If you tell enough stories, perhaps the moral will show up.


Fantasy Programming

I work at the command line, and I've never found a better place to do stuff in bulk. But since I've been dealing with dynamic networks of hundreds of PCs I've found that there's a tool missing from the utility set.

Windows is good for remote management -- better than people realise, but there's one thing it needs -- a decent network enumerator. What's that? It automates a task which crops up time and again -- running a command against a list of all the machines in a domain, or on a network, or subsets of those lists. I want to be able to type enumerate --domain MYDOMAIN.LOCAL --exclude "/(DC.*)|(PRNT.*)/" /cmd "mycommand %%Name%% %%Timestamp%% I think that's fairly clear: I want to enumerate the domain MYDOMAIN, exclude the DCs and those pesky HP print servers, and then, for each machine, run the command mycommand with the name of the machine and a timestamp on its command line.

I know that would be useful because I actually coded "enumerate" in Perl, and I use it a lot. But doing stuff in Perl has a limited future and I don't think there's really a pressing need to make it an editable script: the function seems rounded and complete -- not something that'll need continuous extension. So, as a first step to a .Net executable, here is my specification for the enumerate utility:


 Enumeration settings
 All these settings can be combined and repeated to build up a list of hosts.
 Each entry is expanded into FQDN and IP and de-duped on both, with the last entry taking precedence.
 [--domain DN] Add all members of domain DN to the list.
 [--IP N/L|IP1-IP2] Add all ip addresses in the specified subnet
      (omit network and BC) or the specified range to the list
 [--list H[, H]*] Add all the H's (names or IP addresses) to the list
 [--flist "path"] Add all the hosts in the text file at "path" 
      (one per line, leading "\\" optional, blank lines allowed, anything after white space on a line is comment)
 Logging settings
 [--job name] Log all dignostics to the file called TS_run_name and all command output to the file TS_out_name.

 Command Settings
 [--cmd "string" [--[no]ping] [--[no]browse] [--omit "regexp"] [--directory "path"] [--concurrent nnn]]
 Run the specified string in a cmd shell, for each enumerated target.
 Multiple --cmds are allowed.

 --directory : cd to "path" before running -- default is "."
 --[no]ping : ping the host -- don't run if no response. Default is --ping
 --[no]browse : attempt to Windows browse the host -- don't run if no response. Default: --nostart
 --omit : don't run if the enumerated name or IP matches the given regexp (no //). Default: --omit ""
 --concurrent nnn : Run no more than nnn instances of this --cmd setting concurrently. Default: --concurrent 1

 "string" is the command to run. Default is "echo %%Host%% %%IP%% %%TS%%"

 Variables in the command string are expanded:
 %%Host%% -- The enumerated FQDN or IP address if it can't be resolved
 %%IP%%   -- IP address -- skip if a name can't be resolved
 Times -- all suitable for use in file names:
 %%Date%% -- The date the run started in ISO yyyy-mm-dd format
 %%Time%% -- The time the run started as hh-mm-ss
 %%TS%%   -- Now as yyyymmddhhmmsscc
Now that's a utility.

No comments: