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PowerShell Basics - Filtering and Selecting

The next topic in the PowerShell Basics series is focused on filtering and selecting PowerShell objects using the Where-Object and Select-Object commands.  Using these commands allows you to precisely define what items are displayed or acted on.

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Using and Understanding DCDiag

DCDiag is the comprehensive, built-in utility for checking the health of an Active Directory Domain Controller.  This command runs 20+ checks against the selected DC including DNS health, replication health, general errors, and more.  Here, we'll look at how to use the command effectively and how to read its output.

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

AD Sites & Services

Configuring Active Directory Sites & Services is an important, but sometimes mishandled, part of administering a domain.  The information in Sites & Services is used by AD to create a replication topology, determine which DCs should authenticate clients, and help users connect to applications and services.  Sites & Services being misconfigured can result in increased logon times, poor user experience with some applications, or worse - a tombstoned DC if issues go undetected for too long.  Here, we'll review what the information in Sites & Services is used for, the correct way to set it up, and how to verify that it is configured correctly.
 

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PowerShell Basics - The Pipeline

Continuing with our PowerShell basics series, the next important concept is the pipeline.  The pipeline refers to how PowerShell passes the result of one command to the input of another command.  Unlike other scripting languages that pass raw text, PowerShell passes full objects along the pipeline.  Remembering back to the previous topic, PowerShell objects are full representations of some type of item, like a file or user account.  By passing full objects down the pipeline, it is relatively easy to create fairly complex workflows.

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PowerShell Basics - Command Structure

Although you've almost certainly used PowerShell by now, you may not be comfortable writing your own commands and scripts.  With PowerShell being the de facto scripting platform for Windows administration, being able to confidently write and execute your own scripts is an invaluable skill.  As networks get larger and larger, the need to increase efficiency is growing, and PowerShell will help get you there.  This is the first in a short series of tech tips to help get you up to speed and confident with PowerShell.

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

Storage Replica

Storage Replica is a new feature in Windows Server 2016 that does block-level replication between Windows Servers in a few different configurations.  Although it isn't the solution to every replication scenario, it is a versatile technology that helps in a few different cases.

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Windows Server 2019

A few weeks ago, Microsoft announced the next version of Windows Server in the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC): Windows Server 2019.  Keeping in mind that the LTSC server releases are similar to traditional server versions, this represents the next major release for Windows Server.  This release will include the full Desktop Experience and has 10 years of support.  This is in contrast to the Semi-Annual Channel which only comes in Server Core and gets 18 months of support.  Let's take a look at some of the new features of Windows Server 2019.

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Policy Analyzer

Policy Analyzer is a tool released a couple of years ago that allows an administrator to easily compare two or more GPOs to find the differences between them.  It's a little clunky to use for quick troubleshooting, but for in-depth GPO work, this is a great tool for helping review and organize GPOs.  Here, we'll walk through how to get started and interpret the results.

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PowerShell Quick Tips

When diagnosing issues, it's good to be as quick and efficient as possible.  The faster you can diagnose an issue, the faster you can resolve it and restore regular operations.  This is a place where PowerShell shines.  If you have the right command, it can be much quicker to run it than to click through the GUI to collect data.  Here, we'll look at some short PowerShell snippets to use while troubleshooting issues.  All of these are easy commands that you can begin using yourself!

Mitchell Grande by Mitchell Grande

Crash Dump Analysis

Extracting information from a memory dump after a server crash is an important part of root cause analysis.  Although this is an advanced topic, and debugging crash dumps is often a very complex task, here we will look at the basics.  This information is enough to get started and debug a simple crash that has a clear cause.

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