This article is part of an Essential Guide, our editor-selected collection of our best articles, videos and other content on this topic. Explore more in this guide:
9. - Terms to know for virtualization automation: Read more in this section
Explore other sections in this guide:
- 1. - Benefitting from task automation and workflow orchestration
- 2. - Automation is a must-learn technology for IT pros
- 3. - Finding a data center automation balance
- 4. - Expert advice: Use common sense when devising an automation strategy
- 5. - How to avoid manual resource allocation
- 6. - IT process automation in a Hyper-V environment
- 7. - What you should know to get the most out of vCenter Orchestrator
- 8. - Workflow automation software showdown: Citrix, Microsoft and VMware
PowerShell was designed to automate system tasks, such as batch processing, and create systems management tools for commonly implemented processes. The PowerShell language is similar to Perl. PowerShell includes more than 130 standard command line tools for functions that formerly required users to create scripts in VB, VBScript or C#.
PowerShell offers a variety of ways to automate tasks, including:
- Cmdlets, which are very small .NET classes that appear as system commands.
- Scripts, which are combinations of cmdlets and associated logic.
- Executables, which are standalone tools.
- Instantiation of standard .NET classes.
PowerShell integrates with the .NET environment and can also be embedded within other applications. Over a hundred cmdlets are included that can be used separately or combined with others to automate more complex tasks. Users can also create and share cmdlets.
PowerShell is available as a free download for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista. Support for PowerShell is built into Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7, where it is included as an optionally installed feature.