Do you have an active firewall project? What should you look for in a next gen firewall? Watch our short video blog with our technical specialist Malcolm Orekoya and find out what Juniper Networks’ Branch SRX series has to offer. Talk to a solutions expect from our team about our current firewall offers; including (for a limited time only) a FREE half day’s training session for new customers purchasing Juniper’s branch SRX series. Conditions apply. Visit our website here for details.
By Michele Lewington, MD at Netutils
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts…
During 20+ years in the industry I can recall a time when my company felt more like a stage with a revolving door than a business. You’d bring in new employees – nurture, mentor and train them and no sooner they’d become a useful member of society, they’d be headed through the revolving door and looking for a starring role on a West End stage. It’s the way of the world and over the years you get better at finding ways to mitigate the fall-out.
On the flip side, I can’t help but be touched by the loyalty and commitment of others. It’s not always easy to win trust, to secure that much needed longevity and to walk the road of fair but firm. When you manage to do so and get it right, you can find yourself surrounded by the most remarkable, talented people.
I am gratified to have several such team members today; they have the capacity to make me forget about those that came and went via the revolving door and I am staggered to be celebrating 20 years in September with one of the first of our employees who acts as a constant reminder of how important it is to get the balance right.
Can she be accused of lacking ambition? Absolutely… mostly by uninformed individuals who know little about the dance of responsibility that we have performed and perfected over the years. Does she feel as if she has been held back or had her potential stifled? I don’t believe so, but just to be sure, I asked her to write a blog. It’s her first (and quite possibly her last) but read Claire’s story here and judge for yourself.
By Claire Hillman, Senior Administrator & Contracts Manager at Netutils
Views expressed in this post are original thoughts posted by Claire Hillman. These views are her own and in no way do they represent the views of the company.
Hi, I’m Claire Hillman, Senior Administrator & Contracts Manager here at Netutils. Most of our customers know me as I deal directly with them on a daily basis and have done so for the last 20 years. I’m proud to say I share my 20th work anniversary with the company itself. I’ve been here practically from the start; I’ve watched my role and the company grow together. It’s fair to say we’ve been through a lot and when our MD asked me to write a blog about our 20 year journey together I jumped at the chance.
I’ve got a lot to say! Here’s my story:
In 1994 I had just left 6th form college and, like many others, wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do with my life. Through a mutual contact Michele Lewington, Netutils, MD asked me if I would be interested in a couple of week’s temporary work to cover the existing Administrator who was leaving.
At the time, the role involved general office administration, processing purchase orders for computer software including Proxy remote control (which we still supply to the UK market today.) The software back then came as a fully boxed product and supplied with a hard copy manual, so I quickly got used to shipping loads and loads of boxes. However, my very first task was learning how to make proper tea. My employers were none too impressed with my first attempts and I was quickly taught the difference between dishwater and builders brew!
I soon realised that I really enjoyed the office environment at Netutils. Naturally, at this age the full time work environment can be a bit daunting. Everyone was very patient with me every step of the way to ensure I fully understood each task that was required of me, and they always taught me to never be afraid to ask if you are unsure. That’s something that we all really love about working at Netutils – great team spirit and you really feel supported!
As the 2 weeks were coming to an end, I was invited to join as a full-time permanent employee… that was a no brainer for me and my official start date was the following Monday, 5th September 1994!
Over the next 5 years, Netutils continued to grow and eventually moved to larger offices in Surbiton. Our portfolio of products continued to grow and soon after we were joined by our first university graduate – Toby Makepeace. Today, he is Netutils Technical Director and predominately works directly with our Service Provider customers; and is one of the most respected and experienced in his field.
As Netutils client base grew, so did my family. When I had been at Netutils around 7 years, my partner & I discovered we were expecting a baby. Such is our relationship, my MD was the first person I shared my pregnancy news with! The Netutils team welcomed the news and were extremely supportive throughout my pregnancy. My colleague Lesley Griffith was to cover my role for me whilst I was on maternity leave. Poor thing, she had been on the receiving end of so many jokes about the baby arriving early I don’t think she actually believed it when I did go into labour 6 weeks early!
Weighing just 4lb 10oz my son was taken straight to the special care baby unit. Luckily he was absolutely fine, and unsurprisingly some of his first visitors were my colleagues from work laden with gifts, and they still spoil him 13 years later each birthday and Christmas.
A few years after the birth of my son in 2006 our most popular vendor, Funk Software was acquired by Juniper Networks. This was probably the most difficult of times for me – change is not always welcomed and working with this large, faceless organisation presented a real challenge and a massive change in processes. If there was ever going to be a time to move on, this was probably it! So what stopped me? I realised we were all part of this massive, new learning curve; it was obviously different for everyone but only by working together were we able to iron out the creases. Today, Netutils continues to operate as an Elite Partner to Juniper.
Throughout the years, as the company has continued to grow and change, so has my job and my roles. We are now based near the beautiful landmark of Hampton Court and I am still referred to as the Senior Administrator but in all honesty, that’s because we couldn’t really fit all my responsibilities on a business card! My job is varied and far reaching involving everything from providing support and assistance to our sales team to processing customer and supplier orders. I am also responsible for maintenance renewal revenues. Reporting directly to the Financial Director and MD I oversee accounts receivable & payable and manage all staff expenses. I’m also involved with customer service and managing the CRM.
I fully share the company ethos and believe that whether a customer has dealt with us over many years or has only recently started working with us they expect and should receive excellent customer service with a personal touch. Feedback tells us that our customers really appreciate the fact that we understand their requirements and deal with them in a fair and honest manner. I’m really proud that my depth of experience and knowledge of Netutils’ customers means that I can provide a truly great service to our customers.
So that’s my journey in a nutshell. At times I can’t believe that 20 years has passed. Thesedays it’s unusual to be in a positon for so long, when companies change people move on. Someone recently asked me if I lack ambition. Why would I stay in the same organisation for so long? My answer is simple, the company has continually allowed me to grow and gather new experiences. The variety in my role keeps me on my toes but above all what’s kept me firmly rooted at Netutils are the relationships I have built with the people here, both new and old . We care about the success of Netutils, that’s a shared goal and not just one felt by management.
Happy Birthday Netutils!
We were delighted to be joined recently by a number of organisations at our SRX Boot camp at Juniper Networks HQ in Addlestone, Surrey for one of our SRX Boot Camps.
These hands on training sessions are perfect for organisations with Firewall projects in the pipeline in the next few months, allowing attendees to get hands on with the SRX series firewalls and really get under the skin of the Juniper Networks Unified Threat Management Firewall series.
IT and Network Managers joined us from a diverse range of organisations, all with firewall projects coming up. The session allows organisations to learn more about both the branch and the high end SRX series, as well as gets hands on with the devices in the lab configuring the units.
A big thank you to @juniper_uk for looking after us all so well at their HQ in Addlestone. We were very pleased that Area Partner Director, Darryl Brick joined the session and addressed our attendees giving them some essential background on and introduction to Juniper Networks, giving us all a really good feel for Juniper Network’s commitment to us here @networkutils as a valued Juniper Networks Elite partners and that safe pair of hands for our customer’s IT projects.
We are planning another SRX Boot Camp session in November 2014, so if you are interested in signing up then please visit our website for further information and to register your interest. Please note you need to be new to Juniper Networks and have an active firewall project in the next 12 – 18 months. You’ll also need a working knowledge of CLI and the good news is that all organisations that fit these parameters can take an SRX unit away with them post event. So, come along, get hands on and learn as much as you can about the Juniper SRX Series firewalls!
By Vanessa Cardwell, Marketing Manager, Netutils.
Views expressed in this post are original thoughts posted by Vanessa Cardwell, Marketing Manager, Netutils. These views are her own and in no way do they represent the views of the company.
On Wednesday 19th March 2014 we invited organisations to join us at The Cabinet War Rooms in London to ‘Take a Closer Look’ at Juniper Networks. The aim of the event was to build relationships with organisations interested in having face to face time with Netutils and Juniper Networks’ technical experts and to learn about the latest innovations in datacentre and campus and branch networking & security from Juniper Networks.
The War Rooms lent itself extremely well to the event. Churchill’s bunker was the perfect place to take stock and work together to strategise and address some of the networking & security challenges we face in today’s constantly evolving enterprise.
At the top of the day the ice was expertly broken by Major Wade & Mrs Hughes our 1940’s actors. Wade and Hughes welcomed our guests to the War Rooms and delivered a wonderfully entertaining introduction to the War Rooms complete with whistle blowing and bell ringing! Once our guests were reassured they were safe underground the event commenced.
David Silsby, Sales & Marketing Director introduced the details of the day to our guests and explained how Netutils’ goal as an organisation and Juniper Networks Elite Partner is to help make sure our customer’s technology does what it is supposed to. Supporting organisations to ensure their networks are fast, secure and available to the right person at the right time, making sure we give you access to technology when and where you need it.
Next up was Brett Ley, Director, Datacentre Sales EMEA. His presentation focused on Innovations in Datacentre Networking & Security. In a world of ever-changing apps, evolving virtualisation and the rapid adoption of cloud, mobility and big data technology, today’s network needs to be incredibly agile. Brett Introduced Juniper Networks’ MetaFabric Architecture—a simple, open and smart approach to network architecture. MetaFabric leverages Juniper Networks’ comprehensive portfolio of switching, routing, orchestration, SDN and security solutions.
