The only constant is change

September 19, 2014

It’s been very long time since I last posted anything on this blog. About a year ago I moved from Dell Software’s SharePoint solutions group to take over product management in a company called Netwrix. Here at Netwrix I spend less time with SharePoint, as we do change and access auditing for a number of different IT systems and applications, primarily within Microsoft ecosystem.

To be honest, it was unclear to me what to do with the blog. I am still quite interested in SharePoint governance and management topics, but it is no longer the main focus of my day to day work. So I finally decided to resume blogging, and here’re the first couple changes here.

I am going to use the alias as the main blog URL again. The old alias ( will redirect here, but is no longer describing the main point.

I also renamed the blog to be more consistent with its new (expected) contents :) Even the ancient Greeks knew that the only constant is change (thanks to Heraclitus of Ephesus for making this observation!) – and my interest now is how to give IT and executives visibility into these changes, and give enough info to understand them in context of overall systems security and compliance.

You can expect to see more random thoughts and observations on information governance, risk management, IT security, etc. In the meantime, I still have the warm feelings for SharePoint and the community around it, so you may see occasional notes specific to SharePoint as well. (And while we are at it – I am speaking at SharePoint Conference Ukraine next week, excited to be back in beautiful Kiev!)


Last week I was speaking at SharePoint Conference Ukraine in Kiev. The conference content owners had picked SharePoint governance from my suggested list of topics, and I tried to put together several examples to highlight what governance is and what it is not.

What struck me as I was preparing was the idea that the term itself (“SharePoint governance”) is somewhat unique across all Microsoft applications. Have you ever heard about Exchange Server governance? Or Dynamics CRM governance? Even with SharePoint, the term appeared in late 2007 – early 2008 and was quickly picked up by the community. Thanks to internet search technologies, we can see the relative frequency of use for terms “SharePoint governance” and “Exchange governance” in the IT related sources over time:


You cannot really see ANY mention of Exchange governance – why is this so? Do users share less sensitive content over email? Are there fewer business risks associated with email compared to SharePoint? Less need in protecting personal information, controlling exponential growth, complying with content retention requirements?

Obviously, no. Companies have to govern all of the IT infrastructure to adequately address the business needs and maintain controllable and predictable costs. For whatever reason the term resonated so well only with the SharePoint community.

Does this mean SharePoint governance is only a buzz word that various Microsoft partners are glad to use to sell their services and tools? What do you think?

P.S. In my conference talk I tried to give examples why it might be a good idea to start thinking about SharePoint governance. Here’re the slides (in Russian).

P.P.S. Once again, many thanks to the entire SharePoint Conference Ukraine team and personally to Anton Vityaz. Hope to see you in Kiev next spring!

It was a very pleasant and unusual experience for me this week to speak at the SharePoint Conference Russia – 2011. The conference was awesome and the crowd was much more interested in SharePoint than I was expecting. My session was the last before conference wrap up, and we stayed for almost half hour after the session for Q&A! The biggest challenge for me – surprisingly – was to keep speaking Russian, and not switch to English completely when using all the SharePoint terminology.

Having been to a number of different industry events in the US and Europe before, I cannot help comparing this conference to some of those. As far as I can tell, SharePoint Conference Russia is very close to the SharePoint Saturdays. The event is completely driven by community, in this case – Russian SharePoint User Group, and it is completely free to attend. (Thanks to the sponsors, and I am happy that my employer participated as the sponsor as well!)

There are some differences from the few of the SharePoint Saturdays I’ve seen:
  • SPConfRu had simultaneous live stream online from all 3 concurrent sessions. Never seen this at any other SharePoint event really.
  • The food was absolutely awesome :-) I’m not complaining about the food at other events, but here it was way better than one can expect to get a free event.
  • Unlike other SharePoint Saturdays, good part of the attendees were seriously looking people in good suits – IT directors and CIO’s, not a typical attendee for a free event. I think this shows there is a lack of (and the need for) SharePoint-centric events targeted more at the business users and IT decision makers in Russia. There are no SPTechCon or SharePoint Best Practices here.
  • Finally, the event was on Monday – so they had to call it SharePoint Conference instead of SharePoint Saturday :-)

So once again I’d like to say thank you to the SPConfRU organizersOksana and the team did absolutely great job, and I really look forward to more events from the user group in Russia.

BTW, here’re the slides from my “Planning SharePoint 2010 backup and recovery – where do I start?” session

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We had a good discussion tonight with Buckeye SharePoint User Group in Columbus around how you approach backup and recovery in 2010, and how new features might or might not change your backup strategy. Here’s the slide deck from my session:

SharePoint 2010: How new features change your backup and recovery

Apparently, there’s lots of interest in SharePoint 2010 – few folks already have it running in production, some are playing with it in the labs, while others are learning. Good times, interesting to see how SharePoint landscape changes.

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Just a quick post for those of you who have been following the Quest SharePoint For All community. We have moved the site to Quest Communities home and it is now available at

I just posted my first blog entry there, a brief look back at the evolution of  SharePoint administration and the challenges Quest Site Administrator has been helping to address since its first release in 2006.

So come join Quest experts, get insights from the product teams, connect with other users and the developers of Quest SharePoint products! And don’t forget to update your blog rolls and RSS feeds.

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As promised last week, we’re giving away three copies of SharePoint 2007 Disaster Recovery Guide, a book by John Ferringer and Sean McDonough.

If you’re following my blog, you already know about the new SharePoint community we (Quest Software) have launched at So I want to try and use this opportunity to bring more good people to the community.

To win your free copy of the book, you need to:

  1. Join the SharePoint For All community if you’re not a registered member yet. It’s very simple, but gives you access to the forums and downloads on the site. Downloads include pre-release Beta versions of Quest management and migration tools for SharePoint, as well as freeware tools such as SharePoint Disaster Recovery Advisor.
  2. Publish a link to SharePoint for all site on your SharePoint-related blog or on a publicly available SharePoint-related forum. It can be a link to the site’s home page, or any of the downloads, or any blog post on the Quest team blog, whatever is more relevant to the topic of your post.
  3. Finally, send an email with the two links to a special email address: Your email should include links to your profile at community site and to your blog/forum post, and your name/contact info.

The first three winners will get the free copy of SharePoint 2007 Disaster Recovery Guide. You can see my review of the book here, and read more about it on

One more note, you cannot win the book if you work for Quest. Sorry, guys – I can lend you my copy if you want to read it :-)

Once again, many thanks to the publisher, Cengage Learning, for giving me this opportunity.

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Joel just anounced the new community site we’re starting here at Quest, SharePoint For All. We will try to use this site to share expertise, Quest product news, ideas, beta versions of new releases and even some research projects! Here you can also get first-hand answers from the product teams – our developers, product managers, consultants, – and of course your peers who may already be using the products.

All this is just getting started, and you can help us define what exactly SharePoint For All will become in the future. I encourage you to register and join the community now and get active on the forums.

The new community site also features the new Quest SharePoint Team blog. One of the recent posts there explains how Quest Recovery Manager for SharePoint fits into various different environments and allows to leverage existing backup infrastructure for granular data recovery. This is a follow up for Joel Oleson’s recent SharePoint backup and recovery webcast (see the recorded webcast here, and Q&A in a separate blog post).

So – watch the new team blog for the product news, and I will try to keep this blog for more generic SharePoint backup and recovery topics.

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