Welcome!

Industrial IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Stackify Blog, Yeshim Deniz, SmartBear Blog, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Industrial IoT, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Silverlight, Cloud Security

Microsoft Cloud: Blog Post

Use PowerShell to Add New Managed Servers in Windows Server 2012

PowerShell 3.0 in Windows Server 2012 provides automated management

When I’m speaking with IT Pros about the great multi-server management enhancements in Windows Server 2012, I’m frequently asked about ways in which servers can be programmatically added to the new Server Manager tool.  This can be very useful when building many new servers and you’d like to make sure they are all added into the Server Manager console in an automated fashion.  In this article, we’ll step through the method of doing exactly this with PowerShell 3.0 and Server Manager together.

image

Where does Server Manager store its list of Managed Servers?
Before we can programmatically add new servers to the list of managed servers in Server Manager, we first need to understand how Server Manager stores the list of servers it is managing.   When adding servers to Server Manager, the name of each managed server is stored in the following XML configuration file:

C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\ServerManager\ServerList.xml

Since this XML file is stored inside each user’s profile in the “Roaming” folder, by default this file will roam across management workstations if roaming user profiles are configured via Active Directory.

This XML file has a very simple structure consisting of a top-level ServerList node with child ServerInfo elements for individual servers, child ServerGroupInfo elements for custom groups that have been added to Server Manager, and child ServerGroupMembership elements for members of each custom group.

image

Sample ServerList.xml Configuration File

Thankfully, XML files can be easily processed by PowerShell 3.0 and we’ll use this capability to programmatically add new servers into the list of managed servers for Server Manager.

Getting Started …
To work through these steps together, you’ll need Windows Server 2012 to be already installed and accessible.  If you don’t yet have a lab environment running Windows Server 2012, check out our “Early Experts” program for some really easy methods to build a Windows Server 2012 lab in your on-premises environment or in the cloud using Windows Azure Infrastructure Services.

Step 1 - Close Server Manager before updating ServerList.xml
When Server Manager is running, it is continuously reading and writing information to the ServerList.xml file.  When updating this file outside of the Server Manager tool, you’ll want to make sure Server Manager is closed so that it’s not reading and writing to this file at the same time as your own updates.

To programmatically close Server Manager in your PowerShell script prior to making any updates to the ServerList.xml file, use the following PowerShell code:

get-process ServerManager | stop-process –force

Step 2 – Set path of existing ServerList.xml file
The ServerList.xml file is located in a rather lengthy path that is stored on a per-user basis.  Let’s set a variable to make it easy to reference the path to this file in our PowerShell script.

$file = get-item "$env:USERPROFILE\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\ ServerManager\ServerList.xml"

Step 3 – Backup ServerList.xml
Improper direct modification of ServerList.xml can render this file unusable by Server Manager, so be sure to make a backup copy of this file before proceeding.

copy-item –path $file –destination $file-backup –force

Step 4 – Get content from ServerList.xml file in XML format
Next, we’ll grab the XML content from the ServerList.xml and store it in a PowerShell variable using the get-content cmdlet.

$xml = [xml] (get-content $file )

Step 5 – Clone an existing managed server element to a new XML element
Using the PowerShell clone() method for an existing XML element, we can create a new ServerInfo element that we can then update with the unique values for our new managed server entry in Server Manager.

$newserver = @($xml.ServerList.ServerInfo)[0].clone()

Step 6 – Update the new cloned element with new server information
Once we’ve cloned a new ServerInfo element, we can then easily update the new element to include the information that is related to our new managed server entry in Server Manager.

$newserver.name = “servername.domain.com”

$newserver.lastUpdateTime = “0001-01-01T00:00:00”

$newserver.status = “2”

Step 7 – Append the new cloned element inside the ServerList node
The new cloned element is now updated to reflect our new server information, so we’ll now append this cloned element to the existing list of servers stored inside the ServerList node that we previously read from ServerList.xml.

$xml.ServerList.AppendChild($newserver)

Step 8 – Save the updated XML elements to ServerList.xml
After appending the new ServerInfo element inside the ServerList node, we’ll commit the changes to the ServerList.xml file using the PowerShell save()method.

$xml.Save($file.FullName)

Step 9 – Re-launch Server Manager to see the results
We’ve completed the process to add a new managed server to the ServerList.xml file.  Now, let’s re-launch Server Manager so that we can see our results.

start-process –filepath $env:SystemRoot\System32\ServerManager.exe –WindowStyle Maximized

Completed! What’s Next?
Continue learning about all of the great new end-to-end enhancements in Windows Server 2012, Server Manager and PowerShell 3.0 by joining our FREE “Early Experts” online study group.  You can be our next “Early Expert”!

WS2012EE-Apprentice-Sample

You can be our next “Early Expert”!

More Stories By Keith Mayer

Keith Mayer is a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft focused on Windows Infrastructure, Data Center Virtualization, Systems Management and Private Cloud. Keith has over 17 years of experience as a technical leader of complex IT projects, in diverse roles, such as Network Engineer, IT Manager, Technical Instructor and Consultant. He has consulted and trained thousands of IT professionals worldwide on the design and implementation of enterprise technology solutions.

Keith is currently certified on several Microsoft technologies, including System Center, Hyper-V, Windows, Windows Server, SharePoint and Exchange. He also holds other industry certifications from IBM, Cisco, Citrix, HP, CheckPoint, CompTIA and Interwoven.

Keith is the author of the IT Pros ROCK! Blog on Microsoft TechNet, voted as one of the Top 50 "Must Read" IT Blogs.

Keith also manages the Windows Server 2012 "Early Experts" Challenge - a FREE online study group for IT Pros interested in studying and preparing for certification on Windows Server 2012. Join us and become the next "Early Expert"!

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Global Network has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The IoT Global Network is a platform where you can connect with industry experts and network across the IoT community to build the successful IoT business of the future.
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Disruption, Innovation, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Leadership and Management hear these words all day every day... lofty goals but how do we make it real? Add to that, that simply put, people don't like change. But what if we could implement and utilize these enterprise tools in a fast and "Non-Disruptive" way, enabling us to glean insights about our business, identify and reduce exposure, risk and liability, and secure business continuity?