Interoperability between systems demands the ability to manage and customise the way that software interacts. For that task, one tool is the best friend of any network manager: PowerShell.
PowerShell is now one of the most vital elements in any systems administrator's arsenal, especially if you want to deploy multiple virtual machines in a private cloud environment. As Microsoft's Jeff Woolsey put it at TechEd Australia last year: "If you want a long career as a system administrator, I've got one big word for you: PowerShell. You're not going to do things at cloud scale one server at a time."
In Windows Server 2012, PowerShell has been significantly extended to improve its power. It now offers more than 2400 commandlets, enabling control of every aspect of your Windows Server environment. Version 3 of PowerShell (the release that ships with Windows Server 2012) also includes a freshly designed set of management-related commandlets, while retaining the older set of WMI-related options so that existing scripts will continue to work.
"From an interoperability perspective, right off the mark everything is PowerShell-enabled," notes Reid Purvis, data centre technical specialist with Microsoft Australia. "Everything is addressable, and those APIs aren't limited by arbitrary rules." PowerShell offers the the ability to schedule tasks to run at a specific time, at regular intervals, on system startup or through multiple user accounts.
Learning the new PowerShell options is also easy: you can use the graphical tools within Windows Server 2012 and then access them via the PowerShell command history — a handy way to discover the new possibilities. As well as the full interface, PowerShell can be accessed via a web browser or on Server Core installations.
To learn more about PowerShell, check out this TechNet article.