As a follow up to the Windows based structured systems management post, I have found a network monitor that does have some dynamic abilities. PolyMon is an open source network monitor written for the .NET environment. Steven Murawski has written PoSHMon, a series of PowerShell cmdlets for interacting with PolyMon dynamically. Whilst neither PolyMon or PoShMon are particularly full featured or mature, they do at least show what is possible.
Mike Wilbur provides a great post on scheduling a PowerShell script to periodically run using Windows 2003. Somehow I think that’s gonna prove very handy when used in conjunction with PowerTime. 😄
One of the interesting things about Lisp is the ability to use macros to effectively create your own language. Instead of using Lisp to solve your problem, write a language in which your problem can be solved and then solve it using your own mini-language. When I heard of the new features in Powershell v2, the one that stood out for me was the ease with which you can create cmdlets using the Powershell scripting language rather than being forced to use C# or VB.
I am currently in the process of broadening my knowledge of Windows Powershell and I thought I’d post some of the excellent resources I’ve found. Many are available for free online, some you’ll have to shell out money for. The book, Windows Powershell in Action, is well worth buying if you want to gain an understanding of how Powershell works. Tutorials PowerShell Pro Tutorial Arstechnica Tutorial -- created prior to the rename to Powershell but still worth your time The DFO Show -- introducing Windows PowerShell [video] Computer Performance Powershell Tutorial Community powershellcommunity.
PowerTime is now available on Google Code. You can even browse the code without having to download anything. The only problem I ran into was the size of the ECAD data set exceeded the quota given to new projects. I’ve now split the ECAD data set so that it is available for download but isn’t versioned inside Subversion. I’ll be back onto PowerTime real soon now. Just having a rest doing some web work at the moment.
I am surprised that no network monitor manufacturer has jumped onto Windows PowerShell in a major way. Whilst tools like PowerGadgets use the full power of PowerShell, it isn’t really aimed at the network manager. It is more of a general IT visualisation tool. A tool that combined the power and extensibility of PowerShell, with the reporting, graphing and mapping capabilities of a major network monitoring tool would be formidable.
Whilst we are on the topic of PowerShell, may as well mention PowerGUI as well. PowerGUI gives you a nice GUI based interface to the command line PowerShell. Dimitry Sotnikov runs a great blog around PowerShell, PowerGUI and Quest’s other free tools. Quest have got into PowerShell big time.
I’m a fan of Windows PowerShell as I’ve mentioned before. I think it is going to be a boon for Windows admins everywhere. We’ve had a stab at support for it too. If you are currently learning about PowerShell, I’d recommend you check out PowerShell Community Extensions project. A large collection of PowerShell tools that will make you more productive.
Just a quick heads up about Windows PowerShell. Looks a really neat way to automate a lot of dull, repetitive admin tasks. Windows PowerShell version 1 has now been released and is available as a free download for Windows XP and beyond.