New Windows Server environment with powershell

Let’s say you were implementing a brand new Active Directory DS/ Windows Server network. What would you do from a technical side to make sure everything could be managed with powershell?

How would you establish a “culture of powershell” for IT employees?

Its a matter of getting employee’s excited about PowerShell and managing server infrastructure with code rather than GUI’s. Sure you could only install Windows Server 2012 R2 Core and put in place some policies that promote that sort of culture. However this will fall short depending on the staff skillset and enthusiasm for PowerShell.

It will depend on many factors such as the size of the organization and the management style from above. The technical side of “making sure everything can be managed with PS” is quite simple. However, there are some things that you won’t want to manage with PowerShell or staff’s skillset won’t cover every extremity of the typical enterprise setup (Network based firewall’s, other non-Microsoft based devices).

If you’re in an organization that utilizes cloud providers such as Azure/AWS then there is a huge push for leveraging PowerShell for automation related tasks, this can be a push forward in terms of culture if that’s the case. Honestly though, it can be very hard to get some of the people who have been around in the industry for 20+ years excited about PowerShell. This has been noted and is a job for management to handle when undergoing the hiring process.

Snover said this recently to a few hiring managers he talks to: “Stop hiring click next admins, and reward the guys who are automating”

So I guess two different questions. From a technical perspective, sure it’s simple enough to make (mostly) everything manageable via PowerShell. As for Culture, that’s a whole other story that relates to the type of employees and management you have.

Technically - its relatively easy. Make sure as many components as possible can be managed by powershell. Your sticking point is non-Microsoft products but many of those have APIs you can call from PowerShell or even PowerShell cmdlets.

Culture is definitely your stumbling block. In my experience 20% or less of IT administrators are adopting PowerShell. The rest appear to be very happy with their ‘point and click’ administrative experience.

I’d suggest the people interested in automation do so, and don’t try to drag the unwilling majority along. Automate, get more done and shine - in other words use the example of what you’ve done and can do to influence your management. Hopefully, you can get the hiring processes changed over time so people who want to automate will be hired.

I don’t think there’s a quick answer to this problem but the consensus among a lot of very clever people is that if, as an IT admin, you don’t automate then long term you’ll need to find another job.

Thanks guys this is great information. Just to be clear, my PowerShell experience is limited to watching Jason Helmick and Jeffrey Snover on Microsoft Virtual Academy. So on setting up the technical side, I really need the basics. Some servers need RSAT, right? It’s better for admins to do PS remoting than to RDP into servers, right? How do we set that up? What needs installed on Admin desktops? If we want manage end user desktops with PowerShell, what configuration do they need?

I am not even sure if I am asking the right questions, but thanks for helping! :slight_smile: