The latest version of Microsoft's PowerShell scripting environment offers something Windows Server has never had before: a command line interface.
IT analysts say command lines are the tools of choice for administrators who must manage large volumes of servers, Windows operating systems, storage resources and networking components throughout a data center. The reason? An administrator can write one script for reconfiguring servers or for performing weekly backups, for example, and then run it on any number of systems.
"PowerShell is the way to go if you need to manage hundreds or thousands of servers in your data center."
Alternatively, someone would have to click through multiple menus in a graphical user interface. The latest edition of PowerShell also lets administrators manage multiple server roles from a single, central console.
"PowerShell is the way to go if you need to manage hundreds or thousands of servers in your data center," says Mitch Tulloch, author of Introducing Windows Server 2012. "The key here is automation that saves you time and, of course, money. So if you need to manage 100 Hyper-V hosts in a hosting environment, use PowerShell."
Some analysts note that PowerShell's command line isn't only for large organizations with hundreds of servers. "It may also be important for small and midsized businesses, which tend to have limited resources," says Anil Desai, an independent IT consultant, because it eases the desk-side management burden.
Windows Server 2012 continues to offer management options through a graphical interface for IT departments that prefer it.