Thursday, January 15, 2009

Powershell - The Love / Hate Relationship

Powershell is Microsoft’s new scripting language and command shell. It is an Object oriented scripting language. Most of Microsoft’s products are manageable with it. It is extremely powerful but has a steep learning curve. I love what all I can do with it. It seems like I am learning more every day. However I have so much to learn about it. I have been able to do things like get a network inventory of all of our workstations including manufacturer, serial number, logged in user, processor, RAM. I could go on and on. I have used the Quest AD cmdlets to add every users phone number to their AD account. With as great as all of this is I waste so much time trying to get the scripts to work. Sometimes it would be easier to manually put information into AD instead of scripting it.

I will be posting some of my scripts and utilities I use to work with Powershell as I learn.

You can download Powershell version one here:

The Quest for New Enterprise Antivirus

I am going to moving from Symantec Antivirus at my work. This has not been an easy decision for me. I have used Symantec Antivirus for almost for ten years. I have depended on it and it has not let me down on a large scale. However version 11 is absolutely horrible. It takes up a lot of resources and is not easy to configure. Symantec has moved from a traditional Antivirus to a security agent that has Antivirus, Firewall, Intrusion detection, and client security.

I am going to looking at Sophos Antivirus and Kaspersky Antivirus. I am told that both have an enterprise solution. I have no experience with either software. I will also be looking at Cisco Security Agent. I know that it is a completely different approach. With Cisco Security Agent you have a list of trusted application and can block all the others. That is a very simple explanation. From what I can understand there are a lot more details.

As I learn more about each product I will be blogging about them.

Ubuntu 9.04 Vs. Windows7 Boot time

Softpedia has a story about Ubuntu 9.04 booting in 21 seconds. It is counting from the time the Grub boot loader appears until the logon manager appears. I thought it would be good to compare on Windows7. I have a Lenovo T60p that is a member of a domain. From the time the Lenovo BIOS disappears until the "Press CTRL + ALT + DELETE to log" on appears is 37 seconds. Has anyone tested this on a Windows 7 computer that is not a member of a domain? If so please let me know.

Here is the link for the Ubuntu story.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Windows 7 Beta Network Performance

One of my major complaints about Vista has been the network performance problems, or atleast what seemed to be network performance problems. I worked with a couple of guys at work on testing network performance with XP, Vista and Windows 7 Beta. We created following script to test with.

net use N: file://servername/C$/Test
mkdir ST
echo Start,%time% >> Results.csv
copy N:\ReportViewer.exe ST\RV.exe
echo Small,%time% >> Results.csv
copy N:\office2007sp1-kb936982-fullfile-en-us.exe ST\of.exe
echo Big,%time% >> Results.csv
echo F1,=B2-B1 >> Results.csv
echo F2,=B3-B2 >> Results.csv
del ST\RV.exe
del ST\OF.exe
rmdir ST
net use /delete N: /y

I used a Windows 2003 Server and a Windows 2008 Server for testing.

Here are the results:

I was shocked by the performance of Windows 7 downloading from Windows 2003 server. I hope that Microsoft works on this. Remember that this is a Beta and we will have to wait until RTM to determine the real performance. I am very impressed with the perfromance of Windows 7 and Windows 2008 server. Hopefully this does not change in the RTM.