Tag Archives: time

For Sale – Synology DiskStation DS416j with 2x2TB HDD

It’s the 2016 model, it’s been on most of the time for four years.

The drives are a couple of years older than that, were in a 2 bay NAS prior.

These are the model numbers of them-
Seagate ST2000DL003 3.5 inch 2TB Hard Drive (Serial-ATA, 6Gb/s, 64Mb, 5900RPM).

They are not new by any means but they have been faultless for their whole lives, error free and awesome.

I would say although being on 24/7 I only use the NAS a couple of times a month, so they haven’t been hammered.

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For Sale – Gaming PC – £400 ono

Afternoon all,

In the last 6 months I put together a gaming PC but unfortunately am not finding the time to play so am willing to part ways with it.

The details are…
– AMD Ryzen 5 2600 AM4 Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler
– ASRock B450M-HDV R4.0 AM4 DDR4 mATX Motherboard
– 2 x Adata XPG Gammix D10 8GB 3000mhz RAM
– Thermaltake Litepower 650W PSU
– PowerColor Radeon RX 580 8GB Red Dragon
– KOLINK – Observatory RGB E-ATX Mid-Tower PC Case – Black includes 3 front 1 rear fan
– 120GB M.2 SSD for the Operating System
– 500GB SSD for games

I like cable management so have also fitted…
– Premium Braided 30cm PSU Extension Cable Kit – Black

I can also include…
– SteelSeries M800 fully customisable RGB mechanical keyboard
– SteelSeries Rival 100 customisable RGB gaming mouse

– XL Havit RGB gaming mouse pad
– Havit RGB gaming headset

I can likely provide a copy of receipt for the majority of the items to cover the remaining warranties.

I am looking for £400 but am open to reasonable offers.

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For Sale – Clear Out, some items BNIB

Time for a bit of a clear out!

  • Draytek Vigor 2862AC £165 inc
  • BNIB HyperX Cloud II 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound Gaming Headset with Advanced USB Audio Control Box – Red £56 inc del
  • Sky+ HD Boxes
    DRX895WL (2TB) £35 inc
    DRX895 (1TB) £25 inc
    DRX890W (500GB) £20 inc
  • G. Skill Trident X 16GB (2x8GB) – F3-2400C10D-16GTX £80 inc
    DDR3-2400 – PC3-19200 10-12-12-31 CR2
  • BNIB Das Keyboard 5Q £135 inc del

All from a smoke and pet free home.

Sudbury, Suffolk
Price and currency
Delivery cost included
Delivery Is Included
Prefer goods collected?
I have no preference
Advertised elsewhere?
Advertised elsewhere
Payment method
Bank Transfer or PayPal if you cover fees.

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IBM storage GM Walsh leaves Big Blue for startup ChaosSearch

IBM storage boss Ed Walsh is returning to the startup world, marking the second time in seven years he has left the mainframe and storage systems vendor. Walsh left his post as IBM storage general manager to become CEO of ChaosSearch, a startup that does log analysis for cloud-based data.

IBM has not publicly disclosed Walsh’s departure, although it notified employees in an internal memo last week. Walsh confirmed his departure in an interview with SearchStorage, saying it was a difficult decision, but he is looking forward to his new job.

Ed WalshEd Walsh

Walsh left IBM six months after Arvind Krishna was appointed IBM CEO. Krishna has emphasized cloud services and data management as key drivers of IBM’s overall growth. Walsh said IBM was “really supportive” of his decision to move on, and he was not pushed out. “I’m leaving with warm regards,” Walsh said.

IBM hired Walsh as its storage general manager in 2016. It marked a second go-round for him at IBM. IBM acquired Storwize in 2010, a primary storage compression startup where Walsh served as CEO. He became a vice president of IBM Storwize until leaving in 2013 to become CEO at Catalogic Software.

