Authors

Mitchell Grande

Mitchell Grande

Systems Engineer
Contributions by Mitchell Grande

PowerShell Basics - The Pipeline

Continuing with our PowerShell basics series, the next important concept is the pipeline.  The pipeline refers to how PowerShell passes the result of one command to the input of another command.  Unlike other scripting languages that pass raw text, PowerShell passes full objects along the pipeline.  Remembering back to the previous topic, PowerShell objects are full representations of some type of item, like a file or user account.  By passing full objects down the pipeline, it is relatively easy to create fairly complex workflows.

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

PowerShell Basics - Command Structure

Although you've almost certainly used PowerShell by now, you may not be comfortable writing your own commands and scripts.  With PowerShell being the de facto scripting platform for Windows administration, being able to confidently write and execute your own scripts is an invaluable skill.  As networks get larger and larger, the need to increase efficiency is growing, and PowerShell will help get you there.  This is the first in a short series of tech tips to help get you up to speed and confident with PowerShell.

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

Domain Controller Selection

The process of a Windows client selecting an Active Directory domain controller isn't too complex but is often not fully understood.  Let's look at the way a member server chooses a DC and how this affects applications.

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

Storage Replica

Storage Replica is a new feature in Windows Server 2016 that does block-level replication between Windows Servers in a few different configurations.  Although it isn't the solution to every replication scenario, it is a versatile technology that helps in a few different cases.

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

Windows Server 2019

A few weeks ago, Microsoft announced the next version of Windows Server in the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC): Windows Server 2019.  Keeping in mind that the LTSC server releases are similar to traditional server versions, this represents the next major release for Windows Server.  This release will include the full Desktop Experience and has 10 years of support.  This is in contrast to the Semi-Annual Channel which only comes in Server Core and gets 18 months of support.  Let's take a look at some of the new features of Windows Server 2019.

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

Policy Analyzer

Policy Analyzer is a tool released a couple of years ago that allows an administrator to easily compare two or more GPOs to find the differences between them.  It's a little clunky to use for quick troubleshooting, but for in-depth GPO work, this is a great tool for helping review and organize GPOs.  Here, we'll walk through how to get started and interpret the results.

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

PowerShell Quick Tips

When diagnosing issues, it's good to be as quick and efficient as possible.  The faster you can diagnose an issue, the faster you can resolve it and restore regular operations.  This is a place where PowerShell shines.  If you have the right command, it can be much quicker to run it than to click through the GUI to collect data.  Here, we'll look at some short PowerShell snippets to use while troubleshooting issues.  All of these are easy commands that you can begin using yourself!

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

Crash Dump Analysis

Extracting information from a memory dump after a server crash is an important part of root cause analysis.  Although this is an advanced topic, and debugging crash dumps is often a very complex task, here we will look at the basics.  This information is enough to get started and debug a simple crash that has a clear cause.

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

Active Directory Health

When dealing with any Active Directory related issue, checking the health of the domain is a common first step.  AD domain health can be broken down into two main parts - the status of the individual DCs and the stability of the replication.  Here, we'll cover how to check each of these.
 

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

PowerShell Event Log Collection

Recently while troubleshooting an issue, it was necessary to search for specific event IDs on 6 different servers.  We knew there was a sporadic issue on all of these different servers, but we didn't know if it was happening simultaneously on them or if the timings were scattered.  Although we could have manually logged into each server, exported the event logs, and then searched them in Excel, it was quick and easy to use PowerShell to do the data collection.
 

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande