I often get asked about useful resources for learning PowerShell, in particular what good books are available. So I have compiled a list of PowerShell books that I own and would recommend.
Windows PowerShell 2.0 - Don Jones and Jeffery Hicks
This is a great book for a beginner to PowerShell either with previous scripting experience. Note that the previous edition of this book which covered PowerShell v1 is given away for free by the publisher Sapien as an electronic download and could be a good place to get started - of course you will then want to buy the newer edition which covers PowerShell v2.
Windows PowerShell Cookbook - Lee Holmes
Similar in style to a food based cookbook, this book contains many ‘recipies’, i.e pre-written scripts to solve a particular problem or objective. Not the kind of book that you read from cover to cover, more a reference guide you will find yourself referring to.
Windows PowerShell: In a Month of Lunches - Don Jones
There’s nothing wrong with being a complete beginner (it happens to me all the time!) . This book is aimed at the IT admin who typically has not used any scripting before. Each chapter covers one topic with a lab section at the end where you work through a set of exercises to enhance your learning.
Whilst not yet printed, you can get pre-release chapters from Don in electronic format via Manning’s Early Access program . Don is also giving away a 3 day classroom training kit so you could tailor a a training course around this book and the training kit to make a very cost effective training. More (paid for) options will become available for 4 and 5 day classes.
Windows PowerShell in Action - Bruce Payette
Not a book I would recommend to an IT admin starting out with PowerShell, but definitely THE book which explains how PowerShell works. I read this one after I already had a decent grasp of the fundamentals of PowerShell, otherwise I think my head would have been spinning. Now though I refer to it a lot and find it particularly useful to have the electronic version available to search on. The 2nd edition which covers PowerShell v2 is shortly to be released, but again from Manning the Early Access programme is available.
General System Administrator
PowerShell in Practice - Richard Siddaway
Aimed at the Microsoft based administrator who typically works with one or more of multiple products such as Windows Server, IIS, DNS, Exchange, SQL etc, this book contains many practical examples of how to automate those environment. It is particularly useful for those Microsoft products which do not yet have full cmdlet support and Richard demonstrates how you can still effectively manage those products with PowerShell.
Managing Active Directory with Windows PowerShell - Jeffery Hicks
The very nature of the size and number of objects within Active Directory in any environment lends itself to automation and in this book Jeff demonstrates how to achieve this with PowerShell. He covers not only built in methods using ADSI and .NET, but also the popular Quest AD PowerShell cmdlets.
Managing VMware Infrastructure with Windows PowerShell - Hal Rottenberg
PowerCLI is possibly the most popular third-party implementation of PowerShell. This book is great for the VMware admin wishing to automate their environment with PowerShell.
VMware vSphere PowerCLI Reference: Automating vSphere Administration - Luc Dekens, Alan Renouf, Glenn Sizemore, Arnim van Lieshout and Me :-)