What Citrix technologies are most important to your work?
One of the most important Citrix technologies to my work here at PayPal would be Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS). PayPal has thousands of Virtual Desktops across multiple geographical locations. PVS gives us the ability to centrally manage the virtual images assigned to all of our endpoints. Without PVS, we would not be able to streamline our patching process, keeping our data secure from vulnerabilities.
Tell us about your role in your company and about the biggest tech challenges your company is currently facing.
I am the North America Operations team lead for the Virtual Solutions and Technologies group within PayPal. We manage the Citrix Infrastructure that currently supports our in-house CS as well as external CS sites. I also oversee the automation in our environment for our team.
While PVS is our most important technology, it also provides a level of management overhead. At PayPal, we have the need to separate our user base into multiple VLANs. This separation is designed to secure specific types of user bases (employee/non-employee), and the data used by those users. We also have several needs to silo applications to specific user bases. With this separation, we have over 30+ images, causing even more management overhead. We have attempted to use Citrix App Layering, but in the end, we made the decision to purchase iVanti AppSense/App Control. With iVanti, we can control applications in a way that will condense our images down to a manageable number.
Congratulations on being one of the co-leaders of the new Bay Area group! Tell us about the first meeting.
The first meeting for the Bay Area group was well received…It was my first time hosting an event of any kind outside of my kids' birthday/graduation parties. To be honest, it was my first time, in a long time, speaking in front of a crowd of more than 30. So, it was a little nerve wracking! On top of that, the other leaders had work obligations and left me to manage it by myself. Luckily, a few employees from Citrix, along with CTP Dane Young, were on-hand to help pull off a successful event! I’ll tell you…I don’t think I’ve even stood up to give speeches in front of my family when they ask. You can imagine how I felt standing in front of my peers for our first event!
(And if you're in the Bay Area, the next meeting is coming up on October 17!)
Bay Area CUGC leaders at Citrix Synergy 2018
What are your goals for the Bay Area group?
I was approached by my boss, who asked if I was interested in co-leading this effort. I felt it was a good opportunity to bring other Citrix engineers together to brainstorm, learn different technologies and share current processes used within the industry.
My hope for the Bay Area group is to bring together all of the Citrix engineers and share pitfalls, success stories and solutions, so that we can help one another streamline processes to make all of our jobs easier. We are based in Silicon Valley–the mecca of technology. Why there hasn’t been a Citrix User Group Community here before us, I can’t fathom. We can all gain from these meetings!
What words of wisdom guide your career?
“A lazy sys admin, is a good sys admin.” This motto was handed down to me from my first manager, close to 19 years ago, at Microsoft when I was part of the first NT Operations group in Hotmail. I was always told that if I had to do something more than three times, to find a way to automate it. I’ve carried this motto, and preach this to my direct reports any chance I get.
What do you do outside of work to stay balanced?
I have two teenagers. My oldest is in her second year at University of San Diego. She is majoring in Environmental Science. My son is in his senior year of high school. Both played competitive soccer since they were nine years old right up until last year, and I was an assistant coach/manager for their teams. Now that they have moved on from soccer, my main focus has been Bay Area sports (Warriors, A’s and Raiders). Yes, I’m aware my Raiders are moving to Vegas. ☹ Also, I have a puppy, named Bo Jackson, that just turned one in August. Bo takes up most of my time when I’m not visiting my daughter at school and hanging out with one of, if not all seven, of my brothers and our youngest sister. You can usually bribe me with bourbon, whisky or wine. 😃