- Switches optimised for the data centre to support any switching fabric architecture for any application.
- Routers that interconnect multiple data centre locations and clouds, across virtual, physical, and SDN workloads.
- SDN solutions that automate and orchestrate creation of virtual networks.
- Data centre security solutions that adapt to defend, detect, and respond to targeted threats.
- Automation and orchestration management tools that provide network visualisation, analysis, and control.
The MetaFabric architecture solves the complexity of creating a network for today’s data centre landscape. It has three pillars:
Simple – Enables ease of deployment, operations and management of the network without service interruption.
Open – Maximises flexibility by integrating with any data centre environment, eliminating vendor lock-in.
Smart – Saves time and improves the performance of the network through data, analytics, and actionable insights.
The bottom line is that the MetaFabric architecture delivers the agile and efficient network foundation required for today’s dynamic data centres.
(Further reading: Juniper CIO Uses Cloud to Support ‘Consumerization of Data Center’)
Netutils Senior Technical Specialist, Malcolm Orekoya then delivered an overview & demo of Junos Space.
Exponential growth in network traffic, changes in mobile user behaviour, and the onslaught of new cloud services and applications are expanding the avenues available to malicious attackers. Managing enterprise security policy in these complex environments can become prone to error and overly time-consuming, especially if management solutions are slow, unintuitive, or restricted in their level of granularity and control. Poor policy management can also lead to security mis-configuration, making the enterprise vulnerable to sophisticated threats and regulatory noncompliance.
Junos Space is an open, secure, and scalable software platform that allows customers, partners, and developers to build and deploy simple, smart applications that manage and analyse network element data and optimise network infrastructure and operations management of infrastructure running the Junos operating system. Malcolm demonstrated the attributes of the Junos Space solution that allows customers to maximise their network value and scale solutions while reducing complexity.
Malcolm demonstrated two main applications of Junos Space – Network Director & Security Director. Security Director provides efficient and cost effective management of Juniper Networks SRX security platform and allows you to scale management reach across your security and network devices and ease administration and reduce configuration errors through a responsive Web interface. Network Director offers a unified wired and wireless network management application for Juniper Networks switching and wireless portfolio, featuring full life cycle management including pre and post deployment life cycle tools with single pane visibility to manage Network infrastructure, users and services.
Jonas Gyllenhammar, Pulse Architect, EMEA concluded the session with his presentation on Innovations in campus & branch networking and security.
The ability to access anything from anywhere is the new norm in today’s world of communication. This creates a lot of concerns when it comes to corporate data being accessed securely.
It is not only the challenge of the mixture of managed and un-managed devices and their security state but also the protection of actual valuable data that needs protection.
This requires a new echo system involving secure access and intelligent firewalling to bring together security intelligence and deception techniques from multiple sources.
What was really engaging about Jonas’ session was his point that the phenomenon of BYOD is not simply about bringing your own device, its more than that; it’s about a robust access management policy solution for your organisation and this requires a dynamic policy driven security enforcement solution. A bit of a mouthful perhaps but Juniper Networks’ end-to-end Pulse solution makes this straightforward. In short, it’s simply about 2 things:
The User – are they known or unknown?
The Device – corporately owned? BYOD, staff member with an unknown device? Or Guest with an unknown device?
Junos Pulse allows you to combine different users and devices. An end-to-end solution which covers all use cases delivering network wide policy orchestration.
Jonas spent some time detailing the different attributes of the Pulse solution – profiling, on-boarding, authentication, device / user authentication, role based access and network wide automatic threat mitigation. The Pulse solution keeps BYOD simple. It supports the requirement that users need BYOD in different flavours – light and full access. As well as providing full network access to known users and devices, it’s vital to have a simple identity based guest access solution for Wi-Fi access, keeping you compliant and secure. In short, Pulse allows you to deliver the right policies for the right use cases, making the access and on-boarding experience seamless for the user.
Jonas also introduced our audience to Junos WebApp Secure (JWas) Jonas demonstrated how easy it is to detect, identify, track and stop hackers in their tracks. The simple, clean interface of the solution allows for easy monitoring. Junos Web App Secure looks at two areas – Certainty and Specificity. This ensures that you are blocking the right activity without impacting your business, and identifying malicious behaviour that other solutions can’t even start to think about finding.
The demonstration of Junos WebApp Secure illustrates how the Juniper Networks’ security ecosystem adapts at the speed of risk, where allowing easy access is balanced with stopping attackers from getting what they want.
For further information on innovations in datacentre and campus & branch networking and security please do get in touch. Keep checking our blog for regular updates and videos from our events.
We made a video of the event. You can check it out on our blog here.