Have you ever come across something in your IT career that makes you think to yourself “How did I come this far having missed this for so many years?” I had one of those moments this morning when it dawned on me that I didn’t instinctively know how to create or update environment variables in Windows, specifically the system “path” variable.

Typically, when I run across something like this I write about it because it helps me to understand it and it documents it so I don’t have to go “a-googling” at some point in the future. Onward and upward and all that jazz…
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I recently overhauled a script that I wrote to take advantage of the parallel processing functionality that is included in Microsoft Powershell 7. The results have been excellent with script runtimes being reduced from over an hour down to roughly 5 minutes. Learning the ins-and-outs of using parallel processing was a bit of a chore that I will discuss in a later article, however the first hurdle that had to be mounted was simply getting Powershell 7 installed and figuring out how to make use of it. Quickly getting up and running with Powershell 7 is what this article seeks to address. (more…)

The current state of the world has caused some unique stresses on IT infrastructure. For IT departments servicing internal teams, remote access infrastructure in particular has felt the brunt of the blow. To that end, I spent a couple of weeks testing out enterprise VPN solutions.
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In my line of work we often evaluate new ways to do things, specifically new platforms for server hosting, disaster recovery, backups, etc.

One of the requests that often comes from vendors is “How big is your environment?”

Microsoft has the rather excellent “MAP” tool however I find it to be a bit slow, somewhat complex, and often returns a lot more information than I want… and not always everything I need.

To that end, I wrote the following powershell function and it has been a major help in automating these inventory requests:
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A colleague of mine recently solved one of the biggest pain points I have dealt with regarding Office365 – that is, Microsoft’s seemingly hit-or-miss modern authentication.

Symptoms look like this:
1. Outlook client can’t connect and/or authenticate for end-users
2. Turning on Azure MFA for an end-user ruins their life (and yours) because all office applications, teams, etc. break.
3. Admins have an impending sense of “dread” when setting up systems for new users because 80% of the time they are going to spend hours sorting out the above issues.
4. You call Microsoft Support complaining of these issues and they are eventually stumped and tell you to rebuild the desktop/laptop from scratch… great for end-users that deal with this issue 1 year into the job and rather like their systems as-is… -or- MS Support tells you to pop a registry key into the end-user’s system which just disables Modern Authentication all together – which may fix Outlook but leaves many many other things broken…
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