Straight and Narrow Code For Safe Windows Path Updates

Windows automation inevitably involves updating path environment variables. The most common is the Windows path (Variable: PATH), but increasingly we are all having to pay attention to the PowerShell module path (Variable: PSModulePath). Over time I have learned most of the mistakes you can make when manipulating these paths first hand (Yep, there is a special flat spot on my forehead just for where I’ve banged it on the desk due to path issues).

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Continue Your Automation To Run Once After Restarting a Headless Windows System

There are times when you cannot avoid having to reboot a system and continue with an automation task. When you hit one of these, you start down the road of finding the built-in ways that Windows allows you to stage a task to start when the system restarts. There is just one small catch - most of them require a user logon in order to process. On the many headless servers that make up the cloud - this simply isn’t an option.

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Oneliners For Procmon Debugging of AWS Cloud Formation Automation

I was working through some nasty Windows automation problems buried deep in a Cloud Formation template. Something appeared to be overwriting a certificate private key that we were placing on the system. The block of automation code that might contain the offending lines is a complex salt configuration. Being able to automatically enable a procmon trace for just that segment of code would be very handy since I can’t manually trace the automation and it would prevent me from having to trace the entire setup from start to end.

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9 Months of Free Training with DevEssentials

Microsoft’s free Dev Essentials program has some super cool benefits - too many to plow through here. Once you are signed up you receive 3 months free to each of PluralSight, Linux Academy and WintellectNOW training. A ton of great free training just for signing up! You don’t have to redeem all the training at once, so you could put it end to end and focus on each one for a period of 3 months.

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Solving the Dreaded 'Removed' Windows Features Problem

Working at a client site a while back I came across a problem when attempting to install .NET 3.5 on Server 2012 R2. Microsoft decided to remove install source for this component from a default Windows build done from their standard ISO. Technically the feature should be pulled from Microsoft Updates if you ask for it - but there are certain conditions under which it generates an error instead. The classic answer you’ll find posted a thousands times on the web is that you have to provide a pointer to the 275 MB .

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At the Coal Face: Code for Debugging Deep PowerShell Execution

PowerShell is frequently the last mile worker at the coal face - 5 miles out in a tunnel at the bottom of a mine shaft. This is because the breadth of Windows automation available through PowerShell results in it being embedded into almost every windows automation tooling stack - even when PowerShell is not the primary orchestration technology. Whether you are using configuration management like Chef, Puppet, Ansible or Salt or a continuous deployment tool such as Team City, TFS or Octopus or cloud orchestration such as Cloud Foundry or Cloud Formation or even a traditional ops tool like Systems Center - at some point, somewhere you will be compelled to call PowerShell.

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NEW PluralSight Course: Securing AWS Environments with the CIS AWS Benchmark Security Standard

There is a storm front of two strong forces hitting modern IT shops. Force #1 is “Get to the Cloud” and Force #2 is “Don’t Be The Next Security Breach Statistic”. The Center for Internet Security (CIS) “benchmarks” are unique among security standards in that they are exceedingly practical, technology specific checklists. They also acknowledge, secure and leverage modern IT practices and technologies such as Cloud, DevOps, Agile and Automation. In addition, they are under continual development and improvement by a community of experts who speak into each benchmark.

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Chocolatey NuGet - Smooth and Sweet For Windows Software Deployment Automation

Chocolatey NuGet is smooth and sweet for Windows software deployment automation! I will be hosting the Birds of a Feather discussion “Chocolatey NuGet Packaging for Software Deployment Automation” at IT Dev Connections in Las Vegas on October 12th 2016. Whether you are looking to use it in Traditional Ops, DevOps or Continuous Deployment, I can field your questions. I’m also looking to learn a bunch about what and how you all are using it in your organizations!

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WOW - The AWS IAM Policy Reference You're Looking For!

Chocolatey NuGet is smooth and sweet for Windows software deployment automation! I will be hosting the Birds of a Feather discussion “Chocolatey NuGet Packaging for Software Deployment Automation” at IT Dev Connections in Las Vegas on October 12th 2016. Whether you are looking to use it in Traditional Ops, DevOps or Continuous Deployment, I can field your questions. I’m also looking to learn a bunch about what and how you all are using it in your organizations!

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EVEN EASIER Automated OpenSSH Install for Nano Server

Yes, I already wrote something titled almost identically. No it’s not a duplicate! Last time I had you download a .nupkg, unpack it, then push the files to Nano and run a PowerShell script. This time you can do the install right at the Nano remote prompt - no preparatory steps and no file copy. In addition, it works on Nano TP5 - which still has some challenging limitations that should be eliminated in the RTM version.

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