I was for a good nine years of my life working in the field as a Technician and Consultant for a company in Toronto called Around the Clock I.T. Solutions Inc. I will put this name out there since a) They’re a great bunch of guys, b) I like throw a little free advertising out to friends and c) Some of the best experience I ever got as a field tech came from there.
So please listen now. I’ve been there and KNOW first hand what it’s like to be in the Small Business are and even Mid Size. My present position has got me touching into the Enterprise. It’s “pretty cool” to understate.
One of the mistakes I used to make was doing ALL my management on the server. Using Small Business Server 2003, it was typical since all of the tools were sitting on the server and they worked beautifully.
So when I got into Powershell, I “Assumed” like many Administrators it HAD to be on the server to use it. I “Assumed” because Powershell V1 (the original version) couldn’t do “Remoting” it had to run all the scripts on the server.
But that is COMPLETELY the biggest load of hooey ever.
Yes, it’s definitely FASTER on the server. No question. But what I found is I can leverage almost 99.999999999% of Powershell from my workstation using Version 1. And version 2 has some great features if you have it on both the server and Client side. But that doesn’t stop you from using it to manage almost ANY server environment in Active Directory.
If you have the Administrative account and credentials for a Domain, including the Server name / IP address? You can manage that server with Powershell.
I keep harping on and on and on about Quest Active Roles Management Shell. I do it for a reason. Because I’m not a Developer and I need to get my work done easily. Quest does that with this free Snap in. It does it easily. It DOES IT ON MY WORKSTATION!
All you NEED to manage your server environment from your workstation with Powershell is
a) Connectivity to the Server or Server environment (physical or wireless or VPN)
b) Needed snapins for the components you’re trying to manage. (Exchange, Active Directory
c) Credentials for the Server (domain Admin membership, Enterprise Admin membership or whatever rights you SHOULD have)
d) POWERSHELL, any version although since Version 2 is out for all versions of Windows as low as Windows XP? Get it. It’s free. 🙂
Powershell does NOT need to be installed on the Server, Powershell does not need to extend, touch, change, alter or in way hurt Active Directory.
Powershell is AS SAFE or AS DANGEROUS as Active Directory Users and Computers in the wrong hands. It is also restricted by the same Policies as Active Directory Users and Computers.
To get those snapins needed you need only acquire the media for Exchange 2007, Sql Server 2008, or the application in question and install the “Management Components”. Sometimes it will want to install “Shell components”. Those are typically the Powershell Snapins and components you need.
I can state this with conviction. I have migrated users from my workstation between separate domains. The script works the same on the workstation as it does on the server. I can query user accounts for old stale systems from my workstation the same as on the server. I can do ALL of this WITHOUT putting Powershell on the server. I say this for a reason.
If you are an Administrator in an Enterprise network and you are restricted about changes to the server (which I can fully understand) but CAN install components on your workstation (as long as it’s cleared by Corporate Policy) start trying Powershell. It’s a component in Windows 7. It’s a free update from Microsoft for all current versions of Windows.
And it will change your life for the better.
The Energized Tech