IT Architecture Consultant

Expert at identifying problems in varied environments and architecting robust solutions:

Pas­sion­ate, high­ly au­tonomous de­vel­op­er with a love for ex­plo­ration, at­ten­tion to de­tail and a taste for shar­ing knowl­edge. Fer­vent about craft­ing soft­ware tools that em­pow­er hu­mans, in­sis­tent they should be open, sol­id and de­pend­able.

Con­firmed IT in­­fras­truc­­ture ar­chi­­tect with 8 years of ex­pe­ri­ence de­sign­ing, plan­n­ing, mi­­grat­ing and eval­u­at­ing large-scale en­vi­ron­­ments, with a fo­cus on cross-cut­ting con­cerns, em­pha­­siz­ing a sys­temic ap­proach cen­tered on us­er needs.

Key skills

IS transformation
  • Opportunity analysis / ROI estimation.
  • IS architecture design.
  • Migration planning and coordination.
  • Auditing / problem solving.
IT operations
  • Processes: change management, capacity planning, backup, monitoring, supervision, incident management.
  • Extensive knowledge of day-to-day operating environments.
  • ITIL Foundation certified.
IT infrastructure
  • Operating systems: AIX, GNU/Linux, Windows.
  • Networking: OSI model, firewalls, load balancers, WAN optimizers.
  • Storage: SAN, NAS, iSCSI.
  • Virtualization: VMware, XenServer, Hyper‑V.
Consulting toolbox
  • Listening and analytical thinking.
  • Coaching and teaching.
  • Excellent writing skills.

➥ Long experience of software development provides insights and tools for IS architecture. See résumé.

Experience

IT Architecture consulting

Infrastructure expert focusing on cross-cutting concerns, rationalization and virtualization. Conducted a total of 19 missions between 2005 and 2011.

Typical work revolved around transformations resulting from the introduction of x86 virtualization technologies in datacenters, including both technical and organizational implications.

Specific content varied a lot, and included:

  • Technology intelligence, opportunity analysis, ROI estimation, IS architecture design, migration planning, audits, problem solving, development of ad-hoc tools.

➥ Next entries are selected missions.

Structuring of infrastructure operations

After 2008 financial crisis, the French regulatory authority was assigned a major increase in scope and budget, leading to a ten-fold increase in IT operations department. Its organisation was deeply impacted, and in need of structuring.

  • Conducted interviews to assess current state of operation processes.
  • Introduced ITIL-based practices to structure operations following a continuous improvement paradigm. Most notably change management,supervision and incident management.
  • Provided individual support to IT management and handled communication towards teams.
  • Established weekly CAB, ensuring visibility of change decisions, with their risks and dependencies.

  • ITIL
  • IWS Qualities
  • Nagios

Branch-office IT consolidation

To reduce IT cost of foreign branch offices, Total Petrochemicals had decided to consolidate and migrate local applications to the datacenters of the main office, creating a new virtualized infrastructure to host them.

  • Inventoried branch office applications, including network flows and workload profiles.
  • Designed the target architecture for both hosting platform and inter-office networking.
  • Communicated with branch office teams to create procedures and tools to streamline the migration.
  • Coordinated foreign branch offices and suppliers to minimize business impact of changes.
  • Completed deployment by the deadline , dividing physical hosting costs by 4.

  • BladeCenter
  • Riverbed
  • SAN
  • VMware

Virtualization technology intelligence

For the launch of a consolidation plan of its 20 000-server multi-subsidiary information system, Crédit Agricole wanted to define corporate standards for virtualized hosting, based on state-of-the-art tools and practices as well as upcoming trends.

  • Assessed current practices among subsidiaries, looking for synergies and pain points.
  • Guided IT staff as they met major virtualisation vendors.
  • Conducted workshops using gathered data and field experience as input.
  • Synthesized decisions into a 2-year roadmap.

Datacenter virtualization

As part of its cyclical technology upgrade, LaPoste decided to assess the viability of virtualizing its 250-server ecosystem.

  • Inventoried and profiled running applications.
  • Designed several target scenarios with migration paths, growth plans and ROI evaluation.
  • Synthesized findings and technical risks analysis in a decision document.
  • Designed the detailed technical architecture after management selected a scenario.
  • Transformation project achieved neutral ROI within 2 years, while dividing TCO by 6.

  • VMware

Network connectivity issue investigation

Intermittent connectivity issues with foreign B2B partners led to degrading performance and occasional loss of business data.

  • Set up frame capture at backbone level and designed heuristics to discriminate relevant data.
  • Tracked down issue to a combination of protocol violations at equipment level and external network conditions that would compound under pathological circumstances.
  • Recommended configuration changes to reduce impact of issue.
  • No business data loss was reported once changes were applied.

  • Cisco Catalyst
  • Python
  • WireShark

Performance investigation in virtual environment

First deployment of a virtualized datacenter in Europe. Release-blocking performance issue in hosted applications threatened to make management abort the project. Oracle instances seemed to perform exceptionally poorly under VMware.

  • Oracle internals were not well documented and Oracle refused to provide assistance.
    • Traced application behavior at system level and identified problematic patterns.
  • Pioneering virtual environments meant no usable model of the workload existed at the time.
    • Isolated problematic behaviors, then instrumented them by creating test cases and benchmarks.
  • Proved that virtualization was not the cause. Provided guidance on solving underlying issue.
  • Prevented project from being aborted, as application went into production.

  • C99
  • Oracle 9i
  • VMware ESX

Education

  • Master's Degree in Engineering at ESIEE Paris, specializing in computer science.

    • Represented my school at the Asciel (formerly Gixel) annual conference, in which I presented a report on developing trends in the electronics field for homeland security.
    • Designed an FPGA-based general-purpose I/O controller for Motorola 68k embedded systems.
    • Built a minimalist operating system for 68010, featuring pre-emptive multi-processing and IPC.
  • M.Phil in Fundamental Algorithmics and its uses at UPEM University.

Interests

  • Crypto-currencies: founded a non-profit organization to popularize blockchain technologies and promote the use and development of blockchain-based commodities as a medium of exchange.

  • Hacking community: regular involvement in HackSXB club of technology enthusiasts. Currently building a Discord bot framework in Python that serves a 10k-user community.

  • This website, solidabstractions.com, built in react.js to share my work and findings about software development.

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