It’s hard to break old habits and the Windows command line has been around since the early days of Windows NT and 2000. It’s easier to open the Windows command line and start typing than learn a new framework, but Microsoft PowerShell is far more advanced and offers powerful automation options to reduce administrator overhead. If you haven’t already switched to PowerShell, here are some benefits that you’re missing
1. Get Rid of Bat Files
The infamous “bat” file was always the standard for automation on a Windows network. Bat files are just regular text files that execute a list of commands on a Windows machine. It’s limited to old DOS commands, and getting them to work on the network was always difficult.
PowerShell is made to work on the network, and it’s much more robust for automation. PowerShell uses additional commands under the .NET framework, and you can call a Windows API, write loops, and use conditional statements. You can also plug in other PowerShell scripts with your own. PowerShell gives you far more options for automation than old bat files.
2. Automated Reporting
Once your environment grows to several Windows servers, reports help you keep track of each server’s statistics. These statistics help you react early if a server’s resources are exhausted.
PowerShell has command statements that let you automate report creation. You can also export them to a specific location and a specific format. Every morning, PowerShell can run a report and export it to a format such as Excel. As an administrator, you can find the report on one of the network drives. This type of automation makes reduces overhead for administrators and saves you time.
3. No Need for Expensive, Compiled Software
Since PowerShell is based on the .NETframework, you might ask why you wouldn’t use a C# program over the scripting language. You could make a C# application to perform some of the tasks you do in PowerShell, but it’s a much more expensive, time-consuming process.
C# is a compiled language that requires development time, debugging, compiling the program, and then deploying it after testing. With PowerShell, you just write your script, run it in the Microsoft PowerShell ISE, and then deploy it. Overall, PowerShell scripts take much less time to develop than C#.
4. It’s Included with All Windows Operating Systems
Instead of downloading software, installing it, and then deploying it across your network, PowerShell comes preinstalled on all current Windows operating systems include servers. PowerShell was included in Windows 2008 and 2012 server operating systems, and it’s a part of Windows 7, 8 and 10. This means that you can automate your environment on both servers and desktops.
5. Microsoft Keeps Pushing PowerShell for Administrators
Microsoft has several videos and marketing content for PowerShell. They continue to push it as the main scripting language for Windows administrators. It’s not just a testing environment. Microsoft wants it to be an integral part of Windows administration. Learning PowerShell will give you an advantage over competitors during your career.
If you haven’t already started using PowerShell, it’s time to learn. Microsoft has said that PowerShell is here to stay, and it’s a much more useful tool than the old Windows command line.