"cd AD:" = wow!

So I had a new article published over at Simple-Talk, Active Directory Management with PowerShell in Windows Server 2008 R2, looking at how you can use the new AD cmdlets and provider to manage Active Directory. Mr Anonymous (it wasn’t me) has already posted a very nice comment which sums up part of the new management experience; “cd AD:” = wow! (OK I know you could do this already with the PowerShell community extensions, so it might not be wow for everybody)

Active Directory PowerShell Quick Reference Guide

I regularly recommend and often refer to this document my good friend Alan Renouf put together Quick Reference Guide for PowerCLI. It is really handy guide to pin up by your desk when you need to remind yourself of a cmdlet and maybe one of the most common usages for it. I’ve been spending a lot of time recently checking out the PowerShell cmdlets for Active Directory in Windows Server 2008 R2 and they have also AD PowerShell Quick Reference Guide together.

New Article: The Active Directory Recycle Bin in Windows Server 2008 R2

Back in March this year I saw a presentation by James O’Neill and Richard Siddaway about some of the new PowerShell features in Windows Server 2008 R2, in particular Active Directory. I was fascinated by the new ‘Recycle Bin’ feature, which is enabled via PowerShell, and could instantly see that this would be a great and long overdue new feature. I am not alone in this; when Mark Minasi recently appeared on the Run As Radio podcast he said the AD Recycle Bin was the standout feature of the whole Server 2008 R2 release, not just the Active Directory part. the magic number

Most Windows administrators know that the maximum length for the Netbios computer name of a machine is 15 characters since they may well have hit that limit at some point in time. Slightly less familiar might be the samAccountName attribute of an Active Directory account which must be less than 20 characters - I had experience troubleshooting this one though as recently as last year. Last week I needed to create hundreds of distribution lists in Active Directory (using PowerShell of course ;-) ), some with particularly long names and during the first run through in my test environment about 20% of them failed to create with an error along the lines that one of the properties I was trying to set was causing a violation.

UK User Group Events in May

So May looks like a great month for some of the user groups I regularly attend. First up we have the VMware user group in London on Thursday May 14th. This is an excellent event for VMware administrators to attend and has a great mix of vendor and community contributions. In particular this time check out Alan Renouf’s pre-show PowerShell workshop. This is before the usual start time and should be great if you are new to PowerShell or already using the VI Toolkit.

PowerShell Active Directory Cmdlets in Windows Server 2008 R2

A lot of the scripting I have done with PowerShell has been around manging Active Directory and up till now the majority of that work has been with the Quest AD cmdlets which are brilliant for this job. Of course not everyone is always able to install third-party cmdlets into their environment and for other reasons I have been as keen as anyone to see native cmdlets released for AD.

Get-Scripting Guys Take Over the March UK Powershell User Group

Myself and Alan Renouf from the Get-Scripting Podcast will be presenting this month at the UK Powershell User Group on Thursday 26th March at Microsoft in Reading. First up on the night will be Richard Siddaway talking to us about using Regular Expressions in Powershell. This was requested at a previous event and I know that Richard is really looking forward to talking about that subject ;-) Then the Get-Scripting guys will take over:

UK Active Directory User Group - 6pm GMT Wednesday 11th March

This is the second meeting of the newly formed UK Active Directory User Group: The second [ADUG] UK Active Directory User Group meeting will be on the evening of the 11th March at Microsoft’s London (Victoria) Offices. The meeting will co-hosted with the Windows Server User Group. The draft agenda is: 18:00 for 18:25 Arrival and registration 18:25-18:30 Welcome and introductions 18:30-19:45 James O’Neill takes a quick tour through the new features in Windows Server 2008 R2 (just to whet your appetite).

Modifying AD accounts with Powershell after an Exchange 2003 dial-tone restore

Recently I’ve been testing out some different disaster recovery scenarios for Exchange 2003, one of which involved a dial-tone method - i.e. create some new mailbox servers with blank databases to get users up and running quickly and then merge the restored data back in later. One of the types of dial tone method we used was to create new server names rather than re-use existing Exchange server names. So for example to re-create a four node (3 active, 1 passive) cluster with new names, instead of

Powershell Active Directory One-Liners

Recently I blogged about some scripts I left behind in my previous employment for managing AD - really a lot of them were just quick one liners. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing, one of the best things for me about Powershell is the way you can get great information with very little effort. Of course I am using my good friend the Quest AD cmdlets. I thought I’d share a few of them: