Credit: Selahattin BAYRAM
It's 5 a.m. I've been working way too long on a new feature of Exchange and SharePoint 2013 called site mailboxes, meant to improve collaboration by letting users connect to a team mailbox (through a browser) with storage shared between Exchange and SharePoint. The configuration is extremely complex: It requires expert understanding of both Exchange and SharePoint 2013, as well as every networking skill imaginable, from DNS configuration to certificate services. And yes, PowerShell scripts (thankfully already written) are essential to successful configuration.
As I plod through the prerequisites and configuration (to my ultimate success in the wee hours of the morning), I kept hearing in my head a line from one of the articles I've read on the subject by Exchange MVP Tony Redmond: "After much effort and a fair amount of swearing, I concluded that this activity is a prime candidate for automation."
How true -- this, like many aspects in the world of IT, could do with more automation. As an IT professional, you have the choice of sitting back and waiting for someone else to make it happen or finding ways to do it yourself. In fact, your future may depend on your ability to automate. As PowerShell MVP Don Jones said in a recent presentation, IT pros need to focus on automation or risk early retirement.
What do I mean by automation? In this context, it's the ability to take complicated or time-consuming tasks for IT admins and simplify them either through a set of precanned services or through the ability to script a process with a tool like PowerShell.