“I’m leaving IBM storage in a very good position,” Walsh said. “I was hired four years ago to bring them back to a leadership position. They weren’t growing, profit was a challenge, they were on their heels, in distant third place [in market share], almost fourth.

We revamped IBM’s entire product offering. Now you see revenue growth and storage is profitable for IBM.
Ed WalshOutgoing GM, IBM Storage

“We revamped IBM’s entire product offering. Now you see revenue growth and storage is profitable for IBM. We went from four-year product cycles to two-year product cycles. I think [that puts IBM] ahead of what Dell EMC and Pure are doing. They are set for sustainable, profitable growth.”

Changes in IBM’s market approach

Walsh arrived at IBM while the vendor was in the midst of a five-year storage revenue slump, marked by sharply declining hardware sales. Although IBM bounced back in 2018, earnings have been uneven lately. However, IBM (up 4%) was one of only three major storage vendors to grow global revenue during the first quarter of 2020, at the height of the global pandemic. Huawei (18%) and Pure Storage (8%) also posted gains, according to data from IT analyst firm IDC.

IBM does not provide a specific revenue for its storage. It reports earnings in four broad categories: cognitive solutions, global business services, cloud technologies and hardware systems. Storage is lumped with its systems business, which also includes enterprise servers and mainframes.

Analysts credit Walsh with helping to shape IBM’s strategy for all-flash storage and hybrid cloud products.

Steve McDowell, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, said Walsh helped IBM marry the attributes of the IBM Spectrum Scale parallel file system software with IBM storage hardware.

“He brought a vision and an execution discipline. He’s turned IBM storage into an execution machine,” McDowell said.

When Walsh took over, IBM’s lone all-flash product included the remnants of Texas Memory Systems’ RamSan SANs, which it acquired in 2013. IBM RamSan technology is now known as IBM FlashSystem, the flagship brand for all its non-mainframe enterprise storage.

Walsh was the first storage executive specifically brought in to run the IBM storage group, said Eric Burgener, a research vice president of storage at IT analyst firm IDC.

“If you look at where IBM was in cloud five years ago versus where it is today, things are very different. Look at the IBM Cloud Satellite they announced earlier this year. That provides a lot of the unified control plane capability that gives enterprises the foundation for a good hybrid cloud strategy,” Burgener said.

“Five years ago, IBM had one flash system, but almost all the other storage products it sold were geared HDD designs. Now, they’ve moved to the forefront of the NVMe arena [as] an early entrant in NVMe over Fabrics,” Burgener added.

What’s next for IBM storage?

One of IBM’s big moves recently was its $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat, which provides software-defined storage that works on standard industry servers. However, storage was not considered a major part of the IBM-Red Hat deal.

IBM has not disclosed how, or if, it plans to replace Walsh. McDowell said customers with IBM storage will want to pay attention to the direction that new CEO Krishna takes the company.

“The role of the systems and storage team … it’s going to be interesting see where that lands,” McDowell said.

Walsh said IBM is working through “a good list of candidates” for his replacement. “I’m sure they’re going to find a really good executive,” he said.

He would not say who is on the list, but IBM storage CMO Eric Herzog is considered a candidate for the job, according to several industry insiders.

Walsh: ‘Hard to leave IBM,’ but no hesitation

At ChaosSearch, Walsh replaces founder Les Yetton as CEO, although Yetton will remain on the board. Walsh said he has known ChaosSearch founders Yetton and CTO Thomas Hazel since they started the company in 2016, and has been impressed with their technology, which he described as “good hard fundamental technology that really helps.” The Boston startup uses cloud object storage to build an analytics engine.

“It was hard to leave IBM, but I didn’t hesitate at all because of what they have at ChaosSearch, and their innovative way of going about it,” Walsh said. “You just put it in the Cloud object storage, and we’ll take care of everything else. We’ll give you an index. Just search it or query it. And we can do it at scale.”

