In today’s era, there are several ways in which one can manage computer systems, ranging from standard methods such as graphical user interfaces to command-line interfaces. However, when operating many systems at the same time, the ability to complete repetitive tasks quickly and accurately takes over. For this reason, the use of Microsoft Windows PowerShell is currently becoming increasingly popular among system administrators!
PowerShell is an accurate object-oriented automation engine and scripting language that Microsoft developed to help all IT professionals configure systems and automate administrative tasks. Over the years, PowerShell has established itself as a reliable automation tool not only for system administrators but also for external entities, becoming accessible to all users who have basic programming skills thanks to its powerful scripting capabilities.
PowerShell Offers Numerous Benefits, But What Are They?
It is able to assist system administrators in the execution of complex and repetitive tasks. In fact, the user has the possibility of creating a detailed and specific script to perform the job. After making it, it is possible to save the PowerShell script as a file and execute it with a single click, thus allowing the repetition of the same task identically.
Furthermore, you can also chain PowerShell scripts in order to create complex tasks. Do you want to know other features that make this tool enjoyable in the eyes of its users in terms of IT security?
What Are PowerShell Modules?
It is a set of elements, such as functions, providers, cmdlets, variables, and workflows, that are grouped in such a way as to manage all aspects of a specific area. Therefore, modules allow the uploading and sharing of code. The most uncomplicated strategy for creating a PowerShell module is to save the script as a PSM1 file.
Four Main Elements Of The PowerShell Module
It is essential to introduce the key elements that are the basis of each PowerShell module. Let’s see them now!
- PSM file: It is the module itself.
- Support files or scripts that are needed by the module
- The manifest file describes the module.
- Directory: deals with storing the content.
PowerShell Module Types
Installing modules is a simple process, requiring only the use of the Install-Module PowerShell cmdlet. But what are the types of modules that PowerShell offers to its users? Let’s find out now!
- Binary module: it is a.NET Framework assembly that contains the compiled code inside. It is generally used to create cmdlets with powerful functionality that cannot be efficiently executed with a PowerShell script.
- Script module: It is a PSM1 file with various functions to allow the execution of management, import, and export functions.
- Dynamic module: it is created dynamically by a script on demand and is neither stored nor loaded into a permanent archive.
- Manifest module: This is a module file, PSM1, that has an associated manifest, PSD1.
Four Essential PowerShell Modules
At this point, let’s see in more detail which are the four most important modules that characterize PowerShell!
This module is beneficial because it allows the following operations:
- Install local updates.
- Install updates remotely.
- Uninstall updates
- View the history of updates and installations, including those that are left pending.
In this module, a helpful cmdlet is the so-called Get-WULastResults, which is used to retrieve the installation status and the latest result of a Windows Update search. More precisely, the Get-WUInstall cmdlet installs the updates and is also able to filter the updates by KB (knowledge base) and by specific update categories.
This is a module for managing Windows Server update services. This module allows you to search for updates that have been installed on the WSUS server, modify WSUS configurations, and reject or approve updates.
In addition, with WSUS, it is possible to automate the synchronization of updates from the Microsoft server to an internal WSUS server using the Start-PoshWSUSSync cmdlet. But it doesn’t end there; in fact, PowerShell gives the possibility to combine cmdlets in scripts easily and intuitively. You need to synchronize WSUS, setting the system in such a way that it refuses any updates, and that’s it!
This module is particularly advantageous in the PowerShell context. However, the latter has the necessary support available to be able to work together with NTFS file permissions since it offers a very intuitive and user-friendly approach. An IT administrator absolutely needs to know the effective permission for users on a file or folder, and the Get-NTFSEffectiveAccess cmdlet helps you with this! Effective permission is the result of a user’s group membership, denied and inherited permissions, and nested groups.
The Carbon module is very well known; it was built to enable various tasks, including interactions with users, websites, services, certificates, file permissions, host files, and even other areas of Windows. In this case, the cmdlet that is used is Get-CProgramInstallInfo, equivalent to using Features and Programs within the Windows GUI.
Furthermore, another interesting aspect to keep in mind is that many apps require the.NET Framework to be installed on a system, and through Carbon, you can use the Test-CDotNet cmdlet to check which version has been installed, v2 or v4.
Have you been fascinated by the fantastic world behind Microsoft Windows PowerShell and want to learn more about the tool? You are in the right place! With Nexsys, you can expand your knowledge and practical skills about PowerShell by participating in the PowerShell Fundamentals and PowerShell Secure Scripting course, at the end of which you will become more productive on Windows and will be able to automate your workflow and save a lot of time, as well as minimize possible anomalies in the management of infrastructure and services!
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