So far, in this series, Nicolas has shown how to get simple container instances up and running with just some basic background information. Now we need to understand the differences between Linux containers, Windows Server containers and Hyper-V containers. We can then define, create and run multi-container Docker applications, and port existing Windows Container VMs to Docker.… Read more
Deployments can be made easier, in many different ways, by using Docker and Windows Containers; but how do you set about working with them? As part of his practical series on Windows Containers and Docker, Nicolas shows how to deploy a Container Host to the Microsoft Azure cloud. retrieve Images from Docker Hub, build your own container image, and push your images to the Docker Hub. … Read more
Because PowerShell needs to be usable as an immediate scripting language by IT professionals who type in commands at a console, there have to be language devices such as aliases that can make for terseness when appropriate. There are several ways of cutting down the verbiage in a script, and being able to specify default values via $PSDefaultParameterValues is one of the more generally useful ones. Michael Sorens explains how it can save you time in your daily work.… Read more
When you begin to work with containers, you will notice many similarities between a container and a virtual machine; but, in fact, these are two quite different concepts. Containers are going to change the way that we do Windows-based development work in the coming year, and they already underpin much of the devops work of speeding the delivery process. Nicolas Prigent explains how to use the Windows Containers feature.… Read more
Virtual machines are easier to manage via PowerShell than with the the Hyper-V Manager console. PowerShell Direct takes this further by allowing you to interact easily with the virtual machines on the Hyper-V host without needing network access. With Windows Nano Server, PowerShell Direct is an essential because this OS requires you to use remote management via PowerShell scripts.
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Let's forget the actual PowerShell code for a moment: Why is PowerShell important? Why should I use it? Where did it come from? Why did it take so long to arrive? These and many other basic questions are answered in William Brewer's latest addition to the series that answers those seemingly simple questions that you were too shy to ask in public.… Read more
Whether you are working in a procedural language like PowerShell or in T-SQL, there is something slightly bothersome about having to deal with parameters that are lists, or worse with ranges amongst the values. In fact, once you have a way of dealing with them, they can be convenient, especially when bridging the gulf between application and the database. Phil Factor shows how to deal with them.… Read more
Because it is important with maintaining Virtual Machine environments to be able to repeat routine tasks completely accurately, Windows PowerShell has grown in importance for the job. Now you can manage the Hyper-V environment via PowerShell without needing to use the Hyper-V Manager console. It opens up many opportunities for automation.… Read more
On both Windows and Linux, the chore of setting up a development workstation can take several days, and there always seem to be a few configuration settings that get missed. You can reduce the time and tedium dramatically by automating the process by using Vagrant to set up the operating system, followed by your choice of provisioning, configuration management and orchestration applications such as Puppet, Chef, Ansible, Salt, Docker, Chocolatey and Boxstarter. Vishwas shows how to make it easy to do with Vagrant, Chocolatey and Boxstarter.… Read more
When you combine PowerShell and SQLite, you can perform powerful magic. Phil Factor is in awe of SQLite and gives a brief demonstration of how easy it is to use. Just to encourage anyone who is unfamiliar with the database, he includes a giant-sized SQLite version of the old PUBS database that the first generation of RDBMS developers cut their teeth on. … Read more
Windows hasn't had a package manager in the style of the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) of Linux distributions. Apt-get is a great way of installing packages and other software. We have Chocolatey, of course which has a growing library of software and even allows you to automatically update software. Now PowerShell has an 'official' way of using any system, such as NuGet, Chocolatey, GitHub or PSget. It is definitely useful and likely to mature into an indispensable tool for Windows users. Nicolas explains why… Read more
Why is it that we use XML, but with so little enthusiasm when it does so much, and is so feature-rich? Phil Factor argues that there are better ways of doing it, more complete than JSON, but easier to read than XML. To try to convince you, he gives a set of flying demos, using PowerShell and his PSYaml module, to illustrate how YAML can let you work faster, and more accurately.… Read more
PSYaml is a simple PowerShell module that I’ve written that allows you to serialize PowerShell objects to “YAML Ain’t Markup Language” (YAML) documents and deserialize YAML documents to PowerShell objects. It uses Antoine Aubry’s excellent YamlDotNet library To start, you can simply load the PowerShell file and the manifest from its home on GitHub PSYaml … Read more
A major difficulty for a System Administrator who wishes to provide access for auditors, Helpdesk staff, developers and other IT people is that adminstrator roles give users more access than they need. It is too easy to make mistakes, or to make more changes than those that were signed-off. With JEA, it is possible to create role-based access control (RBAC) endpoints that define precisely what actions you’ll let your users carry out without needing a elevated, privileged administrator credentials, and which log and report all operations.… Read more
Desired State Configuration (DSC) allows you to automate the way that you manage configuration data for software services as well as the environment in which these services run. DSC uses a set of built-in and custom 'resources' as the building blocks for a configuration. if you have specific requirements you may need to create the relevant resource to make the configuration happen. Nicolas Prigent provides a practical guide to DSC resources… Read more
To demonstrate that dynamic modules in PowerShell can be used to easily create objects with methods and properties, Phil Factor implements an expression analyser written in PowerShell, using a variation of Dijkstra's Shunting Algorithm.… Read more
It is just the first stage to make your C# Cmdlet do what it is supposed to do. Even though cmdlets are used at the commandline, they need a whole range of features to make life easier for the end user. These include such refinements as providing documentation, validating inputs, providing a manifest, and implementing the common parameters.… Read more
Windows Server 2016 features support for containers. These are not Linux-based, but containers that run on Windows and run Windows on the inside.
These conform to the Open Container Initiative (OCI). They allow you to run applications insulated from the rest of the system, within portable containers that include everything an application needs to be fully functional. As they did with Linux, containers will change the nature of the software supply chain for Windows users.… Read more
The Pull mode of Desired State Configuration (DSC) is more complicated to implement because you need to meticulously manage the MOF files and their naming conventions so as to ensure that you deploy your DSC configurations correctly. In this first article of a two-part series, Nicolas Prigent describes how you can best automate this, and then in a second part on monitoring DSC he describes techniques to help you to use the pull mode as a regular part of your admin work.… Read more
You can mould PowerShell to the way you want to work, with all the settings and modules that you require, by using the profiles. Profiles are PowerShell scripts that run at startup, and once you have understood where they are and when each is used, they have a whole range of uses that make using PowerShell a lot more convenient. … Read more
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