Lost in the woods? Or lost in the mountains?Hello, my name is Vytas, and I am a Messaging Premier Field Engineer for Microsoft. I have been with Microsoft for a year (as of this past Tuesday), and have decided that I need to blog. You-the Microsoft customer- need me to blog. Why do we want me to blog?

Well, lets start with my background, as I think that would be the best way to convey my intent with this blog, and you will be able to see my perspective.  I started out in the IT industry back in 1996, working for a VAR in Downers Grove, IL. I started out as a humble hardware tech, and by 1997 earned my NT 4.0 MCSE, A+ and several other certifications.  In the intervening 10 years since, I have at times been a network admin; a consultant; an independant consultant; a senior network admin; an architecht; a stand-in-IT-director-because-no-body-cares; I've been the guy who has been in the trenches long enough where the Dilbert's and the Computerworld's Shark Tanks are no longer funny, but hurt (ok, I am being a bit dramatic there. But if you wince when you read Shark Tank, while everyone else is laughing at it. you know what I mean, right?).  Most of my professional career has been focused on planning, maintaining or deploying Microsoft products (but not exclusively).

 I remember the frustration of trying to deploy OWA for 5.5 before any real documentation of it became available. MS has come a long way since then, starting with the documentation with Windows 2000, and I believe up to the present, that Microsoft admirably attempts to document its products. In fact, the entire Step-by-Step series of MS documentation, in my opinion, is a 5-star, 11 on a 10 scale concept.

So why should I care?

 Well, for a couple of reasons. One, is that I truly enjoy being in this business because Information Technology helps people get stuff done, and I like that.  I like helping people. I love my job. Part of my job is to be an advocate for my customers, and to ensure that your voice is heard in the product groups, and various other corners of Microsoft. I still haven't learned all the insider tricks of doing that. I envision this blog as being an interaction with Microsoft customers (regardless of past, present or future), and I would sincerely appreciate any feedback, or any painpoints you are experiencing on the subjects discussed here.

Before I became a blue-badger, I remember what it was like trying to dig through Technet looking for hardly documented features. I remember the frustration upon reflecting on the fact that I and the company I was working for wanted to deploy and leverage all these great features in MS products- features we see about and read about in all the places that we see and read about products- only to find that scant or conflicting documentation exists about it.  And I've also found that when a new product gets released, that it's a safe bet to raid the bookstore and pick up some 3rd party books that offer the perspective that the KB articles and the whitepapers lack.  But even these books, that always seem to run between 800-1100 pages, lack detail, and gloss over and ignore entire aspects and features of products. Specifically, Exchange 2007 itself is a massive topic to cover. It has an entirely new architecture from previous versions of Exchange, and despite the fact that its been released for over 9 months, and available in beta even longer. There is still a lot of information that should be out there that isn't in a digestible form.  OK, maybe it isn't _that_much_, but that is where I hope this blog will fill in some of the holes in everybody's Exchange knowledge. 

 FWIW, I can only discuss publicly disclosed features. I will try to keep information succinct and as non-convoluted as possible (but I reserve the right to throw around a couple of $5 words). I hope you find the information posted here useful in your role of an Exchange admin, or Exchange admin for the day/week/month.

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