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.
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!