Windows PowerShell and Windows Server “Longhorn”

Windows PowerShell and Windows Server “Longhorn”

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Last Tuesday in front of over 4000 attendees, Jeffrey Snover and Bob Muglia announced the release of Windows PowerShell 1.0 RTW at IT Forum. Windows PowerShell is the new command-line shell and scripting language for Windows system administration. You may have heard that Exchange Server 2007 leverages Windows PowerShell so that every task can be automated via scripts or managed from the cmd line shell.  Other server roles such as IIS, Terminal Server, Active Directory, Operations Manager 2007, Virtual Machine Manager and Data Protection Manager "V2" can also be managed via PowerShell.

Jeffrey's IT Forum demo showed Windows PowerShell managing a PHP application on an IIS 7 web farm of four “Longhorn” Servers. One of the coolest parts of the demo was when Jeffrey enabled the new IIS 7 Output Caching feature and saw requests per second (RPS) skyrocket from 24 RPS to over 3000 RPS!  That’s an increase of two orders of magnitude in IIS 7 performance for a PHP application running on Windows Server “Longhorn”. Read all about this demo on Bill Staple’s blog and watch a video of this PowerShell, Longhorn and IIS 7 demo on Channel 9.  

 If you haven’t yet, download Windows PowerShell and evaluate it while you are evaluating Windows Server “Longhorn”.  Check out the TechNet Script Center for how to manage Terminal Server and other server administrative tasks with PowerShell or check out the DFO show on Channel 9 for mulitple videos that introduce PowerShell.

Another set of big announcements related to Windows Server and PowerShell was that MySpace is using PowerShell in their production environment to manage thousands of IIS servers running on Windows Server and that MySpace is already seeing performance benefits when they test Longhorn and IIS 7 in their production environment. Check out a 5 min video with Allen and Dan from MySpace at TechEd: IT Forum’s VirtualSide. There is also a great video interview with Julius Sinkevicius and David Lowe providing an overview of Windows Server “Longhorn”.  

Partners also announced support for Windows PowerShell in their products. Quest Software will provide cmdlets for managing Active Directory in their Active Roles Server product by the time Windows Server Longhorn is released. /n Software has a beta available for its free NetCmdlets that provide amazing network management tools via PowerShell (including management of Unix/Linux boxes via their remoting protocols...). Full Armor, PowerGadgets and PrimalScript also made announcements on Tuesday.

Finally I wanted to clarify some confusion that has occurred regarding the availability of Windows PowerShell for Windows Vista and Windows Server “Longhorn”. Currently we only have Windows PowerShell RC2 builds for Vista and Longhorn. We will be releasing a PowerShell RTM version for Windows Vista RTM by the end Jan.   Final PowerShell testing on Vista could not start until Nov 8th until we had Vista RTM code, due to the use of new installation technology and new engineering processes. So the team is aggressively testing it now but this requires us to take a lot of time to ensure that it has the same quality as RTM for Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP.  We are working very hard to deliver it sooner. We intend to have a version of Windows PowerShell RC2 for every major milestone release of Windows Server “Longhorn”. Our next planned release is for Beta 3 of Longhorn. You can be notified of the release of PowerShell for Vista or Longhorn by signing up for email announcements at http://blogs.msdn.com/powershell.

Scott Ottaway

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