Special Operations Software - http://www.specopssoft.com/ - have built PowerShell into some very clever products. Check out Command and Password Policy. The GpUpdate product adds a menu into AD Users and Computers that enables you to refresh GPOs on remote machines. Neat.
This has been updated with a CTP now available from http://www.specopssoft.com/products/specopsgpupdate/
Installation is simple. Your machine does need to be connected to the domain though for it to work. Makes sense. Prerequisites are .NET 3.5 SP1, PowerShell (works with v1 and V2 CTP 2. Of course I'm not running a CTP in production 🙂 ) and the AD Users and Computers menu extensions. The install of the latter can be triggered from within the gpupdate installer.
Once installed fire up AD U&C. Right click on a machine and you have an addition to the menu that says SpecOps Remote Admin. This gives the following choices:
- Restart Computer
- Shutdown Computer
- Start Computer
- Windows Update
Two PowerShell snapins are installed. You need to use Add-PsSnapin to get them into your profile.
PS> get-command -PSSnapin Specopssoft.Adx
PS> get-command -PSSnapin Specopssoft.gpupdate
The 2 snapins add a total of 6 PowerShell cmdlets as shown.
When you select one of the options off the menu you can set some parameters in the GUI. Those are then reflected in a Window at the bottom of the GUI that shows the PowerShell commands. In the style of Exchange the GUI is layered over the cmdlets so the functionality is implemented through PowerShell. You can copy the script for reuse.
To stop a machine.
Get-SpecopsADComputer -name:'XPN' | Stop-SpecopsComputer -WarningTime:1
Default is 120 seconds I'm impatient. 🙂 Restart works just as well
You can choose multiple machines to work with.
Get-SpecopsADComputer -name:'EXCH01', 'WIN2K3R2EE', 'XPN' | Start-SpecopsComputer
Start-SpecOpsComputer works by Wake On LAN. The original functionality hasn't been forgotten with GPO refresh available through the GUI and PowerShell
Get-SpecopsADComputer -name:'XPN' | Update-SpecopsGroupPolicy
I like this especially the way PowerShell is used. Jonathan has some more comments and screen shots - http://get-scripting.blogspot.com/2008/10/specops-remote-admin-ctp.html. Also there is a podcast interview with the specops CTO Thorbjörn Sjövold available.
This is an extremely useful product that will be added to my AD toolset. I recommend you try it.