Reducing the cost of managing servers from a labor perspective was something of a sub-goal underneath the theme of manageability. The solution comes primarily in the form of PowerShell 3.0.
You can use the functional Server Manager GUI tool to do most, if not all, of the management tasks, but behind the scenes, there is PowerShell doing the actual work. That means you have an integrated automation tool upon which all server management is built.
Novice administrators will appreciate the extensive number of Wizards available for adding features and roles. The Server Manager tool provides quick access to this feature from the main dashboard screen. You can easily see the range of server roles and features (see Figure 3) available by walking through this process.
The main Wizard allows you to skip right to a feature if that’s where you want to go by clicking on the left-hand side of the screen on the word Feature. Once you check off the feature you want, another Wizard will launch to take you through the process of installing and configuring all the necessary details to get that feature installed and running.
PowerShell 3.0 scripts, or cmdlets, provide a wide range of management functionality. In fact, Windows Server 2012 ships with over 3400 PowerShell cmdlets.
Typing at the command line may be intimidating for some, but it brings with it the ability to accomplish much in just a single line of code. The following line of PowerShell creates a new 100GB virtual disk and replaces clicking through five Wizard screens to accomplish the same task:
New-VirtualDisk -StoragePoolFriendlyName BigData -FriendlyName UserData -Size 100GB
For PowerShell newbies there’s an Integrated Scripting Environment (PowerShell ISE) with a built-in command help facility, making it possible to explore the wide range of cmdlets in a more guided manner. You can start typing in the Name box (see Figure 4) and you’ll get a list of every command matching what you’ve typed to that point.
If you click on one of the entries, you get additional help in the lower half of the Commands pane showing the different parameters available. Required parameters are marked with an asterisk to let you know they must be provided.