Thomas

J Thomas Stokkeland

IT Engineer with proven leadership skills

Information Technology

I worked on a lot of things - this a very limited and quick notes-page, and is a work in progress... likely forever

Networking

Cisco, Force10, HP, etc. Have deployed new Core and Datacenter Leaf and Spine architecture, 40Gbps distribution/mesh with 10Gbps system connectivity. Fiber, Twinax, Copper.

Currently working on a new Cisco 6840 core replacement project for my local infrastrtucture (Fall 2017)

On the WIFI side i have deployed multicampus (Cisco) networks, as well and industrial/manufacturing deployments.
Some of the cool stuff is firewalling - my favorite firewalls are made by Palo Alto Networks, but I worked on a bunch, Cisco ASA, Juniper, Fortinet, Sonicwall, OpenBSD & Linux based, MS-ISA/TMG, Checkpoint, and more...

SAN

iSCSI, FC. Compellent, IBM, Lefthand, Equallogic, and open source

Currently working on a project implementing EMC Unity platform, FC and iSCSI (Fall 2017)

Virtualization

VMWare, Citrix, Oracle/VirtualIron, Linux/KVM.

Currently working on a project to deploy VMWare on a new Cisco UCS setup (Fall 2017)

Applications

I have been at the root of implementing, replacing, and upgrading ERP and MRP systems - to be clear though, I did not run he projects from a business perspective, I was responsible for technical and infrastructure. In my opinion, IT can NOT own the overall project, as it must be business focused and not technology focused - I simpley help finding solution and making sure it works. The hardest part is actually ahead of time, specifying and planning everything without going overkill and not forgetting anything.
MS Dynamics AX, MS-Dynamics NAV, Epicor/DataFlo, Macola (ERP/MRP, Pervasive/Btrieve), FundWare (Blackbaud).
So I have a fair amount of experience with these things - especially in spotting what doesnt work, such as making sure someone isnt trying to do things their own way because they dont like change.

Other major applications include CRM, Support/Service systems, Web sites/Web Applications incl custom projects, monitoring systems, records management, ++

All the underlying infrastructure, like datases etc I consider systems (below).

Systems

Windows, Linux, UNIX

MS-SQL, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, MS-Exchange, Sharepoint, IronPort, Websense, BES, + + + +

VOIP

Implemented commercial solitions on multiple campuses - ShoreTel is a great system when it comes to simiplicity and distributed environments - Integrated with Nortel (Avaya) Option 11, not pretty but it works.

Cisco CUCM/Unity/Jabber is a beast to deal with, you need a server for every function it seems like - and all the things to consider just makes it incredibly complex to say one can master it all - I have deployed such systems and worked on them for years, but i still can't say I am a master at it, I would think only those working on CUCM and the likes fulltime would be.

A couple other ones I have seen here and there, like Avaya SBC and 3CX, but I havent spent much time on them - certain things in some systems are just sucky, and the people designing them have no sense of logic

On the open source side things I have spent a lot of time with Asterisk and Asterisk based systems (FreePBX, TrixBox, ++), I prefer Asterisk plain and add my own stuff, but it can become a hassle to manage if it is to be used like a general phone system. I have touched on some other ones, like FreeSWITCH and OpenSIPS, but i always come back to Asterisk for some reason or another.

Along with VOIP/SIP comes networking of course, firewalling and qos, and often WIFI - devices like iPhones arent exactly optimized for WIFI voice, I have seena lot of weird things - in both Cisco WLC and Aruba setups.

Don't have a controller? Don't deploy voice on WIFI. Period.

Cloud and SAAS

The word cloud has been abused left and right - some now call shared web hosting and standard VPS for cloud. Well, I think that if cloud = internet, then perhaps you could say that - but I do believe that when we talk about Cloud platform, it means hosting that is reslilient and self healing when errors happen - such as if one datacenter goes down all the services spin up automatically at another, with minimal impact on end users - a fully redundant set of infrastructure systems.

SAAS (Softard as a Service) is usually provided on some sort of cloud platform, or at least have HA options found in standard virtualization.

I do know that the old-school systems guys are going old fashion fast, kind of like cobol programmers in the developer world - staying on top of and adapting to the new ways is definetely important. I have done a few things in this arena, but not a huge amount yet.
So far I have used services from Amazon EC2 and Microsoft Azure, mostly for the uptime/availability and also scalability and on demand resource use. I have done some private cloud research, OpenStack and Ubuntu being my favorites. I am in the middle of a project researching and setting up SAAS systems as a provider, this will for sure be based in one of the cloud systems out there (details confidential).
As for general business usage, there is already a lot that is becoming maintstream, in a bit of a hybrid fashion for some things - but the future definetely looks like I be counting my physical servers on one hand and keep most things in cloud instances (rather than counting racks and vms only). I am already doing things like CRM, Office-365/Google-Docs, ERP, Voice and other cloud based apps.

Project management

I have done a ton of projects, I dont have a PMP or other certifications, and I always want to emphasize that I prefer not to own the bsuiness side of a project, although I have done my share of it. An example would be say a new custom web application that has the sole ownership of one department, then I can run it for them as the business aspect is very limited and most of it is just functionality and technical stuff.
But if it is a larger item, like ERP, where there are multiple dimensions of business ownership and that often results in a need to alter business processes to fit the system, in these scenarios I dont think IT should own that project - you need someone on the business side to work out all the processes to fit the system.

I have done my share of projects - some of them could probably be considered programs, such as a full multi-campus infrastructure upgrade, building out fiber optic networks, replace all network hardware,including wifi and LAN/WAN, and replace phone systems. Other projects span from small custom applications, technical side of ERP systems, A/V/Net/Conf auditoriums, and more.

 

Other

Text editors

vIM

Scripting

PHP, Perl, Python, Bash, vbscript, PowerShell, cmd.
NSIS.
(i)Regular Expressions.