PowerShell Web Access

I had a busy day.  In addition to my usual responsibilities and projects, I set out to build a PowerShell Web Access (PSWA) server.  In case the naming wasn’t clear, this is simply a gateway to allow web based access to PowerShell from devices with a web browser. 

ps

Here’s what you do:

  • Consider the risks of such a solution, particularly when exposed to the Internet
  • Get the basics set up
    • Set up or pick an existing Windows Server 2012 system.  Install the PSWA Feature and confirm dependencies such as the IIS role.
    • Configure the gateway by running Install-PswaWebApplication at an elevated PowerShell prompt.  Set up your certificate and HTTPS binding in IIS as appropriate
    • Configure access and authorization rules.  Use Add-PswaAuthorizationRule with…
      • ComputerGroupName domain\group or ComputerName domain\computer for destination systems, * for all systems
      • UserGroupName domain\group or UserName domain\username for authorized users, * for all users
      • ConfigurationName Microsoft.PowerShell for the default configuration.  Google or read Ravikanth’s posts on this.  On second thought, read his entire free e-book on PowerShell remoting, it’s worth your time
      • RuleName, so you can stay organized!
  • If you desire, consider the risks of allowing CredSSP and set it up for appropriate remote systems.  This let’s you delegate credentials to those end systems; otherwise any command you run that requires network authorization, even accessing a file share, will fail.  Guess who can help with this?  Ravikanth again.
  • Read up on the various posts above and perhaps browse the web to ensure everything is set up to meet your needs and security requirements.  Then log in and start administering from your phone!

I’m off to enjoy a delicious vegetarian Moroccan stew!

Welcome

I enjoy sharing things, preferably with anonymity or the illusion of it.  A blog seems only natural!

I plan to ramble on about things I find interesting.  Technology, science and food will be the most common, perhaps in that order.

I am employed and working towards a degree in the field of information technology.  As my expertise can generally be summed up by this XKCD comic, many posts will simply be reminders for future reference.

Microsoft recently released Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.  I’ve been busy updating my various work and home computers and getting a feel for these new offerings.  The following have come in a handy:

  • Ultimate tools – a handy list of applications from Scott Hanselman.  Windows 8 and Server 2012 are essentially Windows 7/Server 08 R2 with a new start menu, some aesthetic changes, and a number of under the hood improvements.  Most applications you used in Windows 7 should work, assuming they were well written.
  • Client Hyper-V – Microsoft included a client version of their Hypervisor in Windows 8.  This gives you the benefits of virtualization without the cost of something like VMware Workstation.  It also presents an opportunity to get a feel for a hypervisor that will likely be increasing its footprint in the enterprise in the years to come.
  • Windows 8 productivity – another post from Scott Hanselman.  You will find no shortage of ranting and raving over Windows 8, particularly over aesthetic changes. Most functionality is intact or improved.  This post details shortcuts and tips that will save you much time and effort.
  • PowerShell CIM Cmdlets – You will find many PowerShell posts here.  If I’m going to do something time consuming more than a few times, I try to automate it with PowerShell.  Microsoft has been pushing PowerShell for many years; these new Cmdlets will start to let administrators query and manage systems that
  • SSD Hard Drives – Your standard hard drive has spinning disks.  This means they consume more power, are generally slow, and that jarring movements can do bad things.  If you haven’t jumped on the SSD bandwagon yet, now is the time.  My laptop computer is lighter, uses less power, can be tossed around while in use without much worry, and boots in a matter of seconds.  Look for something in the Samsung 830 series, Crucial M4 series, or an Intel SSD.  The two drawbacks are cost and capacity.  I use a SSD in my laptop.  On my Desktop I use SSD for Windows and applications, and keep movies, music, and other large files that don’t need speed on the old fashioned hard drives.  If you do buy something, look for a deal on a site like slickdeals.com or fatwallet.com; sticker prices are very high, but rebates and sales are common.
  • I’m generally quite patient.  Not when it comes to building new computers at home.  I don’t know if Intel or Microsoft are to blame, but getting the NIC up and running on my new Windows Server 2012 build was unnecessarily painful.  To get an Intel 82579 NIC up and running in Windows Server 2012 RTM, this guide may help you.  It may be wise to be patient and wait for signed drivers.