Before joining IBM, Walsh built a reputation for selling startups to large vendors. ChaosSearch is his fifth CEO job. He sold early data deduplication vendor Avamar to EMC for $165 million in 2006, server virtualization software vendor Virtual Iron to Oracle in 2009 and Storwize to IBM in 2010. Walsh’s most recent CEO position was at data protection software vendor Catalogic Software, which remains a privately held company.

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For Sale – High Spec Gaming PC/Computer

Bought this off a chap 2 weeks ago but just don’t have the time to play it.

Gaming PC – VR READY – 4K – 1440P – HIGH END!

– Proccessor
Ryzen 7 3700x

– Graphics card
ASUS 2060 Super

16GB Corsair 3200mhz

– Storage
1tb HDD
1tb HDD
250gb SSD M.2 Drive

– Motherboard
B450 Plus

– Proccessor Cooler
Double fan AIO Cooler

Windows 10 Full activated

This pc is extremely fast and can run any games you throw at it 1080p max settings high FPS! Or you could even play 4k 1440p at really good FPS, also the pc is VR Ready and can play any game with no stutters etc.

If you know anything about pcs you know that this is really high end and hasn’t been cheaped out on.

The pc has plenty of fans so the temperatures are really cool.

This PC is great for, Competitive/Casual gamers, Video/Photo editing or anything else.

I can also throw in my Keyboard and mouse, the Keyboard alone cost £200+!

If you have any questions or enquires then please ask.

Pick up in Nottingham or can post.

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For Sale – Gaming PC – £400 ono

Afternoon all,

In the last 6 months I put together a gaming PC but unfortunately am not finding the time to play so am willing to part ways with it.

The details are…
– AMD Ryzen 5 2600 AM4 Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler
– ASRock B450M-HDV R4.0 AM4 DDR4 mATX Motherboard
– 2 x Adata XPG Gammix D10 8GB 3000mhz RAM
– Thermaltake Litepower 650W PSU
– PowerColor Radeon RX 580 8GB Red Dragon
– KOLINK – Observatory RGB E-ATX Mid-Tower PC Case – Black includes 3 front 1 rear fan
– 120GB M.2 SSD for the Operating System
– 500GB SSD for games

I like cable management so have also fitted…
– Premium Braided 30cm PSU Extension Cable Kit – Black

I can also include…
– SteelSeries M800 fully customisable RGB mechanical keyboard
– SteelSeries Rival 100 customisable RGB gaming mouse

– XL Havit RGB gaming mouse pad
– Havit RGB gaming headset

I can likely provide a copy of receipt for the majority of the items to cover the remaining warranties.

I am looking for £400 but am open to reasonable offers.

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It’s Time to Recognize the Real Value of System Admins

If the coronavirus pandemic has taught the business world anything, it’s that the humble system admin should no longer be undervalued. The impact on businesses worldwide and the overnight transition of millions into remote working situations has shed light on the real value of system admins.

The Unsung Heroes of the Modern Workplace

Sysadmins are the pillars of everyday operations in any modern business. They are the silent agents that ensure everyone is actually able to carry out their work. If everything is running smoothly, it’s because they are doing their job. The value of their work often goes unnoticed because ironically that’s their goal – for technical issues to be fixed unnoticed and everyone else carry on unaffected. But apart from keeping the waters calm, they are also ready to spring into action and save your ass to reset that password you forgot for the 17th time that week (not speaking from personal experience or anything…sorry Phil)

Pandemic Response

As COVID-19 stunned the world and our front-line workers and healthcare rushed to save lives, in the business world, it was system admins who we turned to for help. Transitioning literally millions of employees into remote working is no mean feat but the system admins rose to the challenge and saved businesses on their knees. Furthermore, with this enforced shift to remote working, cyberattacks have been on the rise to try and exploit any new vulnerabilities exposed in the transition but our trusty system admins were there again to protect us.

2020 has been an extremely tough year for many people, but without system admins, it could have been far worse. So, in celebration of SysAdmin Day on 31 July, we decided to give back to our sysadmin heroes in recognition of their hard work.

Rewarding System Admins on SysAdmin Day

Sysadmin thank you gift

If you are an Office 365, Hyper-V, or VMware user, celebrate with us. All you have to do is sign up for a 30-day free trial of either Altaro VM Backup or Altaro Office 365 Backup – it’s your choice! – and you’ll get a guaranteed $/€20 Amazon voucher plus the chance to win one of our grand prizes including SONY WH-1000XM3 Wireless Noise-cancelling headphones, Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router, DJI Osmo Pocket, and more!

SysAdmins claim your gift now!

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Author: Altaro Software

SUSE goes ranching and lassos a container storage startup

Open source vendors SUSE and Rancher Labs are joining forces, at a time when analysts say enterprise storage containers are poised for mainstream use.

SUSE this week said it agreed to acquire Rancher Labs to combine the companies’ hybrid cloud infrastructure technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed, but CNBC reported SUSE will pay between $600 million and $700 million. The companies said the deal is expected to close by October.

The SUSE storage software provides back-end capacity with data management that could serve Rancher’s Kubernetes-managed clusters.

“Saying that containers are red-hot right now might be an understatement. This is the future of the data center. It doesn’t surprise me that SUSE is making investments to improve its container management capabilities,” said Scott Sinclair, a storage analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, based in Milford, Mass.

Gartner predicts 75% of global organizations will use containers to run production applications by 2023, up from roughly 30% of companies that do so currently.

The proposal signals the latest evolution at SUSE, which private equity firm EQP Group acquired for $2.5 billion from Micro Focus last year. SUSE first launched in 1992. Micro Focus acquired SUSE from Novell, which acquired SUSE for $210 million in 2003.

Based in Germany, SUSE provides one of the earliest Linux distributions. Its software helps companies build software-defined IT services on commodity gear.  The SUSE Enterprise Linux Server operating system is built on the Linux kernel for mainframes, servers and workstations. SUSE Storage Enterprise is a commercially supported version of open source Ceph that supports block, file and object storage.

Founded in 2014, Rancher Labs developed the Enterprise Kubernetes Management platform, which is one of several orchestration tools certified by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Rancher is based in Cupertino, Calif., and claims more than 300 corporate customers.

Enhanced SUSE CaaS in the works

IBM acquired one of SUSE’s chief rivals, Red Hat, last year for $34 million. Rancher Kubernetes Management engine competes with Red Hat Open Shift and other orchestration tools used to deploy large container farms that need persistent storage.

Sheng LiangSheng Liang

“We have a market-leading product, but we don’t have a very wide enterprise-grade distribution. That’s what SUSE gives us. SUSE runs a lot of mission-critical workloads and has a footprint that is probably 10 times larger than ours,” said Rancher Labs CEO Sheng Liang, who will join SUSE as president of engineering and innovation.

Applications that use Kubernetes orchestration need access to persistent storage. This is done either through the Container Storage Interface to back-end physical storage, or as dedicated software-defined storage that presents itself to users as block devices.

Rancher could use SUSE storage to support containers, although Rancher in June made its Longhorn distributed block storage generally available. Portworx and StorageOS offer competing products to Rancher Longhorn. Also, VMware is in the midst of reconciling its Pivotal Software acquisition, which includes the Kubernetes-based Pivotal Container Service.

SUSE CEO Melissa Di Donato wrote in a blog post that SUSE will integrate Rancher technology in the SUSE containers-as-a-service product. SUSE declined interview requests, citing regulatory approvals.

“With our first acquisition as an independent company, we are paving the way for two leading companies with so many complementary strengths to become even stronger together,” Di Donato wrote in the blog.

COVID-19 and containers

The purpose of the deal was not apparent to all industry experts. Greg Schulz, the senior analyst at Server and Storage IO, said he was surprised at the reported price tag for Rancher Labs.

