Windows PowerShell 4.0 Preview

As a systems administrator you like to stay on top of the latest technologies, right?  Well you won’t want to miss the opportunity to get ahead of the curve and start experimenting with Windows PowerShell 4.0.  It is included as part of the Windows Management Framework 4.0 Preview located in the Microsoft Download Center.

In addition to PowerShell 4.0, the Management Framework includes an updated PowerShell ISE, PowerShell Web Services, WinRM, WMI, and the Server Manager WMI provider.  You should note that the supported operating systems do not include Windows 8 or anything earlier than Windows 7 SP1.  Sources tell me that PowerShell 4.0 will be included with Windows 8.1 when it is released as well as Windows Server 2012 R2.

Pay close attention to the link above as the Management Framework 4.0 Preview is not compatible with some Microsoft Server applications including all versions of Exchange server, SharePoint server, and other applications.  You really shouldn’t be installing a preview in a production environment, anyway, but rather using it locally on your workstation or laptop for testing and familiarization. 

So what’s the big deal with PowerShell 4.0 anyway?  Like most companies, you still probably don’t have PowerShell 3 deployed to every machine on your network.  The big news for PowerShell 4.0 is Desired State Configuration (DSC).  DSC is a new management system for PowerShell that enables you to build out identical IIS servers, file servers, and so forth from unconfigured Windows Servers through PowerShell, reducing the amount of work and time it takes to configure new servers on your network.

I recommend that you check out the Hands-On Lab to get a first-hand feel for how easy this is to configure.  You will also want to check out TechNet for other new PowerShell features.

If you are beginning to love PowerShell as much as I am, I recommend that you check out  PowerShell Community Group near you.  You can find more information at the PowerShell Group Site.