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2014 Technology Exchange Scholarship Awards

Oct 13, 2014, by Ryan Bass
Tags: 2014 Technology Exchange, Brocade

Bob Bregant II is the recipient of the Cisco-sponsored 2014 Technology Exchange Scholarship. Bob is a Senior IT Security Engineer with the Office of Privacy and Information Assurance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Bob enjoys troubleshooting complex systems and networks, which led to his career in cybersecurity and his current interest in Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and hybrid clouds to improve best practices in network security.

The University of Illinois is a leader in many technologies, and SDN and hybrid cloud technologies will play an important part in its future technology architectures. Hybrid cloud technologies will allow the University to take advantage of the lower-cost, efficient computing and storage available in public clouds, while allowing it to maintain control over private hardware and data. Hybrid cloud technology will also test the limits of physical segmentation and other network security measures. Further, Bob sees SDN enabling a massive change in the way network security is designed, through dynamic inspection of interesting traffic, enhanced visualization of network traffic flow, and increased understanding of how the network is monitored. Bob believes attending the 2014 Technology Exchange is a great opportunity to identify strategies to address the challenges he’ll be facing in the near future.

"The 2014 Technology Exchange provides a great opportunity to learn from the experiences of my peers who have already started working with these tools and to collaborate with those who are still in the planning stages. By interacting with colleagues at other institutions, I can learn how problems are being solved and how new technologies are being implemented.  I will be able to use that knowledge to enhance our network and the experience that it provides to the faculty, students, and other researchers who use it."

Jerry Rassier is the recipient of the Brocade-sponsored 2014 Technology Exchange Scholarship. Jerry is a Senior IT Systems Engineer at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) specializing in virtualization, Linux system administration and process automation. Jerry's eight years at the university include work in a wide range of disciplines, ranging from desktop support to software development, server virtualization and continuity planning, including serving as a technical lead in developing a virtualization-based disaster avoidance capability for the university. Jerry’s role will soon expand to include elements of performance monitoring, identity management, security, tuning, and policy development in helping UAH build a highly secure, low latency, end-to-end 100Gbps network and science DMZ to connect supercomputers, research centers, and scientists of national and international significance throughout Alabama.

UAH is a relatively young university that has quickly grown in size and stature as one of the nation’s top 100 science universities, occupying a unique position as an international leader in aerospace research and engineering. Despite this prestigious distinction, UAH's information technology needs have generally faced constant resource shortages. To address this, the institution recently applied for and received an NSF CC-NIE grant, facilitated by the Internet2 Research Support Center and to help fund development of the new network architecture. Jerry finds the opportunity to plan implementation strategies and learn from colleagues at the 2014 Technology Exchange very valuable in these efforts.

"The 2014 Technology Exchange will provide greater depth into how the SDN paradigm can augment our institution's planned science DMZ capabilities. I hope to share the knowledge gained to build a hands-on SDN lab where my colleagues and I can test and develop the best possible reporting capabilities to effectively manage and grow new capabilities to remove the barriers to data-intensive research in the state of Alabama."