Jason Helmick – Interface Technical Training https://www.interfacett.com Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:26:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Review: Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 PowerShell Cookbook https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/review-microsoft-exchange-server-2013-powershell-cookbook/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/review-microsoft-exchange-server-2013-powershell-cookbook/#respond Wed, 04 Sep 2013 15:44:15 +0000 http://www.interfacett.com/blogs/?p=?p=14989 We all agree that PowerShell is an amazing real-time and automation management tool. While many of us focus on the in-depth workings of our favorite tool, the real test is in its everyday use managing the products we are responsible for – Exchange being one of mine. Many of you already know that the Exchange … Continue reading Review: Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 PowerShell Cookbook

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We all agree that PowerShell is an amazing real-time and automation management tool. While many of us focus on the in-depth workings of our favorite tool, the real test is in its everyday use managing the products we are responsible for – Exchange being one of mine.

Many of you already know that the Exchange team invested heavily with implementing PowerShell starting with Exchange 2007. This was an enormous risk considering that most admins would not begin adoption of PowerShell for a few more years. The maturity of the cmdlet implementation – the ability to perform every task with the cmdlets – was, and still is, one of the finest product implementations of PowerShell. The Exchange team has continued its amazing implementation with Exchange 2010 and 2013. But with this amazing implementation comes a cost: Learning PowerShell for Exchange.

The best resource – and for a while the only one – that helped with learning the Exchange cmdlets and specific automation tasks was a book written by Mike Pfeiffer called “Microsoft Exchange 2010 PowerShell Cookbook”. It was an amazing resource of common – and not so common – tasks that every admin would need to perform – but described with the PowerShell cmdlets for Exchange. It was well written with great explanations and helped me get up to speed fast working with Exchange 2010.

Now there is a new release, a second edition by Mike Pfeiffer and his co-author Jonas Andersson titled “Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 PowerShell Cookbook“.  Since I’m moving on to Exchange 2013 I thought I would give the book a try at helping me get prepared.

001-microsoft-exchange-server-2013-powershell-cookbook

Success! Again, the second addition is very well written and crammed with everything you need to know on managing Exchange with PowerShell. It’s a cookbook, so this isn’t something you read from cover-to-cover, you jump into the task that you need and get immediate help solving your problem. I did read it from cover-to-cover (I’m a geek) and found the book very logically laid out. Beginning with a short PowerShell introduction the book moves quickly into managing mailbox’s, recipients and databases.  Why use GUI tools when PowerShell can make this so easy.

The book goes into detail about specific management and configuration tasks for managing client access and the transport service, but where the book shines for me is in the sections on High Availability and monitoring/troubleshooting.

Towards the end of the book there is a great section on scripting automation and solutions using the Exchange Web Service Managed API – which opened up a whole new way for me to create solutions.

If your working with Exchange 2010 or 2013, this cookbook series is a must have. I have them both and they never leave my desk.

Here’s that link again if you want to check them out for yourself!

Knowledge is PowerShell
Jason Helmick
Systems Instructor
Interface Technical Training

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Why use IPConfig.exe when you have PowerShell? Because it’s fun! https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/why-use-ipconfig-exe-when-you-have-powershell-because-its-fun/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/why-use-ipconfig-exe-when-you-have-powershell-because-its-fun/#comments Fri, 16 Aug 2013 16:27:46 +0000 http://www.interfacett.com/blogs/?p=?p=14763 Remember when computers were fun? If you have been using PowerShell, then you’ll notice that the fun got put back into working with computers. Part of the fun is discovering new things – I mean isn’t that part of the fun? PowerShell is a tool that improves your management capabilities but what a lot of … Continue reading Why use IPConfig.exe when you have PowerShell? Because it’s fun!

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Remember when computers were fun? If you have been using PowerShell, then you’ll notice that the fun got put back into working with computers. Part of the fun is discovering new things – I mean isn’t that part of the fun?

