Experienced Senior System Engineer with a penchant for identifying problems, finding solutions and helping an IT organization move towards a more mature, proactive role. I have extensive experience with a wide range of technologies, but I’m most proud of my ability to bring together my team, Information Technology (IT), and customers to work towards a common goal. The unique combination of technical abilities and communication skills is what is going to allow me to help your business succeed. My recent experience has focused on VMware technologies, from both a high level (architecting, sizing, etc.) and a lower, hands on level (implementation, training and troubleshooting.) As such, I’m uniquely positioned to help your business, your IT department and your System Engineer team as your virtualization efforts move, change or grow.
May 2011 – Present: Amdocs Limited
Supported a 24×7 billing backend provider to international communication carriers.
- This included building large-scale, fault-tolerant distributed systems with varying levels of downtime restrictions, varying by contract requirements.
- Built a standardized datacenter layout to speed up building new customer environments (in progress.)
- Implemented vCloud Director testbed as a Proof of Concept
- Updated multiple vSphere production deployments without downtime or impact on availability.
- Worked with various people and teams to help further a company wide understanding of the abilities and limitations of virtualization.
- Supported customers from all over the world, including the Pacific Rim, most countries in the North and South America and Israel.
- Worked with various international team, including a team in India that were were closely aligned with.
- Cost savings were often a large driver for the hardware, software and Data Center space decisions that were made, requiring both flexibility and creativity.
- Worked with various vendors for support, including both in-house and outsourced professionals.
- Mainly supported HP, Dell, Cisco UCS and NetApp hardware.
Early 2011: Travel Sabbatical
Explored Australia and New Zealand, along with some of the US I haven’t seen.
2009 – 2010: Senior System Engineer, thePlatform for Media, Incorporated
Supported a 24×7 Production Data Center, a Disaster Recovery Data Center and a Quality Assurance and Staging Data Center focused on helping content providers, broadband media sites, and mobile businesses solve their unique media publishing requirements using the latest technologies and industry best practices.
- Helped plan, implement and support the introduction of VMware ESX server/VSphere into thePlatform. The implementation was first done in QA and Staging to set a baseline of performance and reliability for the applications we support. As the confidence grew, we started moving infrastructure machine to our VMware cluster. Most of the QA, Staging and the Disaster Recovery environment is full virtualized.
- Helped build a new East Coast Disaster Recovery Data Center, including the roll out of a new server platform (Cisco UCS Blades) and a remote management model.
- Worked with developers to troubleshoot performance and tuning issues, especially as related to Java memory sizing, in the virtualized environment. We also helped our developers do performance testing to verify certain best practices, especially as related to numbers of cores per Virtual Machine.
- Implemented Industry best practices for time keeping, solving most, if not all, time related issues.
- Architected, planned and installed a robust patching system based on cost effective best practices for both the Windows and Unix environments. Was able to standardized patching in such a way as to patch and test in QA and Staging before implementing the patches in our Production environment. For the Linux side, we also created our own repository for deploying custom applications and patches that weren’t available in the standard repositories.
- Implemented a Revision Control system for key system files, and created various monitors in Zenoss to allow for monitoring of appropriate file versions across the enterprise.
- Worked with our Support Operations Center(SOC) to implement a robust and appropriate access escalation process, and created robust supporting documents, reducing the number of after hours calls that need to be escalated to the On-Call System Engineer.
- Extensive use, and familiarity with, Agile Project Management methods.
- Working with various teams (Developers, Deployment, Network Engineers, DBA, and SE’s), to develop a slim, yet fully functional server image for all of our environments. This was done to reduce system load, increase security and to minimize disk space needed. On the Linux (CentOS) build were able to realized a 30% saving in disk space on our disk images and reduced the number of applications installed by 70%.
- Implemented best practice build methodology for our Windows, Linux and VMware servers. The time required to build a fully function server was cut down from two weeks to two days. Was also able to semi-automate the quality check (QC) of the finished build, turning a 30 minute manual task into a 2 minute review.
- Identified and eliminated several key single points of failure before they became problems (NTP, sudo permissions, etc.)
- Created and ran training classes for both our SOC, other System Engineers and other interested parties (Network Engineers, DBA’s, etc.)
