About me

Michiel van Wessem

Profile

I am an experienced server/system administrator with experience of Linux Server maintenance and security, working with Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, and Red Hat Linux. Having deployed Amazon Web Services for both clients and employers in my previous roles, I have found that they are ideally suitable to create and deliver a stable, scalable, and redundant infrastructure. In future roles, I would like to increase my knowledge and understanding of Amazon Web Services and build upon my existing experiences.

In my current role as a DevOps-Engineer, my focus is mainly and primarily aimed at the Operations side of the business. On a day to day basis, I work closely with a small group of Python and Django developers, supporting them in rolling out and setting up servers with bespoke written tools. The platform runs a combination of nginx, celery service, and a MySQL backend, with either RabbitMQ or AWS SQS.

Our client solutions are hosted within cloud based environments either in Amazon Web Services, or Rackspace Cloud. I work closely with our developers and project management teams to ensure the servers are deployed in a timely fashion, maintain them while running, and remove them when our client’s promotion has ended.

Part of my remit when taking this role was to move our current infrastructure from Rackspace into Amazon Web Services, to deliver a more efficient, cost-effective and competitive hosting solution for their web services, adapting the solutions where needed to best suit their needs.

In previous roles, I have worked with traditional LAMP stacks and supported Drupal developers. As a systems administrator, I ensure that the technical infrastructure is continually stable and secure. This includes disaster recovery, patching and securing access, backups, automation, documenting and continuous monitoring of the infrastructure, as well as out of hours support.

References can be supplied upon request.

A PDF copy of this CV can be downloaded from here.


Professional experience

04/2017 - current
DevOps - Engineer, Hive IP Ltd.
(Restart of Hive Online Ltd, with little change in current role as described)
  • Main focus was to maintain operational presence as provided under Hive Online Ltd.
  • Design and write documentation of an AWS Migration plan.
  • Undertake work on Rackspace Cloud/Dedicated migration into Amazon Web Services.
11/2016 - 03/2017
DevOps - Engineer, Hive Online Ltd.
(Hive Online Ltd stopped trading in March 2017 and restarted as Hive IP Ltd)
  • Maintain, manage, and support for client environments in Rackspace Cloud, as well as Amazon Web Services. Servers are running CentOS Linux to server django based sites under nginx with uWSGI, and a MySQL backend.
  • Migration from Rackspace dedicated, and Rackspace Cloud into Amazon Web Services.
  • Migration and rolling out of clients into AWS using AWS Container Services.
  • Liaise and engage with Rackspace, Pythian (third party DBa's) to provide ongoing support for our client environments.
  • Roll out automated testing of code, through Jenkins CI, with automated Jenkins workers created on demand in AWS
  • Wrote a bespoke DNS disaster recovery script in python, decreasing time to recover from a DNS outage significantly.
  • Documenting our infrastructure, and processes for a third party managed ops company documentation. Maintain contact and lead (technical) conversations with a view of outsourcing part of the company's infrastructure.
03/2015 - 10/2016
Linux Server Administrator and AWS Solutions Architect, Adaptive Web Ltd.
My remit at Adaptive was to assist the in-house development team, and Drupal support team in a long range of task, including deployment, go live, system design. Responsible for backup strategy and disaster recovery, uptime, security, and stability of our own cloud based infrastructure, as well of various clients.
  • Support and maintain Legacy servers. Project lead in migrating away from dedicated services to cloud based infrastructures.
  • Create, maintain and support clients infrastructure in both Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure Cloud.
  • Secure and maintain Linux web servers for serving Drupal websites with Apache/NINGX, MySQL/MARIADB and PHP5 stack.
  • Procuring, establishing, and maintaining a stratum 1 and stratum 2 NTP time-servers to accurately serve time to servers, both internally and cloud based.
  • Writing scripts for automation; such as deployment of keys through Ansible, automating backups, and retrieval of assets from a third party for use by projects.
  • Advising clients on cost saving strategies to lower their TCO.
  • Internal roll out of last-pass and two factor authentication support, and continuing effort to increase on site security awareness, and removing of unsecure logins
  • Maintaining and supporting internal systems, such as Google Apps Accounts, Asset maintenance and distribution
  • Introducing git source-control, point of contact and merge master on a large project.
  • Support, maintain, and secure Drupal sites, to assist the in-house Drupal support team.
2004 - 2015
Long term ill health and unemployed.
Long time off work due to ill health, from which I have fully recovered. During that time I have kept myself up to date and active by engaging in (amongst others) the following projects:
  • Project administrator and contributor for the Slackbuilds project; an open source project for the Slackware Linux distribution.
  • Maintaining small LAN network including scripts to automate cross network backups
  • Testing, and learning new distributions
  • Cycling, and air rifle/pistol shooting.
2003 - 2004
Project Co-ordinator, Computacentre.
Worked on the DWP Account as part of the Refurbishment and Disposal strand of the DWP Digital Office Infrastructure (DOI) Programme.
  • Arrange collection and drop off of equipment at DWP offices.
  • Arrange for retrieval and storage of proof-of-delivery and check against project spreadsheet.
  • Established and improved the relationship with our dedicated third party courier.
  • Outside remit activities consisted of: desktop support, cable patch work in server room, assisting of out of office IT staff with patching and repairing virii struck computers to contain and eradicate virus. Restore data on workstations that were hit by the virus to enable people to keep working.
2002 - 2003
Temporary work for various UK based agencies.
On Arrival in the UK I worked in various short term temporary work assignments through job agencies. Clients included: Royal Dutch Shell, HSBC (mail room)
2000 - 2002 Unix System Administrator, Ordina Finance Network and Internet Services.
  • Operational maintenance of a three node Sun High Availability Cluster, internal and external firewalls, and development Sun Servers.
  • Working with clients to ensure their servers and operating systems are running as agreed within defined SLA's.
  • Scripting to automate system tasks, such as clearing core-dumps of the system to enable SAP users to log in.
  • Firewall maintenance and monitoring.
  • Rolling out monitoring solutions to clients.
  • Procurement of hardware from a sister company, and liaising in pick-up and delivery on site.
1997 - 1998
Principal Consultant, Netmediair, the Netherlands.
Personal limited company, delivering website solutions to clients. I consulted with clients, delivered business proposals, and assisted companies transitioning from a paper point of presence to a digital one, as well as establishing their digital brand.

