s primarily to ensure that the program doesn’t end up becoming the new VBScript — a powerful language now frequently misused by hackers creating malicious scripts.

What Can You Do With PowerShell?

How can PowerShell be used to achieve automation? We put together a few examples on how this program can be used within your organization.

  • Quick Queries: With the cmdlet Get-Process, you can get a list of all the running processes along with their CPU and RAM usage. You’ll also be able to 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.
  • 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.

Another way to automate is by using the Task Scheduler. It essentially ‘tells’ the system to run a PowerShell script at a specific, programmed time of day. This allows these tasks not only to be automated but to be predictable and dependable.

Is PowerShell the Future of Windows Computing?

It’s very likely that PowerShell will be the script-of-choice in the future for Windows scripting and automation. Here’s 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. Supported by Microsoft for cloud and on-premise solutions as well, it’s likely to be the right choice for your organization. Since Microsoft is putting all its weight behind PowerShell, it’s safe to assume that Microsoft PowerShell is here to stay.

Looking for more information on PowerShell and how you can use it to improve your start-up, large enterprise, or any business in-between? Call BACS! We provide high-tech Managed IT Services to organizations throughout the nation from our home base here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Whether you’re looking for advice on how automation can improve your business, need to understand the rise in recent ransomware attacks, or you’re looking for an IT support partner that keeps your company’s mission and growth in mind, BACS is the business to call. Reach us by phone at (650) 887-4601 or contact us online at any time to schedule your consultation.

Business' Biggest Threat

Published on 2nd August 2016 by James Berger.