Why should I use PowerShell?
PowerShell is a popular tool for many MSPs because its scalability helps simplify management tasks and generate insights into devices, especially across medium or large networks. Here’s how PowerShell uses can transform your workflow:
- Automate time-consuming tasks: With cmdlets, you don’t have to perform the same task over and over, or even take the time for manual configuration. For instance, you can use cmdlets like Get-Command to search for other cmdlets, Get-Help to discover these cmdlets’ syntax and uses, and Invoke-Command to run a common script locally or remotely, even with batch control.
- Provide network-wide workarounds: Using PowerShell enables you to get around software or program limitations, especially on a business-wide scale. For instance, PowerShell can be used to reconfigure the default settings of a program across an entire network. This could be useful if a business wants to roll out a specific protocol to all its users—say, compelling users to either use two-factor authentication (2FA) or change their password every two months.
- Scale your efforts across devices: PowerShell can be a lifesaver if you need to run a script across multiple computers, especially if some of them are remote devices. If you’re trying to implement a solution on quite a few devices or servers at once, you don’t want to log in to each device individually. PowerShell can help you gather information about multiple devices within minutes, compared to the hours it would take to check each device manually. Once you enable PowerShell remoting, you’ll be able to scale your scripts to reach dozens (or more) of machines at once, allowing you to install updates, configure settings, gather information, and more—potentially saving hours of work and travel time.
- Gain visibility into information: The advantage of command-line interfaces like PowerShell is the access they provide to a computer’s file system. PowerShell makes hard-to-find data in files, the Windows Registry, and even digital signature certificates visible regardless of whether it’s housed on one computer or many. This information can then be exported for reporting purposes.
Finally, since every Windows 10 computer should have it pre-installed, it’s not difficult to learn PowerShell. As an MSP, knowing PowerShell not only puts you one step ahead of your competitors in terms of marketability, but gives you a host of useful abilities. If you know how to script cmdlets for PowerShell, it’s that much easier for you to scale your efforts and provide accurate, flexible, and fast service to customers.
Is Windows PowerShell the same as Command Prompt?
Although Windows Powershell 1.0 was released as a replacement for Command Prompt, it’s inaccurate to think of PowerShell as simply a new version of the classic command-line interpreter. In fact, both programs still exist on Windows 10, though PowerShell is much more powerful.
Some intermediate-level users may choose to use Command Prompt if they’re already familiar with the language—its interface executes simple DOS commands, and for some users, that’s enough. But the many uses of PowerShell make it a more attractive tool for MSPs who want true control over a network. By providing cmdlets that can reach into registry management and WMI, PowerShell gives you access to more system administration tasks than Command Prompt can, especially since PowerShell is not just for Windows, but is an open-source tool for Linux and Mac OS X as well.
SolarWinds® Remote Monitoring & Management (RMM) offers all the advantages of PowerShell without requiring MSPs to actually use PowerShell scripts. With RMM, you can utilize simple drag-and-drop objects to easily create a wide range of automated functions. This kind of automation is crucial for busy MSPs looking for efficient, scalable business practices. RMM’s user-friendly interface lets you leverage all the benefits of Windows PowerShell, faster.
Read through our blog for other useful tips on utilizing Windows tools and programs.
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