I’ve been asked many times:
What do you do?
Where do you excel?
On what products do people seek your expertise?
As technology changes, so have my answers. After 17 years in the industry, I’ve settled on “I’m an IT infrastructure problem-solver” and “Technology makes sense to me.” Sometimes through the deconstruction of technology, we gain the most insight and understanding as to how technology is intended to be used and best designed. It is this philosophy that has helped my team and me build successful, long lasting relationships. I am confident in my abilities and find the more complex problems are an opportunity.
I started in IT in 2003 following college. My first job was helping administer servers and networks for a manufacturing facility in Northern Middle Tennessee. I picked up the tasks no one else wanted to do or could not do, such as mass-imaging computers, administering firewalls and system security, and massaging legacy applications (yes, there were legacy applications by 2003). By 2006, I was working in a small consulting company helping SMBs properly implement and administer infrastructure technology. As server, storage, and application virtualization grew, I was able to harness the use of VMware/XenServer, Compellent, and Citrix XenApp to provide reliable, secure access to systems from anywhere. Even though my primary focus narrowed to virtualization in the datacenter, I found myself working with firewalls, APs, core Windows components, and applications as required by businesses.
In 2013, I worked on an infrastructure team for a global organization with over 17,000 users. I became one of four team members worldwide responsible for managing that organization’s Citrix XenApp environment, which had over 13,000 unique user connections each month. I was primarily responsible for standing up XenApp 6.5 and bringing applications and desktops forward into that environment, in both the US and European datacenters.
I joined Conversant Group in 2015 because I believed in John Anthony Smith’s vision and was excited to help drive that vision to reality. At Conversant, technology falls under operations, and in 2016, John and I agreed the best use of my skillset was to help the organization operationally rather than technically. I have the privilege to lead our technical services teams and our Project Management Office, ensuring Conversant Group stays on course fulfilling our corporate mission.
Today, I spend most of my time working on the business but still find opportunities to work within the business. I consider myself an expert in most things within IT infrastructure and am capable of implementing and supporting server, storage, and desktop virtualization. I can architect and implement backup and disaster recovery solutions and have deep technical knowledge of how these technologies work together. I remain an escalation point for many of the hardware and software solutions we implement and support. Much of this knowledge was gained from problem solving prior implementations. It is this type of “needle in a haystack” troubleshooting that helps sharpen the image of how all the various components are intended to fit together.
My involvement with our support and implementation teams keeps me current with:
- Backup and Disaster Recovery: Unitrends, Veeam
- Desktop Virtualization: XenDesktop
- Perimeter Firewalls: FortiGate
- Server Platforms: Cisco UCs, HPe
- Server Virtualization: VMWare
- Storage Virtualization: HPE Nimble, Tegile
- Windows Server components: AD, SQL, ADFS, Exchange/O365, DNS, DHCP