- Automated various VMware task and retrieved metrics using PowerShell and PowerCLI
2006 – 2009: System Operations Specialist III, Walt Disney Internet Group/Disney Interactive Media Group
Responsible for operational support and management activities involved with the physical infrastructure required to host Disney’s online businesses including, but not limited to ABC, ESPN and Disney, which comprise the 9th most visited site on the Internet. Responsibilities include the planning, installation, testing, maintenance, documentation and support of server hardware, systems software, monitoring and management agents and the data center physical plant. Key accomplishments include:
- Helped test, implement and support VMware in our test and production environment. Initially the focus was on our redundant internal support systems (DNS, Terminal Servers, Domain Controllers,etc.), but as our our customers became comfortable with the performance, support and reliability the platform offered, we expanded to include a very large subset of our environment. As of July 2008, 250 machines have been virtualized, with approximately 50 having been P2V’ed. This was done to consolidate servers resources and to allow for load balancing. It also allowed our Data Center model to mature from a hardware hosting model (i.e. I need a DL385) to a resource allocation model ( i.e. I need to be able to process 3500 transactions a second.)
- Utilizing various tools (GPOs, BladeLogic, etc.) worked towards the standardization and simplification of our environment. These tasked ranged from something as simple as “show NIC in taskbar when connected” to verifying appropriate build level of appropriate and essential drivers.
- Solely responsible for the installation, standardization, reliability and support of Symantec Anti-Virus CE on approximately 1350 windows clients. Went from a largely unmanaged installation (less than 1000 clients had SAV installed, but of those, only a very small portion were correctly updating.) Currently, we have three SAV servers, spread across two Data Centers, with 100% of our clients getting updates daily.
- Drove the improvement in our Configuration Management Database (CMDB) from approximately 96% to 99.99%. This was accomplished by getting team buy-in on the necessity of CMDB accuracy along with aggressive record keeping, database sleuthing and a large amount of hands on verification.
- Owned and standardized the Windows system patching procedure. This included verifying relevant systems as related to business groups, standardization of the patching workflow, documentation of the processes and procedures and training the rest of the group as to prevent a single point of failure. I was also responsible for the MS Patch Tuesday monthly meeting and for following up with Business Units on implementation of patches across the environment. Shavlik HFNetChkPro and Microsoft’s WSUS were used, but at the time of my departure there was an effort to move to Blade Logic.
- Singularly responsible for the implementation of the March 2007 Daylight Savings Time patching and remediation across 2000+ Windows, Linux and Solaris servers, spanning two continents and three countries. 100% were remediated by the date of the time zone change.
- Performed second and third tier production support on a daily basis and as part of an on-call rotation.
- Became proficient supporting Linux (Redhat and Fedora mainly), Windows Servers (2000 and 2003) and the necessary supporting infrastructure, including DNS, AD, http redirect, etc.
- Helped create a mature working model for remote administration as we moved from two to three Data Centers. Our level of support ranged from true on-site support (e.g. – capable of almost all administrative task) to Smart Hands support, offering only minimal technical assistance.
- Worked to implement Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) across a subset of our systems. As the PCI standards matured and progressed, our goal became to apply the more stringent PCI standards to our entire environment.
- Became proficient working international contacts. WDIG has servers all over the world, and support needs spanned from London to Hungary and Singapore to China. Each of those disparate groups had different needs and communications issues and difficulties.
2005: Travel Sabbatical
Traveled Solo throughout Mexico, Central America and most of the United States on a BMW 1150GS Motorcycle, and overland the length of South America.
1997-2004: Senior Unix Administrator, AT&T Wireless Services
Over an 8 year period took on more of a leadership role and grew responsibilities with the expansion of the server environment. Led geographically dispersed team in providing proactive support to internal client applications including Axys (proprietary system), Siebel, and databases such as Sybase and Oracle. Key accomplishments:
- Growing mainly HP/UX and Solaris server environment from approximately 50 to 100+.
- Handled all administration, backups, capacity planning, and disaster recovery.
- Drove all hiring including expansion of team from one to eight FTE System Administrators.
- Planned and implemented three datacenter moves involving millions of dollars of hardware with minimal downtime and no loss of data.
1988: University of Central Florida
Bachelors of Arts in Business Administration
VMware ESX Server/Vsphere (4+ years), Linux (8+ years), Windows Server (6+ years), Agile Project Management (2+ year), HP-UX (8 years), SEEK Raid Arrays (8 years), Solaris (4 years), OS X (7+ years + 6 years Openstep/Nextstep), Legato NetWorker (2 years), Veritas NetBackup (1 year), Veritas File System, (3 years), ADIC (3 years), Network Appliance NetApp (4+ years), HP System Insight Manager (3+ year), Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) via HP Openview Service Desk (2 years), Shavlik HFNetChkPro v5 (2 years), Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) (4+ years), Symantec Anti-Virus (2 ),TCP/IP Networking & related protocols including http, SMTP, LDAP/Sendmail, NFS, DNS, DHCP, FTP, SSH, SAMBA, LAN/WAN topology, shell scripting, Perl, Java, AIX, HP Openview, Apache Web Server, Microsoft IIS, Powershell, PowerCLI, DataDomain, Cisco UCS Blade Enclosures, Python