Last week was one of the most important weeks in the history of DevOps: Microsoft yesterday released PowerShell as open source with installations immediately available for MacOS and Linux.

Why does that matter to those of us in the datacenter? It's not about the syntax: while PowerShell is a pleasant enough language, working DevOps mostly have more urgent matters on their hands than quibbling over choices of piping and dereferencing punctuation. Instead, PowerShell is a big deal for its position in a larger ecosystem of capabilities, conveniences, and automations. I was right three years ago when I described it as a "Tactical language with strategic impact".

PowerShell's role is even more important in 2016, because: now .NET is available for Windows and Linux. SQL Server is available for Windows and Linux. PowerShell and bash are available for Windows and Linux. Visual Studio is available for Windows and Linux. Conclusion: we DevOps can migrate workloads relatively freely across our server farms, whether we're wearing our development, administration, or database hats. Microsoft says that's its intention, and in this case Microsoft has delivered the goods.

If you're not already good with PowerShell and bash, now's the time to make it happen. Smart organizations will soon stop accepting excuses about how, "we had to put a lot more time into those servers, because admin of $OS is so hard." The expectation from now on is that we have everything we need to provision, deploy, configure, network, and secure servers with relative uniformity. Designate a little time to practice with bash on Windows, and PowerShell and SQL Server on Linux. Let's become good enough at this to advance our focus to more interesting, higher-order problems.

What projects did you launch when you heard yesterday's announcement? Let's talk it over in the comments below.

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