Twin Cities PowerShell 07/14: In Review

This week, Twin Cities PowerShell had Michael Greene and Mark Gray from the Microsoft PowerShell Team speak to the user group! There was quite a bit of content, so I’ve put together a summary of everything we had gone over — with a ridiculous amount of resource linkage:


Michael Greene

Mark Gray

What was talked about?

General Windows Management Foundation 5.0 Notes

  • Will be targeting Windows 7 / 2008 R2 and up systems
  • WMF5 article summary of key features: WMF5 Preview Available
  • WMF5 has a large release notes document you should take a look at to see everything going on (will be one of the items you can download): WMF5 Preview Download
  • WMF will be experiencing a new release cadence. What does that mean? Instead of having to wait for bugs to be fixed between versions of PowerShell, releases are expected to come out much faster — much like what we have been seeing with the preview versions of WMF5 (Stable vs. Preview versions).

Desired State Configuration (DSC) News

  • Azure Automation is a tool that can be used ontop of DSC / PowerShell as a visualization platform. It is being targeted as something that will be able to act as a dashboard/compliance tool that would allow you to see what the state of your environment is. This means that it can act as a Pull Server for nodes existing in AWS, Azure, Private-Clouds, etc! Definitely check it out: Azure Automation Landing Page
  • WMF5 will be introducing roles to DSC, that would allow you to version collections of Desired State Configurations as opposed to making sure all nodes have a GUID-specific generated MOFs. By versioning these roles, one would be capable of introducing changes to specific environments (non-prod,prod,etc.) as opposed to just specific target nodes.
  • WMF5 will be introducing partial configurations to DSC. This will allow different groups to work on different components of configurations, and they essentially become part of a run-list that the LCM sees when checking in against a Pull Server. This new feature, and a handful of others were shown, that can all be seen here: Validate Features of PowerShell DSC
  • Pushing to an LCM client will still change it to configure itself for ‘PUSH’ mode, even if it was previously configured for ‘PULL.’ Some new resources are being introduced in WMF5 that allow you, within a DSC configuration, to deal with this problem (which your MOF would have to include in a PUSH). These are around ConfigurationRepositoryWeb, ResourceRepositoryWeb, and ReportServerWeb. You can read about them in the WMF5 release notes: WMF5 Preview Download
  • The Pull Server has a REST API end-point that can be used to retrieve status information of LCM nodes that have checked in! This is being improved upon in WMF5. See this blog post: How to Retrieve Node Information from DSC Pull Server
  • Locally, on LCM nodes, a new cmdlet (Get-DSCConfigurationStatus) is being introduced in WMF5 that will tell more information about the status of the node. Check it out: Validate PowerShell DSC Node Status
  • Encrypting values within MOF configurations sounds to be a common concern for people interested in DSC. There may be more articles to come that will ease the understanding/use of processes surrounding certificates but, in the meantime, here is a PowerShell Team blog post about doing this very thing: Want to Secure Credentials in Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration?

PowerShell Package Manager (previously known as OneGet)

  • It’s been renamed. Yup.
  • Registration is open for the PowerShell Gallery, for those interested in making their custom Modules available to be installed/updated via PowerShellGet cmdlets (Install-Module,Update-Module,etc.): Registration is Now Open for the PowerShell Gallery
  • Michael talked about an interesting concept for setting up feeds: experimental (non-prod) vs. prod. Using Git, Jenkins, Pester, and a Repo-of-choice, one could create a build-pipeline for their PowerShell Modules in the enterprise. He created a repository on GitHub to demonstrate the concept: Git2Get
  • Want to setup your own PowerShellGet repo for PowerShell Modules? Check out Setting Up an Internal PowerShellGet Repository
  • Michael had mentioned using MyGet for creating Package Manager feeds
  • Interesting article by a NuGet team member at Microsoft: Using MyGet as a OneGet Package Source
  • I’m likely to check out the use of Artifactory as a Package Source Repo, per the JFrog article here: Using OneGet with Artifactory

Nano Server and CoreCLR

  • Nano Server (v1), which is currently available in the Technical Preview of Windows Server 2016, will be an ultra-scaled down Microsoft server. You literally create it to be what you want it to be. Though, what it can become will be very limited in v1 to a few things like a Hyper-V host or file server. It uses CoreCLR, so PowerShell cmdlets will be quite limited. It can be configured via DSC but, then again, if the resources in any way use PowerShell cmdlets that are not available within the CoreCLR of Nano Server, the configurations will fail. You can learn more about Nano Server from the Ignite Session here – Nano Server: The Future of Windows Server Starts Here
  • Channel9: Nano Server Playlist
  • Here is a promising article on creating your Nano Server in an easier fashion: Install Windows Nano Server the Easy Way
  • Windows IOT (Internet Of Things) will be able to run on many kinds of devices, like the Raspberry Pi, and will also be using CoreCLR — thus having a limited subset of PowerShell Cmdlets. You can download it as part of the Insider program.


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