“It’s a hit of a head-scratcher. I’m not sure what to make of it. Were Rancher investors looking for a way out? Is SUSE trying to chase the market now that it’s independent and [needs to] stay out of IBM’s Red Hat shadow?” Schulz said.

More companies are seriously considering containers to speed up digital transformation, especially in light of COVID-19.

“Almost one-third of the companies we interviewed say they plan to use more containers and modern application elements to make their apps more portable across multiple clouds, whether on or off premises,” Sinclair said.

Liang said SUSE plans to retain Rancher’s 250 employees.

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For Sale – Huge clearout – PCs, laptops, components, RAM/GPUs

It’s time for a serious clearout! I haven’t had enough time to go through each individual set of parts yet, if there’s interest I’ll clean and test each one before sale.

I’ve been using work laptops and been too busy with work to bother much with my hardware below! I’m in the process of deciding what I want to keep and what to sell, it will take me a little while to clear off data in some instances. I do still need 2 PCs in the future but I’m taking this opportunity as a hard reset in my lineup.

This list will be updated as and when I get time / locate items.

Lenovo E570 i3-6006u, 4gb DDR4 (I have more RAM below if needed). 500gb HDD, DVD writer, 15.6” screen. £200
Lenovo Yoga 12 i7 / 8gb / 250gb ssd £300
IBM T41 (specs TBC)

Dell XPS 8700, i7 4770, 12gb, GTX 645. £420
Dell Studio 540s SFF PC (ideal as HTPC), C2Q Q8300, 4gb, discrete half-height GPU (can’t remember which but will confirm) £100
HP Media Centre PC M7000 (includes the removable HDD in the bay at the front!) £100
Mesh Q6600 Elite, C2Q Q6600, 4gb (I think), no GPU £80
Thermaltake build – C2Q Q6600, 7600GS, RAM TBC £80

2x Gigabyte 7970 GHz edition – boxed – barely seen any use in the past 4 years as I’ve been using a work laptop. £80ea
Palit GTX 780 £80
Palit GTX 980ti £200

240gb Kingston KC300 £30
500gb Crucial MX500 £50
1.92tb Sandisk Ultra 900 USBC external drive brand new boxed £600

3tb Seagate £35
Assorted 500gb-4tb 3.5” drives (5+ drives in total)
Assorted 60-500gb 2.5” drives (10+ drives in total)

Optical drives
5.25” DVD writers
Laptop DVD writers (I’ve amassed about 25 of these, please post if needed)

1x8gb DDR4 SODIMM £25
1x16gb DDR4 SODIMM £55
4x4gb Corsair Dominator 2133mhz DDR3 £100
4x8gb Patriot DDR3 £125
Assorted DDR1/DDR2 (including ECC) e.g. 4x512mb DDR2 ECC £10

NZXT Phantom £30 (boxed, some yellowing with age but it’s easy to get this back to white)

Corsair AX850 PSU with black cable set £75
Corsair red cable set for AX650/AX750/AX850 £50
Corsair AX1200 PSU with cables £150
Sabertooth X79 mobo (found the manual and driver disc but no box) £80
Rampage IV Extreme X79 mobo (boxed with OC-key and manuals) £200

Corsair H100i £60
Corsair H100 £50
I7 3960x £170
I7 3930k £60

Trendnet Powerline AV500 adapter x2 boxed, £20
Netgear EX6120 Wifi AC1200 extender £30
Plantronics Calisto P610M USB speakerphone (Skype, Zoom etc.) – brand new boxed, 2 available, £60 each.

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Q&A: Recounting the rough-and-tumble history of PowerShell

To examine the history of PowerShell requires going back to a time before automation, when point-and-click administration ruled.