PowerShell is a tool that improves your management capabilities but what a lot of admins miss is how large of an ecosystem that has evolved around PowerShell. It’s amazing to think that in a few short years PowerShell has grown from a couple of hundred cmdlet’s to thousands – covering a wide variety of Microsoft products.  This means that there is probably something lurking out in the PowerShell Universe that you haven’t discovered that might be of some help.  Using the discovery capabilities of Get-Help is the important and practical way to discover cmdlet’s – but it’s not the only way.

The PowerShell community is strong and vibrant with MVP’s, Guru’s, aficionados, newbies and enthusiasts  – all blogging, tweeting, and using forums to discuss and discover problem solving with PowerShell.  Getting involved in the community online is a great way to extend and expand your PowerShell skills – but again, its not the only way.

Another way is by talking with your peers – you know – the people you work with. See what they’re doing with PowerShell, ask them questions – maybe share something you picked up recently. One great way to learn new things is to work side-by-side with a few of your friends. As your performing tasks you might notice a coworker doing something in a different, and sometimes better way.

Recently I was getting my computer ready for a presentation – a special presentation – one that I really didn’t want to screw up. In the process of getting my VM’s loaded I needed to check some IP addresses.  Easy enough with the traditional IPConfig.exe -which of course runs in PowerShell. I happen to mention this to my co-host for the presentation, saying something to the effect of, “let me get the outside IP address for you – then you can remote to my computer – just let me run IPconfig…”

His response? “Have you used gip?”  I was a little stunned – gip? Never heard of gip? After noticing my confused look he used on of his famous lines on me. “Think – Type – Get my friend – try it.” So I did. Turns out gip is an alias for Get-NetIPConfiguration which produces a better looking and easier to read result than the old IPConfig.exe.  In fact, because it’s a PowerShell cmdlet producing objects, you can use this in amazing ways. I just learned something new, something that will become very useful, because I was working with someone else using PowerShell. The moral of the story? Work with other admins that are using PowerShell – even side-by-side if possible – you will pickup new things from each other.

Oh, who was my friend/co-host that introduced me to a new and useful cmdlet? The inventor of PowerShell, Distinguished Engineer Jeffrey Snover.  So using one of his catch phrases – go forth and Think – Type – Get. (and have fun too – remember this is PowerShell and not some boring GUI)

Knowledge is PowerShell
Jason Helmick
Systems Instructor
Interface Technical Training

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PowerShell v4 Desired State Configuration https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/powershell-v4-desired-state-configuration/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/powershell-v4-desired-state-configuration/#respond Mon, 08 Jul 2013 18:42:06 +0000 http://www.interfacett.com/blogs/?p=?p=14142 Microsoft TechEd is a great conference to attend to learn about the latest technologies and this year was no exception. The announcement of the upcoming release (Dates not specified) of PowerShell v4 in Windows Server 2012 R2 caused quite a stir. Yes, most of us were expecting PowerShell to get its usual incremental updates and … Continue reading PowerShell v4 Desired State Configuration

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Microsoft TechEd is a great conference to attend to learn about the latest technologies and this year was no exception. The announcement of the upcoming release (Dates not specified) of PowerShell v4 in Windows Server 2012 R2 caused quite a stir.

Yes, most of us were expecting PowerShell to get its usual incremental updates and bug fixes when the server OS releases, but the addition of a very special new feature was a surprise. Jeffrey Snover and Kenneth Hansen held a special session (one that was unnamed until TechEd opened) to discuss Desired State Configuration (DSC).

In a nutshell, DSC let’s administrators write a simple script that describes what a computer should look like. That doesn’t sound like much, but once you describe what you want, PowerShell will take those “declarative” instructions and make the computer look just as described without the Admin needing to write all the plumbing (how to) scripts. Almost everything can be configured such as roles, features, registry settings and more. Imagine creating a description once, then start adding computers – physical or virtual – they will automatically become exactly what you wanted. Pretty damn cool if you ask me and will make rapid scaling fully automated.

