Travis Hall

Systemancer, Principal Systems Engineer

I work to deliver solutions with a focus on automated monitoring and maintenance for lower operational expenditures, guided by expertise gained over 25 years designing and deploying environments ranging from industry standard to uniquely innovative, depending on the circumstances and needs of the institution. I have architected solutions from a single server to enterprise autoscaling, each with challenges and opportunities for growth. As a neurodivergent individual contributor, I have spent years developing empathetic engagement strategies that have made me a nexus for cross team communication, collaboration, and design; offering mentorship and leadership by example, from taking ownership of issues to taking ownership of mistakes. This unique blend of natural talents and dedicated long-term self-improvement has resulted in a deep respect for the value of diversity and a hunger to act as a force multiplier through individual and team efforts.

Work Experience

Principal Systems Engineer

Farsight Security, DomainTools | 2014 - Present

Provide technical leadership, mentorship and escalation for a diverse team of systems engineers to manage all servers and networking devices, including monitoring, automation, deployment, virtualization, distribution, statistics, and growth modeling. Mentorship focuses primarily on improving skills and increasing efficiency, but also develops a rapport to invite voluntary, rapid escalation of human-driven incidents to minimize impact of growing pains from continued on-the-job growth and training. Involves review of work to provide consistent output.

Architect systemic enhancements to improve performance, reliability, and maintainability. Lead and participate in project scoping and planning. Develop hardware specifications for a common low-cost bill of materials able to support common off-the-shelf software and custom high performance C applications side-by-side. From numa-consolidated multi-terabyte ramdisks to petabyte scale archival; from multi-gigabit udp broadcast domains to international high-speed file distribution; from hybrid hardware and multi-vendor cloud implementations to secured walled-garden isolated environments; the focus is on finding the right solution for the task and the team that will manage it.

Perform Root Cause Analyses of issues, and advise senior management on technical matters, including prioritized distillation levels appropriate for ground level management through board presentations. Manage planned and reduce unplanned downtime through proactive redundant design and thorough, automated monitoring. Perform routine maintenance and emergency resolution. Write and review maintenance instruction and system documentation for a variety of levels of technical knowledge. Act as subject matter expert for entire production technology stacks. Work with all other teams to ensure system resiliency and effectiveness.

  • Designed and lead the team that created a proof of concept product during a three day hackathon, which lead to a production service widely celebrated by customers with high resubscription rates.
  • Individually designed and implemented an emergency scaling solution for front line intake servers to keep production live during the emergency deployment of replacement hardware. Spearheaded long term improvements to the software stack to prevent reoccurrence.
  • Redesigned interconnection methodology of services to provide a permanent multiple increase in performance while reducing drive wear and increasing reliability
  • Technology shifted high touch datastore with superior proprietary solution already in use in another product line, reusing automation and monitoring schemas to deliver in an order of magnitude less time than projected.
  • Designed and deployed an automated distributed firewall solution to enable network responsiveness at a scale necessary to maintain realtime observation network and high volume database solutions.
  • Designed and lead deployment of multisite secured mail environment, combining open source and proprietary software to provide necessary business email functionality without sacrificing email security.
  • Deployed multisite virtualization system to improve uptime and reliability with reduced cost structure.

Linux Operations Administrator

Rackspace | 2011 - 2014

Handle top level escalations from support for single and multiple tenant enterprise level issues. Prioritize incoming problems, and depending on analysis delegate or resolve the issues in a timely manner. Provide training and documentation to other support teams to improve response times and outcomes

  • Lead support efforts during beta and original deployment of OpenStack infrastructure.
  • Designed support and operational tools for front line and operations technicians managing a vast array of servers

Network Administrator

Western Broadband | 2009 - 2011

Maintained, increased capacity, increased reliability expanded reach of the wireless internet provider, to provide superior internet service to rural areas. Included configuration and maintenance of all network equipment, servers, and softwares, including field work.

Systems Administrator

UniVista | 2007 - 2009

Provided IT solutions for a wide variety of Small and Medium Businesses. Deployed servers, configured networks, and maintained systems from desktop through servers. Worked on Windows and Linux, Exchange, SQL, IIS, apache, and other software.

Systems Administrator

Comnet Systems | 2000 - 2006

Started with pulling cable and refurbishing desktops for resale and worked my way to learning about server infrastructure. Worked on a contract basis until late 2006, when I came to work full time and continued until the close of business in November 2007, upon the death of the owner. Duties near the end included infrastructure management for several small businesses, including the setup and deployment of terminal servers, Active Directory, and securing network and server infrastructure.