In the early days of IT, GUI-based systems management was de rigueur in a Windows environment. You added a new user by opening Active Directory, clicking through multiple screens to fill in the name, group membership, logon script and several other properties. If you had dozens or hundreds of new users to set up, it could take quite some time to complete this task.

To increase IT efficiency, Microsoft produced a few command-line tools. These initial automation efforts in Windows — batch files and VBScript — helped, but they did not go far enough for administrators who needed undiluted access to their systems to streamline how they worked with the Windows OS and Microsoft’s ever-growing application portfolio.

It wasn’t until PowerShell came out in 2006 that Microsoft gave administrators something that approximated shell scripting in Unix. PowerShell is both a shell — used for simple tasks such as gathering the system properties on a machine — and a scripting language to execute more advanced infrastructure jobs. Each successive PowerShell release came with more cmdlets, updated functionality and refinements to further expand the administrator’s dominion over Windows systems and its users. In some instances, the only way to make certain adjustments in some products is via PowerShell.

Today, administrators widely use PowerShell to manage resources both in the data center and in the cloud. It’s difficult to comprehend now, but shepherding a command-line tool through the development gauntlet at a company that had built its brand on the Windows name was a difficult proposition.

Don JonesDon Jones

Don Jones currently works as vice president of content partnerships and strategic initiatives for Pluralsight, a technology skills platform vendor, but he’s been fully steeped in PowerShell from the start. He co-founded PowerShell.org and has presented PowerShell-related sessions at numerous tech conferences.

Jones is also an established author and his latest book, Shell of an Idea, gives a behind-the-scenes history of PowerShell that recounts the challenges faced by Jeffrey Snover and his team.

In this Q&A, Jones talks about his experiences with PowerShell and why he felt compelled to cover its origin story.

Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

What was it like for administrators before PowerShell came along?

Don Jones: You clicked a lot of buttons and wizards. And it could get really painful. Patching machines was a pain. Reconfiguring them was a pain. And it wasn’t even so much the server maintenance — it was those day-to-day tasks.

I worked at Bell Atlantic Network Integration for a while. We had, maybe, a dozen Windows machines and we had one person who basically did nothing but do new user onboarding: creating the domain account and setting up the mailbox. There was just no better way to do it, and it was horrific.

I started digging into VBScript around the mid-1990s and tried to automate some of those things. We had a NetWare server, and you periodically had to log on, look for idle connections and disconnect them to free up a connection for another user if we reached our license limit. I wrote a script to do something a human being was sitting and doing manually all day long.

This idea of automating — that was just so powerful, so tremendous and so life-affirming that it became a huge part of what I wound up doing for my job there and jobs afterward.

Do you remember your introduction to PowerShell?

Jones: It was at a time when Microsoft was being a little bit more free talking about products that they were working on it. There was a decent amount of buzz about this Monad shell, which was its code name. I felt this is clearly going to be the next thing and was probably going to replace VBScript from what they were saying.

I was working with a company called Sapien Technologies at the time. They produce what is probably still the most popular VBScript code editor. I said, ‘We’re clearly going to have to do something for PowerShell,’ and they said, ‘Absolutely.’ And PrimalScript was, I think, the first non-Microsoft tool that really embraced PowerShell and became part of that ecosystem.

That attracted the attention of Jeffrey Snover at Microsoft. He said, ‘We’re going to launch PowerShell at TechEd Europe 2006 in Barcelona, [Spain], and I’d love for you to come up and do a little demo of PrimalScript. We want to show people that this is ready for prime time. There’s a partner ecosystem. It’s the real deal, and it’s safe to jump on board.’

That’s where I met him. That was the first time I got to present at a TechEd and that set up the next large chapter of my career.

I think PowerShell has earned its place in a lot of people’s toolboxes and putting it out there as open source was such a huge step.
Don JonesVice president of content partnerships and strategic initiatives, Pluralsight

What motivated you to write this book?

