Johan A. van Zanten
Berlin, Germany

Work Experience

Vice Preseident of Engineering, Systems
(Previously Service Reliabity Manager, Head of Materials Team, and Senior Systems Engineer)
December 2012 - present
BrandwatchBerlin (Germany) and Brighton (UK)
Around 1100 Debian servers based in two UK data centres, as well as AWS and GCP hosting. Brandwatch crawls, collects, and sifts through what people are (publicly) talking about on the Internet to meet its customers' requests. Data flows through proprietary code, Kafka, Nginx, Tomcat, and into very large PostgreSQL, Solr, and Hadoop/HBase databases and indices, and other tools.

As VPE Systems since March 2019, head of the 25-person Systems division, which provides all Office IT, Production Systems, and Security functions for the company.

Systems and Network Administrator September 2007 - 2012
RGM Advisors, LLCAustin, TX. and London, UK
Linux (Debian, CentOS, Fedora Core) servers and Mac OS X desktop environment. HFT, low-latency proprietary trading. A large HPC research cluster, and many trading machines in machine rooms in North America and Europe. Cisco and Arista network kit.

Senior Systems Analyst January 2003 - September 2007
The University of Texas at Austin, Information Technology Services Austin, TX.
Sysadmin for the campus' main Blackboard server. Involves writing some Perl and other shell scripts to munge data from other UT sources into formats to load into Bb. Also some patching of Bb in Perl and Java. Tuning of Solaris, JVM, Oracle, and NetScaler configurations for a heavily used system. (Roughly 80,000 users, and as many as 40,000 unique logins per day.)

Chief System Wrangler Dec 2001 - Dec 2002
Tumbleweed Electron Wranglers, Inc. Laurel, MD.
Contract Solaris and Sun system administration via my own corporation.

System/Applications Administrator July 2000 - Dec. 2001
Cidera, Inc. Laurel, MD
Primary sysadmin for 25 Solaris 7 machines running Oracle, Apache, ColdFusion, and other in-house applications.

Chief System Wrangler Sept. 1998 - July 2000
Tumbleweed Electron Wranglers, Inc. Greenbelt, MD.
System administration contract work via my own corporation. (Work typically as below, lots of Sun and Solaris system administration in large environments.)

Senior System Engineer, Unix Support Team Nov. 1995 - Sept. 1998
The Northern Trust Company Chicago, IL.
Primary liaison to Sun Microsystems for the team, specified large ($500,000+) purchases, trained junior team members, established and documented local team procedures. One of two senior Unix sysadmins in team of ten who managed and supported approximately 70 24x7 production and development Sun & IBM Unix servers running NIS, Kerberos 5, DNS, Sybase, Oracle, and other vended packages and in-house applications for the 5,000+ employee, multi-national corporation. Emphasis on large Sun Servers (Sun E10000, E5000, etc.). Also administrated the corporation's firewall and Internet connection.

Manager of System Administration July 1994 - Nov. 1995
Evolutionary Technologies Intl., Inc., Austin, TX.
As below, but additionally: Managed system group as it grew to eight people, and the company grew from 35 to 120 people.

Lead Systems Administrator July 1993 - July 1994
Evolutionary Technologies Intl., Inc., Austin, TX.
One of two sysadmins responsible for the complete maintenance and management of 60 Unix machines (Sun, HP, RS/6000, Pyramid and Sequent), 120 DOS and Macintosh systems and all network equipment in a small but fast-growing software company. Managed and improved Internet connection, mail service, dial-up service, USENET news feed, backups and data escrow. Installed and maintained all new hardware, operating system and software packages on the Unix machines, as well as recommended all machine purchases.

Junior System Administrator Dec. 1991 - July 1993
The University of Texas at Austin, Computation Center, Unix Services Austin, TX.
Junior admin in group that managed campus-wide, heavily-used Unix systems (Ultrix, SunOS 4 and BSD), which had a collective user community of about 15,000 people. Quickly took on additional system administration duties, such as installation of operating systems and other applications.

Computer-Related Skills

Operating System Experience

All versions of Solaris through 10, FreeBSD 10-11, OpenBSD, macOS, various Linux distributions, mainly Debian, Fedora Core, CentOS.

Scripting, Programming and other Experience

Extensive scripting in sh, ksh, and bash. Usually switch to Perl when the work requires more than bash. Remedial Ruby, Python, and C. Long ago, regularly scripted in C-shell, Tcl, TK, and Expect.

Platform In-depth experience securing Unix machines directly connected to the Internet, or behind firewalls. TCP-IP configuration and troubleshooting.

Operation and configuration of the following:
Ansible, Puppet, Solaris Jumpstart, X11R4, 5 & 6, Apache (HTTP and HTTPS), nginx, sendmail, Postfix, DNS, BIND, NIS, Kerberos, ZFS, ADSM, LDAP, Netatalk, IMAP, POP, OpenSSL, OpenSSH, Legato Networker, rsync, PAM, PPP, NFS, AMD and other automounters, GNU utilities, Majordomo, Mailman and many other free software packages. Extensive Sun hardware experience.


Completed 137 credit hours at the University of Texas, double-majored in English and History.

Certification in various Sun System administration classes. Completed NetScaler administration class. Attended numerous USENIX, SANS, and other conferences.

References Available Upon Request