Education

1994 - 2000
BA Computing – Digital Media and Communication.
University of Professional Education, Utrecht, the Netherlands
A four year sandwich course, including a six month internship.
The degree is the equivalent of a 2:1 in the UK.
  • My dissertation was on the subject of: `security in e-commerce architectures'
  • Internship at a digital publisher as IT administrator, service desk, sales, and help file developer.
  • During my final year, I taught in first year student's courses in web-design. I also taught evening classes for people wanting to be retrained as web designers.
1991 - 1992 Elementary teacher Training for Primary schools
University of Professional Education, Utrecht, the Netherlands
1985 - 1991 High School, Leiden, the Netherlands.
Havo (GCSE equivalent) in Dutch, English, Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Business Economics

Certification

May 2016 AWS TCO and Cloud Economics Accreditation.
December 2015 AWS Business Professional Accreditation.
May 2015 AWS Technical Professional Accreditation.
December 2000 Sun Microsystems – Shell scripting for System Administrators.

Skills

System administration:

  • Linux: Debian, Ubuntu, Red Hat, CentOS, Slackware.
  • Webservers: Apache, nginx.
  • Databases: MySQL, MariaDB, Sqlite, mongodb.
  • Mail Servers: Postfix.
  • CI/CD: Jenkins.
  • Configuration: CFEngine3, Salt-stack, Ansible.
  • Other: Varnish, ntp, memcache, redis.

Amazon Web Services:

  • EC2: Elastic Cloud Compute.
  • ELB: Elastic Load Balancer.
  • RDS: Relational Database Service (MySQL, Aurora), .
  • ElastiCache: Memcache.
  • S3: Simple Storage Solution.
  • Route53: DNS.
  • IAM: Identity Access Management.
  • VPC: Virtual Private Cloud.
  • SNS: Push Notification Service.
  • SQS: Simple Queue Service.
  • Trusted Advisor.

Microsoft Azure:

  • Virtual Machines.
  • Networking.

Rackspace:

  • Rackspace Dedicated Services.
  • Rackspace Cloud Environment.
  • Rackspace DNS/Cloud DNS.
  • Rackspace Cloud LoadBalancers.

Development:

  • bash scripting, python scripting.
  • git, mercurial,svn.
  • vim, atom, sublime.
  • mysql workbench, mysql-cli..

Languages:

  • Native Dutch speaker (ELP rating C2+),
  • Near Native English,
  • Rudimentary knowledge of French. (ELP rating A2-B1),
  • Basic understanding of German.

Publications

Extra curricular activities

(in progress): Learning and becoming more fluent in Python
(in progress): Studying for AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Exam.

(planned): Studying for AWS Certified SysOps Administrator
(planned): Increase proficiency in SQL