Jones: I think I wanted to write it six or seven years ago. I remember being either at a TechEd or [Microsoft] Ignite at a bar with [Snover], Bruce Payette and, I think, Ken Hansen. You’re at a bar with the bar-top nondisclosure agreement. And they’re telling these great stories. I’m like, ‘We need to capture that.’ And they say, ‘Yeah, not right now.’

I’m not sure what really spurred me. Partly, because my career has moved to a different place. I’m not in PowerShell anymore. I felt being able to write this history would be, if not a swan song, then a nice bookend to the PowerShell part of my career. I reached out to a couple of the guys again, and they said, ‘You know what? This is the right time.’ We started talking and doing interviews.

As I was going through that, I realized the reason it’s the right time is because so many of them are no longer at Microsoft. And, more importantly, I don’t think any of the executives who had anything to do with PowerShell are still at Microsoft. They left around 2010 or 2011, so there’s no repercussions anymore.

Regarding Jeffrey Snover, do you think if anybody else had been in charge of the PowerShell project that it would have become what it is today?

Jones: I don’t think so. By no means do I want to discount all the effort everyone else put in, but I really do think it was due to [Snover’s] absolute dogged determination, just pure stubbornness.

He said, ‘Bill Gates got it fairly early.’ And even Bill Gates getting it and understanding it and supporting it didn’t help. That’s not how it worked. [Snover] really had to lead them through some — not just people who didn’t get it or didn’t care — but people who were actively working against them. There was firm opposition from the highest levels of the company to make this stop.

Because you got in close to the ground floor with PowerShell, were you able to influence any of its functionality from the outside?

Jones: Oh, absolutely. But it wasn’t really just me. It was all the PowerShell MVPs. The team had this deep recognition that we were their biggest fans — and their biggest critics.

They went out of their way to do some really sneaky stuff to make sure they could get our feedback. Windows Vista moving into Windows 7, there was a lot of secrecy. Microsoft knew it had botched — perceptually if nothing else — the Vista release. They needed Windows 7 to be a win, and they were being really close to the vest about it. For them to show us anything that had anything to do with Windows 7 was verboten at the highest levels of the company. Instead they came up with this idea of the “Windows Vista update,” which was nothing more than an excuse to show us PowerShell version 3 without Windows 7 being in the context.

They wanted to show us workflows. They put us in a room and they not only let us play with it and gave us some labs to run through, but they had cameras running the whole time. They said, ‘Tell us what you think.’

I think nearly every single release of PowerShell from version 2 onward had a readme buried somewhere. They listed the bug numbers and the person who opened it. A ton of those were us: the MVPs and people in the community. We would tell the team, ‘Look, this is what we feel. This is what’s wrong and here’s how you can fix it.’ And they would give you fine-print credit. Even before it went open source, there was probably more community interaction with PowerShell than most Microsoft products.

I came from the perspective of teaching. By the time I was really in with PowerShell, I wasn’t using it in a production environment. I was teaching it to people. My feedback tended to be along the lines of, ‘Look, this is hard for people to grasp. It’s hard to understand. Here’s what you could do to improve that.’ And a lot of that stuff got adopted.

Was there any desire — or an offer — to join Microsoft to work on PowerShell directly?

Jones: If I had ever asked, it probably could have happened. I had had previous dealings with Microsoft, as a contractor, that I really enjoyed.

I applied for a job there — and I did not enjoy how that went down.

My feeling was that I was making a lot more money and having a lot more impact as an independent.

What is your take on PowerShell since it made the switch to an open source project?

Jones: It’s been interesting. PowerShell 6, which was the first cross-platform open source was a big step backward in a lot of ways. Just getting it cross-platform was a huge step. You couldn’t take the core of PowerShell, and, at that point, 11 years of add-on development and bring it all with you at once. I think a lot of people looked at it as an interesting artifact.

The very best IT people reach out for whatever tool you put in front of them. They rip it apart and they try to figure out how is this going make my job better, easier, faster, different, whatever. They use all of them.
Don JonesVice president of content partnerships and strategic initiatives, Pluralsight

[In PowerShell 7], they’ve done so much work to make it more functional. There’s so much parity now across macOS, Linux and Windows. I feel the team tripled down and really delivered and did exactly what they said they were going to do.

I think a lot more people take it seriously. PowerShell is now built into the Kali Linux distribution because it’s such a good tool. I think a lot of really hardcore, yet open-minded, Linux and Unix admins look at PowerShell and — once they take the time to understand it — they realize this is what shells structurally should have been.

I think PowerShell has earned its place in a lot of people’s toolboxes and putting it out there as open source was such a huge step.

Do you see PowerShell ever making any inroads with Linux admins?

Jones: I don’t think they’re the target audience. If you’ve got a tool that does the job, and you know how to use it, and you know how to get it done, that’s fine.

We have a lot of home construction here in [Las] Vegas. I see guys putting walls up with a hammer and nails. Am I going to force you to use a nail gun? No. Are you going to be a lot faster? Yes, if you took a little time to learn how to use it. You never see younger guys with the hammer; it’s always the older guys who’ve been doing this for a long, long time.

I feel that PowerShell has already been through this cycle once. We tried to convince everyone that you needed to use PowerShell instead of the GUI, and a lot of admins stuck with the GUI. That’s a fairly career-limiting move right now, and they’re all finding that out. They’re never going to go any further. The people who picked it up, they’re the ones who move ahead.

The very best IT people reach out for whatever tool you put in front of them. They rip it apart and they try to figure out how is this going make my job better, easier, faster, different, whatever. They use all of them.

You don’t lose points for using PowerShell and Bash. It would be stupid for Linux administrators to fully commit to PowerShell and only PowerShell, because you’re going to run across systems that have this other thing. You need to know them both.

Microsoft has released a lot of administrative tools — you’ve got PowerShell, Office 365 CLI and Azure CLI to name a few. Someone new to IT might wonder where to concentrate their efforts when there are all these options.

Jones: You get a pretty solid command-line tool in the Azure CLI. You get something that’s very purpose-specific. It’s scoped in fairly tightly. It doesn’t have an infinite number of options. It’s a straightforward thing to write tutorials around. You’ve got an entire REST API that you can fire things off at. And if you’re a programmer, that makes a lot more sense to you and you can write your own tools around that.

PowerShell sits kind of in the middle and can be a little bit of both. PowerShell is really good at bringing a bunch of things together. If you’re using the Azure CLI, you’re limited to Azure. You’re not going to use the Azure CLI to do on-prem stuff. PowerShell can do both. Some people don’t have on-prem, they don’t need that. They just have some very simple basic Azure needs. And the CLI is simpler and easier to start with.

Where do you see PowerShell going in the next few years?

Jones: I think you’re going to continue to see a lot of investment both by Microsoft and the open source community. I think the open source people have — except for the super paranoid ones — largely accepted that Microsoft’s purchase of GitHub was not inimical. I think they have accepted that Microsoft is really serious about open source software. I think people are really focusing on making PowerShell a better tool for them, which is really what open source is all about.

I think you’re going to continue to see it become more prevalent on more platforms. I think it will wind up being a high common denominator for hiring managers who understand the value it brings to a business and some of the outcomes it helps achieve. Even AWS has invested heavily in their management layer in PowerShell, because they get it — also because a lot of the former PowerShell team members now work for AWS, including Ken Hansen and Bruce Payette, who invented the language.

I suspect that, in the very long run, it will probably shift away from Microsoft control and become something a little more akin to Mozilla, where there will be some community foundation that, quote unquote, owns PowerShell, where a lot of people contribute to it on an equal basis, as opposed to Microsoft, which is still holding the keys but is very engaged and accepting of community contributions.

I think PowerShell will probably outlive most of its predecessors over the very long haul.

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