Why do this? Simple, – Scaling up without adding human error and management overhead. You can rapidly respond to the changing business needs without increasing failure.

Now, is this something totally new? – well, no. This could be accomplished before by manually scripting all the parts and kicking of the scripts when you needed them, but it required a lot of work creating controlling scripts and testing the results. Now Microsoft has made the scripting easier and included the infrastructure to make it work without you manually scheduling jobs and re-running scripts. For a great example, go watch the video of Jeffrey and Kenneth describe DSC.

One of the many reasons to attend a conference like TechEd is because of the social networking. Don Jones and I discussed the implications of DSC and how it might affect the industry and product teams going forward. With this built into the core OS, other product teams could in fact utilize this – I wonder if this could affect a future release of SCCM? Also, many questions swam around my head about how this works under the covers – Why not ask Jeffrey and Kenneth? It’s the ability to talk to Team members and get their views that makes conferences worth the money. You get to speak to the people that are making the technology, gain a deeper understanding, even have input into the new technologies. Over the next several days I got my questions answered (as best as can be done without violating NDA) and learned much more.

Until next time,

Knowledge is PowerShell
Jason Helmick
Systems Instructor
Interface Technical Training

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The end of the 2013 Scripting Games https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/the-end-of-the-2013-scripting-games/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/the-end-of-the-2013-scripting-games/#respond Fri, 14 Jun 2013 15:34:52 +0000 http://www.interfacett.com/blogs/?p=?p=13392 If you’ve been following the Scripting Games then you know how intense the last few challenges have been. The participants in the games have truly been amazing and have worked hard to solve Dr. Scripto’s problems. As a one of the Judges for the games I wanted to impart an observation I’ve had during the … Continue reading The end of the 2013 Scripting Games

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If you’ve been following the Scripting Games then you know how intense the last few challenges have been. The participants in the games have truly been amazing and have worked hard to solve Dr. Scripto’s problems.

As a one of the Judges for the games I wanted to impart an observation I’ve had during the games.

First, as many of you know, learning PowerShell – truly learning the tool correctly and using it to solve problems – takes effort. It takes more than just reading a book or taking a class, it takes you spending time working with the tool – getting stumped – and pushing forward to solve a real problem. To often Windows Admins treat PowerShell like a GUI management tool – thinking they can just click around until something good happens. PowerShell is an automation language of commands, and until you understand the language and how the tool uses the language, you just won’t be successful.

The Scripting Games are one way for you to try to use PowerShell and solve real world problems. The benefit to the games is that you submit your work and receive comments form Judges and other participants – mainly on how to improve your script. This is the true learning advantage, putting forth a solution than having your peers review it – and teach you how to improve it.

This is common practice in development environments for developers and they generally have frequent code reviews. These reviews can be simple or complex, but involve the code being checked for flaws in patterns and best practices. Often little comments or notes are given to the developer on how they can improve their code, and in some cases, warned to stop doing something that is considered bad practice. Because you are part of ‘DevOps’ now, you should look at the review process as a positive – something you can debate and learn from to become better. Unfortunately, some Admins view the review as a negative – as if they have been shamed – and loose the chance to learn.

In the past, did you ever have a review and were told exactly how to click the button on the screen? – of course not. But as you work with PowerShell there are clear best practices, clear things that are no-no's, and there are people that can help you improve. Join the conversation with a positive view. There will always be debate, but that’s how we all learn.

Why do I bring this up? Because there will be a ‘Winter’ Scripting Games and you should participate. You should look at it as a great chance to improve your skills, and in fact, help others to improve. If you can’t wait to try your hand at something, write a script that solves a problem and post it on PowerShell.Org. Ask for people to comment on how you could improve. Join the community in helping every learn PowerShell!  It will be fun!

