MVP Profile – John Policelli

JohnPolicelliJohn Policelli is a solutions-focused IT consultant with over a decade of combined success in architecture, security, strategic planning, and disaster recovery planning. He has designed and implemented dozens of complex directory service, e-Messaging, web, networking, and security enterprise solutions. John has spent the past 9 years focused on Identity and Access Management and providing thought leadership for some of the largest installations of Active Directory in Canada. He has been involved as an author, technical reviewer, and subject matter expert for over 50 training, exam writing, press, and whitepaper projects related to Windows Server 2008 Identity and Access Management, networking, and collaboration. John is currently writing his second book, Active Directory 2008 How-To by SAMS publishing, which will be released in the spring 2009.

  1. If you could ask Steve Ballmer one question about Microsoft, what would it be?

Although I have seen clips some of his previous speeches, the 2008 MVP Summit was the first time I saw Steve Ballmer give a keynote in person. I found Steve’s keynote to be motivating and it was great to experience Steve’s passionate expression of enthusiasm in person. If I could ask Steve Ballmer one question, I would have to ask him what motivates him.

  1. What do you think the best software ever written was?

There’s a long list of great software that has been written over the years, and there’s so many factors to consider when selecting the best of the best. Active Directory is definitely on my short list of the best software ever written. I believe Microsoft has done a great job evolving Active Directory from its initial release in Windows 2000 Server to the current version in Windows Server 2008. If you compare Active Directory to its predecessor, Windows NT, there is no question that Active Directory is far more superior. However, the magnitude of additional features and new functionality has made Active Directory an extremely complex product. Moreover, there are countless applications (both Microsoft and third-party) that cannot function without Active Directory. All of this, coupled with the fact that Active Directory is deployed in virtually all organizations today, makes me believe that it is a great product that deserves proper recognition as one of the best software ever written.

  1. If you were the manager of Active Directory, what would you change?

It would be great to see some improvements to the delegation capabilities within Active Directory. I would like to have the ability to implement role-based data management and service management delegation models directly within Active Directory. Additionally, it would be great to see the level of default permissions that are granted to the built-in privileged security groups, such as the Domain Admins group, be reduced.

  1. What are the best features/improvements of Active Directory?

There are a number of great features that were introduced in Active Directory in Windows Server 2008 and more to come in Windows Server 2008 R2. Fine-grained password policies, RODCs, additional auditing capabilities, and the database mounting tool are on the top of my list of great improvements to Active Directory in Windows Server 2008. I am also looking forward to the new Active Directory features coming in Windows Server 2008 R2, specifically the Active Directory PowerShell cmdlets, the built-in Recycling Bin feature, and the new Active Directory Administrative Center.

  1. What was the last book you read?

Since I have authored two books in the past year, and over a dozen courses, I have not had the time to read a full book lately. The last book that I read was “The World Is Flat” by Thomas L. Friedman, which analyzes globalization. It’s a great account of how advances in technology and communication have connected people all over the world in ways like never before.

  1. What music CD do you recommend?

I listen to a wide range of genres, but I have to say that U2’s “U218 Singles” is a great album and it would appeal to a wide range of individuals.

  1. What makes you a great MVP?

I’m not sure I would call myself a great MVP. There are so many others that have held the designation for many years. Throughout my career, I have consistently shared my knowledge with others. I am not the type of person that uses my knowledge solely for personal gain. In recent years, I have tried very hard to share my knowledge with the community by participating in newsgroups, posting on my blog, and through my publications. I truly believe that this has been rewarding to me in so many ways and I am glad that I have been able to give back to the community.

  1. What is in your computer bag?

I try to keep it light; my laptop, a power adapter, a wireless mouse, and a few USB flash drives.

  1. What is the best thing that has happened since you have become an MVP?

Because of the wide recognition of the MVP designation, becoming an MVP has opened a number of doors for me professionally. I have also been able to connect more regularly with product groups and other MVPs.

11.   What is your motto?

I don’t really have a motto. However, I try to ensure that I always learn from my mistakes. I realized a very long time ago that mistakes are only natural and learning from them is much more beneficial than being regretful.

12.   Who is your hero?

That’s a tough question. There are so many great people that I have had the privilege of having in my life. It would be virtually impossible for me to pick a single person as my hero.

13.   What does success mean to you?

To me, success is really about achieving the goals you set for yourself. I am very persistent and committed when I set out to achieve something. I will do everything possible, and sometimes the impossible, to ensure I achieve something that I want to achieve. I also believe success is achieving a perfect balance between your professional and personal lives.

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