Install SMA on Server 2016 Core – Step by Step

I’ve been doing some investigation into the different situations you use configuration management vs orchestration recently. A tool I’ve been looking into for orchestrating support processes, common tasks and automating fixes is Service Management Automation (SMA). It is essentially Azure Automation for the private cloud and with everything Microsoft these days, Azure Automation/SMA are of course PowerShell based and PowerShell is pretty much the best.

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Install SMA on Server 2016 Core – Step by Step

Keeping Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) Tidy

Keeping WSUS running at it’s best requires more effort than is commonly understood and without proper maintenance you might eventually start seeing nasty errors from the console.

wsus_errors

I’ll try to run through a few of the solutions I’ve discovered and how you can use them together to keep things running smoothly. You can also use these processes to keep WSUS managed by ConfigMgr tidy 🙂

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Keeping Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) Tidy

Using PowerShell to get folder sizes

At work, I had to gauge how much impact turning off folder redirection would have for a customer. To do this you need to figure out how much data users have in their redirected folders, because the process will copy everything down to their local folder.

The structure of the folders was, “Username\Documents” with “Documents” being the redirected folder. So initially, I looped through each of the Username folders and grabbed the Length property of each. However, what I found was that a lot of them didn’t have a Length property for whatever reason.

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Using PowerShell to get folder sizes

ConfigMgr Preflight with XAML and PowerShell Part 2

Its been a little while since I’ve had chance to sit down and think up a post. The end of September was the deadline for a big project I’ve been working on, so I was pretty busy trying to make sure things were done. Things have slightly settled down now, so I’ve had more time to play with personal projects and improve my ConfigMgr app.

A separate idea I had for PowerShell and ConfigMgr, was to create some kind of portal for 1st line technicians to add machines for Operating System builds. The idea being they wouldnt have to go into the console to import computer information. My initial thoughts were to use a html frontend, which I would host on a tiny web server and then have PowerShell do my script work. After digging into this I figured it would require a proper web app to do something like that, using server code.

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ConfigMgr Preflight with XAML and PowerShell Part 2

ConfigMgr Preflight with XAML and PowerShell

There are so many of these out and about, but I love making things myself, so I’ve written a preflight tool to run a number of checks before a ConfigMgr build can progress.

Most of the tools I’ve seen that provide this functionality, use a HTA or winforms. I didn’t want to use either of these because I felt they were old technologies. So I decided to figure out if it was possible to generate a XAML UI using PowerShell as a “backend”. As PowerShell is based on .Net, it was pretty easy 🙂

If you just want to take a look at the script, its here on GitHub. Although I’m happy with how it is currently, I’m still adding functionality. For now I’ll try and walk through how it currently works.

Continue reading “ConfigMgr Preflight with XAML and PowerShell”

ConfigMgr Preflight with XAML and PowerShell