Knowledge is PowerShell,

Jason Helmick
Systems Instructor
Interface Technical Training

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How to manage products like Exchange and AD without installing additional tools https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/how-to-manage-products-like-exchange-and-ad-without-installing-additional-tools/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/how-to-manage-products-like-exchange-and-ad-without-installing-additional-tools/#respond Fri, 24 May 2013 13:13:04 +0000 http://www.interfacett.com/blogs/?p=?p=13034 So, what if you want to manage Active Directory, Exchange, SCVMM or any product for that matter and don't have the RSAT or management tools installed?  Well, I have the answer for you – and for some reason it’s overlooked by many PowerShell admins – but is my favorite solution to managing other products. I … Continue reading How to manage products like Exchange and AD without installing additional tools

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So, what if you want to manage Active Directory, Exchange, SCVMM or any product for that matter and don't have the RSAT or management tools installed?  Well, I have the answer for you – and for some reason it’s overlooked by many PowerShell admins – but is my favorite solution to managing other products.

I never seem to have the modules on my client to manage most products. I don't normally install the RSAT tools, and I've never been a big fan of management tool packs like those for Exchange. It's not that there is anything wrong with them – in fact, using the RSAT tools is much better than beating up on your server with RDP. It's just I never seem to have the same client computer.

For many consultants, traveling admins, and admins that find themselves running around the office from one computer to the next, you can't always just stop in the middle of your work and install additional software. Especially considering that it can take a couple of hours to install the RSAT tools and a couple of management packs.

Well, PowerShell has this great feature called Implicit Remoting. I know, the name doesn't mean much, but in a nutshell it means that you can "borrow" the modules and cmdlets that are on your servers. As an example, want to manage Active Directory? Grab the AD module and its cmdlets from the AD server. Want to manage Exchange? Grab those from the Exchange server!  Not only are you getting the update and current version of the cmdlets directly off the server – you don't need to install a single thing. In just a matter of seconds you have everything you need.

Technically this is not installing the cmdlets on your client. In fact, think of this as creating shortcuts on your client that point to and run the actual cmdlets on the remote server. Just keep in mind that if you close your console, then the session is ended. Some folks put the commands to implicit remote in their Profile so that they are available every time they launch the Shell. Let's try this by grabbing some cmdlets from a domain controller.

You will need PowerShell Remoting enabled to do this, but you should already know that. Here we go.

First, create a new PowerShell session to the server that contains the module of cmdlets you would like to use.

PS> $Session=New-PSSession -ComputerName DC

Now here's the cool part – the next step is to import the module you want.

PS> Import-PSSession -Session $Session -Module ActiveDirectory

Whoa!  That’s all there is to it!  Go ahead, try running a few commands and see what happens. You have all the help and examples you need.

PS> Get-Help *AD*

PS> Get-Help Get-AdComputer -Full

PS> Get-Adcomputer -Filter *

It all works, just like you had the RSAT tools installed locally only without all the bother.

Knowledge is PowerShell,

Jason Helmick
Systems Instructor
Interface Technical Training

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You should be in the PowerShell Scripting Games! April 22, 2013 https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/you-should-be-in-the-powershell-scripting-games-april-22-2013/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/you-should-be-in-the-powershell-scripting-games-april-22-2013/#respond Wed, 17 Apr 2013 15:27:40 +0000 http://www.interfacett.com/blogs/?p=?p=12384 The official Microsoft Scripting Games, along with the Scripting Guy and friends, is now hosted through PowerShell.Org. The games begin APRIL 22, 2013! This is your chance to join the community, try your hand at solving real-world problems and win prizes if you succeed in besting your peers. You NEED to participate, you WILL learn … Continue reading You should be in the PowerShell Scripting Games! April 22, 2013

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The official Microsoft Scripting Games, along with the Scripting Guy and friends, is now hosted through PowerShell.Org. The games begin APRIL 22, 2013! This is your chance to join the community, try your hand at solving real-world problems and win prizes if you succeed in besting your peers.

