Joshua Kwedar of The ATS Group Named as a 2017 Fresh Face of IBM AIX by IBM Systems Magazine

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Josh, as well as his peers in the IBM Fresh Faces program, showcase breakthrough thinking by pushing boundaries and driving innovation within their respective companies by using the IBM Power Systems platform.

The ATS Group announced today that IBM Systems Magazine, published by MSP TechMedia, has named Joshua Kwedar, Senior Systems Engineer at The ATS Group, as a Fresh Faces of IBM AIX honoree. An IBM Fresh Face is an up and coming IT professional working with IBM Power Systems and pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Josh, as well as his peers in the IBM Fresh Faces program, showcase breakthrough thinking by pushing boundaries and driving innovation within their respective companies by using the IBM Power Systems platform.

“We are exceptionally proud of Josh and excited he is being honored for his enthusiasm as an IT professional as well as the breath of fresh energy into your business,” said Tim Conley, Principal at The ATS Group and Galileo Performance Explorer.

The Fresh Faces of AIX feature can be seen in the October 2017 issue of IBM Systems Magazine in print and digitally, and Josh’s full interview can be read below:

IBM Systems Magazine: What are you working on that’s innovative/interesting with AIX?
Josh Kwedar: I am always looking for ways to solve the business needs of my customers. My customers have shown a great deal of interest in the Live Kernel Update functionality introduced in AIX 7.2. One customer of mine has a very rigorous patching schedule driven by federal compliance requirements. It’s easy for a customer to read about a new feature announcement online, but often they need help navigating the technical hurdles to put them in a position to leverage the new features. I’ve been working in our Innovation Center (IC) to test Live Kernel Updates, document a process that I can deliver to my customers and demo the feature once I feel like I’ve come up with a solid, easy to follow process. I have done the same type of POC for SR-IOV. Shared Ethernet adapters have been the de facto standard when it comes to network virtualization for as long as I’ve worked on the Power platform. There are customers of mine who have shown interest in SR-IOV and vNICs, but may not even have the hardware required to test it themselves. Having access to the latest Power hardware in our IC has been invaluable in fostering a relationship as a trusted advisor with our customers.

As a premier IBM Business Partner, my company is often called upon to perform server consolidation studies, health checks and troubleshoot performance issues impacting critical business operations. We develop and maintain a tool called Galileo that helps expedite problem resolution and identify bottlenecks quickly on not only AIX workloads, but backend disk subsystems and SAN switches as well (among other technologies). I really enjoy troubleshooting complex performance issues and identifying the cause of a problem that may have been plaguing a customer for weeks/months in a matter of minutes. The tool enables me to provide an unmatched level of service to customers and really sets us apart from others in the consulting space. 

IBM Systems Magazine: What is the coolest thing about the Power platform?
Josh Kwedar: Stability, performance, and flexibility in deployment options amongst the wide variety of hardware models. When I approach a customer who is using Power, I’ll not only assess their technical requirements, but their in-house expertise as it relates to Power. You can create a solution on Power that fits for all skill levels and workloads.

IBM Systems Magazine: Why would you recommend an AIX career to others?
Josh Kwedar: If you’re looking to vary your skillset and are familiar with other flavors of UNIX, AIX is an excellent, niche skill to have. Those in the IT industry predicted the death of the mainframe in the 90s, but mainframe workloads are still at the core of financial markets and global commerce to this day. AIX may become more niche over time, but there is certainly opportunity to set yourself apart in the marketplace.

IBM Systems Magazine: Did you have preconceived notions about AIX when you took your current position? If so, what were they?
Josh Kwedar: I did not! AIX was the first UNIX operating system I had experience with in my professional career. I like to think that it laid a very solid foundation for my career in IT as a whole and I often find myself drawing analogies back to AIX/Power when dealing with other OS distributions and hardware.

IBM Systems Magazine: What trends are affecting your business?
Josh Kwedar: The pressures of migrating to the cloud have put AIX/Power users in a difficult position. Being faced with the possibility of migrating off of the platform you’ve worked with for so long and centered your entire business around can be a difficult proposition to swallow. Luckily, several cloud hosting companies that support AIX/Power have been starting to pop up in recent years. AIX administrators and engineers are used to being deep in the weeds, tweaking tunables to achieve optimal performance, planning array to LVM layout in great detail, collocating/separating LPARs based on workload, etc. A die-hard AIX admin may have a tough time letting go of some of these tasks when migrating AIX workloads to the cloud. 

Want to learn more about Josh or send him a note of congratulations? Connect with him on LinkedIn.

About The ATS Group
Since our founding in 2001, the ATS Group has consulted on thousands of system implementations, upgrades, backups and recoveries. We also support customers by providing managed services, performance analysis and capacity planning. With over 60 industry-certified professionals, we support SMBs, Fortune 500 companies, and government agencies. As experts in IBM, VMware, Oracle and other top vendors, we are experienced in virtualization, storage area networks (SANs), high availability, performance tuning, SDS, enterprise backup and other evolving technologies that operate mission-critical systems on premise, in the cloud, or in a hybrid environment. http://theatsgroup.com/

About Galileo Performance Explorer
Designed by the data center experts at The ATS Group from real-world implementations, Galileo Performance Explorer is the industry’s first easy-to-use, cloud-based suite of integrated infrastructure performance management agents with a unified dashboard. Galileo consolidates multiple agents for insightful monitoring of servers, storage, and applications to improve IT utilization and capacity planning. Built on a SaaS architecture, Galileo installs in minutes, without the overhead of an onsite appliance or server. Automatic collection of real-time data, with quick, easy, graphical reporting via an intuitive web interface, offers access to custom dashboards with full drilldown into data details, anywhere, anytime. http://galileosuite.com/

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Kelly Nuckolls
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