A day in the life interview: Network and Security Administrator

Welcome back to our Day in the Life series where we sit down with employees across different departments at Hyland to find out what it’s like to work here.

This time, we sat down with Nathan Bonner, a Network and Security Administrator II, to learn what it takes to be successful in Hyland’s Global Cloud Services department.

The Hyland Blog: What is your official job title and what does it mean?

Nathan Bonner: I’m a Network and Security Admin II. What do I do? That’s a very broad question for my department. We manage the network and security operations for all Hyland Global Cloud Services, which entails 15 data centers around the world.

The department is sort of split into two pieces. There’s the infrastructure side, which is the team I’m on, and then there’s the core operations side, which is sort of the applications side. They manage the software, and we manage the infrastructure.

THB: What made you decide to pursue this line of work?

NB: I was in Tech Support before I was in Global Cloud Services. I was very interested in the operational aspect of security, so I moved to that department.

How did you get here?

THB: What kind of education and experiences did you need before starting your current job?

NB: Having a good understanding of networking, network topology, switching, routing, and firewalls is very important. On the security side, having a good grasp on how attacks work on networks. Vulnerability management is key there.

THB: What are some projects you have been working on?

NB: Right now, my team is building two new data centers in Canada. What that means for us is building the entire infrastructure of two sites. So doing the initial network configuration and routing configuration, and all the firewall policies.  On the initial networking side, we are kind of the prerequisite for everything. You have to have the network working before you do anything else on the site, so everyone else can do their work and do their parts to get it running.

But then we have a bunch of other stuff around vulnerability management and improving our processes around that. Especially with our Perceptive acquisition – those cloud solutions are now under the same umbrella as us. So we’re working with them to get on the same technologies and the same direction.

THB: What are some common misconceptions about your job?

NB: The main thing we do is data-center specific, so a lot of people don’t understand that when they apply. Many think it’s a corporate campus internal support position or something like that, but what we do is completely different. We’re managing sites around the world, it’s all server-based, it’s all virtual infrastructure.

Many people aren’t expecting that when they’re coming in for an interview. They think they’re applying for a job at Hyland itself, but our network is completely separate from everything here, we manage it separately. So the biggest misconception when people apply for this position is that we’re data center only.


THB: What about your job gets you excited to come to work every day?

NB: I think this is true for many people on my team: we just love building stuff. That’s what we’re doing every day. We’re constantly building. We get to use new technologies all the time, we’re getting to push these things forward. Everything is kind of brand new all of the time for us.

Our department is growing so much, and Hyland’s focus on the cloud is increasing every year, it’s becoming a primary focus. So I guess the most exciting part is the innovation involved with constantly building new things.

THB: What is the biggest challenge of your job?

NB: Right now, there’s so much to do, and there’s very high expectations for us because the company is so focused on what we’re doing right now. Transitioning the overall strategy, our software to be hosted in our environment—that would be the biggest challenge. There’s a lot going on, a lot of moving parts. There’s a lot to keep track and a lot to deliver.

THB: Any advice for someone applying for a job in your department?

NB: Be very adaptable. It’s constantly changing. And what we’re doing now is going to look completely different in two years. You need to be open-minded about the position, because what we’re doing right now is going to be totally different tomorrow. It’s constantly changing.

THB: What does #HylandLife mean to you?

NB: The main thing I like here is the flexibility with the culture, especially in our department. We can work from home. For our department it’s very important because we have to work all hours of the day.

We’re working with sites that are all around the world. So we sometimes have to work at 2 a.m. It helps to not always be tied to an office. It’s nice to be able to work from home when we have on-call rotations and you have to be up at 4 a.m. to fix something.

THB: If you had one word to describe your time at Hyland, what would it be?

NB: Educational. We’re constantly learning new things, even when I was in support I was constantly having to learn new things and keep up with technology.

THB: What is one question you always ask a potential hire during an interview?

NB: The primary thing I would ask them is if they are familiar with data center network topologies. Many times in our interviews, we ask people their thoughts on Korean food.

THB: What are the most important traits of successful leaders?

NB: One would be having communication with your team. Along with that, having good rapport with your team. Being open to talk about whatever with them.

But on the flip side, it’s also someone who makes sure his or her team is accountable for everything they do. We work with a lot of risk management, so it’s a good thing to enforce here.

Lunch with … Bill Gates

THB: If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

NB: It would probably be someone nerdy like Bill Gates. He’s just a really fascinating dude. He lived in an era where technology was really making this big shift.

He’s also one of the richest people on the planet, but he’s choosing to be a philanthropist. He uses his money to have this great effect on the world, which I totally respect too. I think it’s awesome because many people don’t do that when they get to his status. I’d like to sit down and chat with him about both sides of the story: how he started and what he’s doing now.

Interested in a career at Hyland in the Global Cloud Services department? Check out all our current openings on the Hyland Career site!

Amy Awadalla is living and loving the #HylandLife as the Social Media intern. She is a graduate of John Carroll University with a degree in marketing. When Amy isn’t scrolling through her social feeds, she is trying new restaurants, traveling the world or spending time with her family in Canfield, Ohio. Micah Spoerndle is currently a PR intern at Hyland, taking a break from her studies down south at Elon University. She is double majoring in International Business and Marketing and plans to graduate this December. Micah enjoys the little things in life that come with living in the beautiful land of Cleveland like Barrio, the Cavs, and driving with the windows down I-90 during rush hour.
Amy Awadalla & Micah Spoerndle

Amy Awadalla & Micah Spoerndle

Amy Awadalla is living and loving the #HylandLife as the Social Media intern. She is a graduate of John Carroll University with a degree in marketing. When Amy isn’t scrolling... read more about: Amy Awadalla & Micah Spoerndle