You NEED to participate, you WILL learn from the experience, you WILL excel, and you will improve your skills and career. If you don't play, then how do you know?

I'm part of the scripting games and proud to be a judge for the games. I will be posting scripts to my blog that I like (and why) plus the scripts I don't like (and why) – don't worry, no names are published. I invite you to disagree, leave comments, yell at me, and I'm sure argue with my assessment. WE ALL LEARN from this – myself the most. JOIN THE GAMES!

PowerShell Scripting Games!

I teach my public classes at the best training facility available at Interface Technical Training.

PowerShell Scripting Games! Interface Technical Training

Knowledge is PowerShell,

Jason

Jason Helmick
Systems Instructor
Interface Technical Training

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How to open Windows Firewall ports using PowerShell https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/how-to-open-windows-firewall-ports-using-powershell/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/how-to-open-windows-firewall-ports-using-powershell/#respond Mon, 15 Apr 2013 19:21:50 +0000 http://www.interfacett.com/blogs/?p=?p=12358 Recently I presenting at a conference and needed to demonstrate WMI. I specifically wanted to use the Get-WmiObject cmdlet instead of the new Get-CimInstance cmdlet because I wanted the demo to be useful for those still running PowerShell V2. All my remote computers are running Server 2012 and already have PowerShell Remoting enabled, so the … Continue reading How to open Windows Firewall ports using PowerShell

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Recently I presenting at a conference and needed to demonstrate WMI. I specifically wanted to use the Get-WmiObject cmdlet instead of the new Get-CimInstance cmdlet because I wanted the demo to be useful for those still running PowerShell V2. All my remote computers are running Server 2012 and already have PowerShell Remoting enabled, so the PowerShell Remoting portion of the demonstration worked just fine, but when I tested my WMI demonstration the firewall on the remote computers blocked the WMI RPC calls. Since I needed to open the ports for WMI, why not use PowerShell Remoting and the new cmdlets for the firewall rules.

PS>Invoke-Command –ComputerName <remoteservers> {Enable-NetFirewallRule -name WMI-WinMgmt-In-TCP, WMI-RPCSS-In-TCP} 

Worked like a charm!

By the way, you should check out the firewall management cmdlets. Start with Get-Help *Firewall* and explore!

 

Knowledge is PowerShell,

Jason

Jason Helmick
Systems Instructor
Interface Technical Training

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How to set an application pool restart time in PowerShell https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/how-to-set-an-application-pool-restart-time-in-powershell/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/how-to-set-an-application-pool-restart-time-in-powershell/#respond Fri, 05 Apr 2013 15:34:24 +0000 http://www.interfacett.com/blogs/?p=?p=12278 Want to change the restart time of an application pool? You can do it in the graphical IIS Manager, but if you’re trying to set the time for multiple pools, or on remote servers, why not use PowerShell. To get an application pools current restart time: PS> Get-ItemProperty -Path IIS:\AppPools\DefaultAppPool -Name recycling.periodicRestart.time To change the … Continue reading How to set an application pool restart time in PowerShell

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Want to change the restart time of an application pool? You can do it in the graphical IIS Manager, but if you’re trying to set the time for multiple pools, or on remote servers, why not use PowerShell.

To get an application pools current restart time:

PS> Get-ItemProperty -Path IIS:\AppPools\DefaultAppPool -Name recycling.periodicRestart.time

To change the restart time:

PS>Set-ItemProperty -Path IIS:\AppPools\DefaultAppPool -Name recycling.periodicRestart.time -Value 3.00:00:00

Use Powershell remoting and you can change the application pool restart time on remote servers:

PS>Invoke-Command –ComputerName web1,web2,web3 { Set-ItemProperty -Path IIS:\AppPools\DefaultAppPool -Name recycling.periodicRestart.time -Value 3.00:00:00}

