What are some of the biggest changes to IT that we can expect going into 2022?
One of the evolving areas in IT (that we’re excited about being a part of
at Uplogix) is Edge Computing.
Our solution is based on the idea that the best way to manage network infrastructure at the edge is locally.
We typically deploy our solution in the rack with routers, switches, firewalls, servers, and more, to remove dependence on the network itself which is a limitation of traditional centralized network management software.
With edge computing, more hardware is moving from the data center to remote sites where the data is generated – think on a factory floor, or a wind farm out in West Texas. This means more mission-critical gear needing management.
Are there new network management and network security technologies rolling out that could revolutionize information technology?
Always! While Uplogix has created the advanced out-of-band management space, the changing needs of our customers and the flexibility of our platform is an ongoing source of innovation.
We’ve found that modern technologies often carry old dependencies that we’re able to help with. For example, customers deploying network function virtualization (NFV), where they put server running software-defined networking applications for functions like route/switch/firewall, still benefit from having an out-of-band management component.
NFV, in many ways, simplifies operations and reduces costs of deploying a number of devices, but also tends to “put all the eggs in one basket.” Having an out-of-band management plan lets our customers remotely troubleshoot issues and benefit from automated continuous monitoring and secure remote access to their gear.
You are currently CEO of Uplogix, a remote enterprise network IT management intelligence that you refer to as “going beyond out-of-band.” Can you explain that a bit?
Out-of-band is the concept of accessing networking gear remotely. It’s a technology that’s been around for years using a device called a console server that combines access to the management port on the networking gear (it’s what an admin connects their laptop to for making changes on a device), with a modem to “dial in” to the device, remotely.
Uplogix took the console server and built it into a platform for advanced automation and security by adding processing, storage, and network management software. We go Beyond Out-of-Band with functionality for continuous monitoring of managed devices, secure AAA (Authentication, Authorization & Accounting), automated runbook actions for device recovery, configuration management, and secure access.
When it comes to access, users can take advantage of what works best at each site, whether that’s a cellular modem, POTS line, a secondary network over fiber or Ethernet, or even an LEO satellite modem.
We can truly say you can access your gear anywhere on the planet.
What is the distinction between how an enterprise network is managed for a government agency versus a private sector corporate network?
These days security is everyone’s priority. The terminology varies by vertical, but the best practices of networking apply to everyone.
Whether your network carries traffic for a government agency, details of your company’s secret sauce, or payment information for your customers, security drives it all.
We sell the same product across the multiple verticals that we sell into, because we solve basic issues that anyone running an enterprise network has.
What are the main issues that cause networks to crash or glitch?
The single biggest cause of network errors are people.
Humans are prone to taking shortcuts, neglecting to pay attention, or really just making honest mistakes. Sometimes these errors result in network users experiencing slowdowns or even downtime, other times it opens the network to malicious attacks.
With the automation that Uplogix brings to IT teams, some of the opportunities for human error are removed.
This can be because Uplogix takes care of an event, so admins don’t need to worry about it, or because Uplogix provides a framework for admins to work within, and that takes care of common issues like failing to fully log out of a session with a device.
Is there any such thing as a breach-proof or crash-proof network?
Probably not. By definition, a network is going to have multiple endpoints, and networks are built by humans.
Most networks are built to survive the last breach, not the next one to come. Network security is like a tug-of-war. Every time the good guys make incremental progress, the bad guys come up with something new and powerful to secure the advantage.
How can companies protect themselves against the dark web?
There are a host of tools that focus on monitoring the dark web. That
said, some of the most important techniques that a company can employ to protect themselves are to embrace two-factor authentication for their
applications and utilize password managers wherever possible.
What unique innovations have you brought to the information technology field during your career that you are most proud of?
I’ve been honored to be a part of several innovative teams, both on the product side and services side of the information technology field.
I’ve also spent time on the Venture Capital side of the equation, working with a variety of young portfolio companies that traverse the technological spectrum.
So, whether it’s helping an idea get to market, being part of a team that successfully launched 2 IPOs, or leading the M&A strategy to achieve scale and shareholder value, I have enjoyed every moment and it would be difficult to single out one.
Can you share what you are currently working on as CEO of Uplogix?
We launched our newest line of products in December of 2020, and we are
seeing a big uptick in customer adoption and market validation.
We are continuing our innovation around the automation of network infrastructure management and security as well as developing a product that will be utilized in extremely difficult customer locations, and provide end-to-end network infrastructure management and security.
What is your advice for someone first getting into information
technology, and what should someone expect in the early part of their career in IT?
Information Technology, like every other career field, needs a variety of people and skills. If you like a fast-paced and constantly changing environment, information technology is an excellent choice.
Stay open and curious, and there are no “stupid” questions, so ask a lot of questions.
Absorb as much information as possible, and take on the challenging assignments.
That is where the “magic” happens, and you discover a passion for something that you never knew you were interested in, previously.