Interview of Jason Sherry, MVP by Adnan Rafique [GITCA Global Director-at-Large]
Jason is an industry recognized expert on Microsoft Exchange and has designed and implemented some of the largest Exchange environments in the world. He has worked with Exchange for over a decade and has been a leading expert on Microsoft infrastructure technologies for over seventeen years. During this period, he has migrated and helped companies manage over a million user accounts and mailboxes. In addition to his consulting experience, Jason was a product manager at two software companies where he helped design their AD and Exchange management solutions.
Adnan Rafique – Thanks Jason for taking time out and contributing to the community.
Q1 – Tell us being an Exchange MVP how do you manage your time and keep your skills updated with every new release of Exchange 2013?
The main way I keep my skills updated is by utilizing a lab with many VMs for testing and then deploying the pre-release version to my production environment where I host data for 30+ domains that I host for friends and relatives.
Q2-What is the best thing you like about Exchange and similarly what you don’t like about it?
It’s scalability and flexibility to meet the needs of any organizations
Site failover complexities
Q3-what are the best resources for learning and updating and how do you do that?
The Exchange Team EHLO blog and TechNet are two great resources, but the blogs of my fellow MVPs are also a huge resource.
Q4-In your point of view how important it is to contribute to the community?
It’s essential to have successful project, the bulk of Exchange support comes from the community (TechNet forums, blog posts, and books by MVPs)
Q5-When in your career did you start working on Exchange and why, and at what point did you decide to just focus on Exchange?
I first started working with Exchange 4.0 beta when I was helping to manage the PC Applications Support team at Digital Equipment Corporation in early 1994. I then moved into full time consulting in 1996 and started a project consolidating 160+ MS Mail post offices to Exchange 4.0. I never made a decision to just do Exchange, but did decide to just to Microsoft way back in 1993 when I got to start working with Windows NT 3.1. Today I do mainly focus on Exchange and AD since I have so much time and expertise invested in those areas.
Q6-What do you do when you are not working with Exchange?
I go to a lot of concerts, 700+ so far (http://izzy.org/shows), ski, dirt bike, and I love to travel to new places.
Q7-Is there anything you could to talk about or share related to Exchange 2013 which is not published yet and at the same time not breaking your NDA?
At this point with MEC 2012 over I think everything I know about 2013 is public now. 2013 is going to be a lot easier to deploy and manage and I’m looking forward to this!
Q8-What are your thoughts on Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) since the event is taking place after 10 years?
I think it was a major oversight by Microsoft to dropmerge the MEC conference (into TechEd). Exchange deserves its own conference.
Q9-What topics did you talk about at MEC?
I had two sessions “Migrating from Another Forest to 2010 without 3rd party tools” and “Personal Archive and Retention Policies.” Both sessions covered what is in Exchange 2010 and 2013 and where 3rd party tools still might be needed for some organizations.
Q10- Is there a message or success key to become an MVP or SME that you would like to share?
Playing with the product, sharing what you learn, learning from others, and reading anything put out by the Exchange Team on the EHLO blog and key bloggers (list here http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/746.exchange-blogs-sites-forums-and-twitter.aspx)
This article can be found on GITCA.ORG and ExchangeITPro.com