Knowledge is PowerShell,

Jason Helmick
Systems Instructor
Interface Technical Training

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Configuring IIS 8.0 Centralized Certificate Store and PowerShell https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/configuring-iis-8-0-centralized-certificate-store-and-powershell/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/configuring-iis-8-0-centralized-certificate-store-and-powershell/#comments Fri, 29 Mar 2013 15:40:45 +0000 http://www.interfacett.com/blogs/?p=?p=12160 IIS 8 has a new feature that greatly improves certificate management. Instead of installing certificates to every server and then trying to find them later to update them, IIS 8 has a centralized certificate store for all your certificates in one place. The mechanics of this are great and it works amazingly well, so I … Continue reading Configuring IIS 8.0 Centralized Certificate Store and PowerShell

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IIS 8 has a new feature that greatly improves certificate management. Instead of installing certificates to every server and then trying to find them later to update them, IIS 8 has a centralized certificate store for all your certificates in one place.

The mechanics of this are great and it works amazingly well, so I encourage you to grab some background on this. For this blog, I want to address and issue of configuring the store on remote computers and what I had to do to make it work.

First, to install the centralized store to a remote computer:

PS> Invoke-Command -ComputerName Core1 {Install-WindowsFeature Web-CertProvider}

Once install, there are 6 cmdlet’s to enable and configure the store on each remote server.  Easy huh?  Well, not really. The first step is to enable the feature:

PS>Invoke-Command -ComputerName Core1 {Enable-WebCentralCertProvider -CertStoreLocation \\dc\WebCerts -UserName 'company\certuser' -Password P@ssw0rd -PrivateKeyPassword P@ssw0rd}

Unfortunately this breaks. See the store location?  The cmdlet “checks” to verify the store location, which in PowerShell terms creates a Multi-Hop issue.

It took me a couple of minutes to figure out a way around this, so here is what I did. The store can be enabled on the remote server in the registry:

PS> Invoke-Command -ComputerName Core1 {Set-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\IIS\CentralCertProvider\ -Name Enabled -Value 1}

Then I set the store location in the registry:

PS> Invoke-Command -ComputerName Core1 {Set-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\IIS\CentralCertProvider\ -Name CertStoreLocation -Value \\DC\WebCerts}

Then using the Set-WebCentralCertProvider cmdlet, I could set the username and password settings.

PS>Invoke-Command -ComputerName Core1 {Set-WebCentralCertProvider -UserName Company\certuser -Password P@ssw0rd -PrivateKeyPassword P@ssw0rd}

Worked like a charm!  I created new bindings for the websites and all my remote servers use the central store now.

Sometimes a cmdlet may not work properly over remoting, but with a little patience you can figure out a way!  Until next time,

Knowledge is PowerShell,

Jason Helmick
Systems Instructor
Interface Technical Training

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How to tell which Application pool an IIS worker process belongs to https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/how-to-tell-which-application-pool-an-iis-worker-process-belongs-to/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/how-to-tell-which-application-pool-an-iis-worker-process-belongs-to/#respond Tue, 19 Mar 2013 16:36:51 +0000 http://www.interfacett.com/blogs/?p=?p=11511 Recently speaking at a conference where I was presenting an IIS crash course, several attendees came up to me after the session and asked how they could tell which IIS worker process belonged to which application pool. This information is presented in the graphical task manager, but is tricky to find using PowerShell. Because so … Continue reading How to tell which Application pool an IIS worker process belongs to

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Recently speaking at a conference where I was presenting an IIS crash course, several attendees came up to me after the session and asked how they could tell which IIS worker process belonged to which application pool. This information is presented in the graphical task manager, but is tricky to find using PowerShell.

Because so many folks were curious, I decided to share with everyone.  Here ya go!

PS> Get-WmiObject –class win32_process -filter 'name="w3wp.exe"' | Select-Object –Property Name, ProcessId, @{n='AppPool';e={$_.GetOwner().user}} 

IIS and PowerShell combined rock!

The Inadvertent IIS administrator

Jason Helmick
Director of PowerShell Technologies
Interface Technical Training

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