John F. Wall

Sheridan, IN 46069

(317) 758-0027 Office

(317) 679-8027 Pager




Employment History



August, 2007 – Present                      IBM          Delivery Compliance Administrator


            Leader of group of 10 System Administrators who apply security related patches and perform quarterly system security health checks on 6400 UNIX systems – primarily AIX, Linux, and Sun.



August, 2006 – August, 2007 IBM                            Sr. System Administrator


            Provided 24/7 on call support for several smaller accounts in the Retail & Distribution, the Airline, the Insurance, and the Manufacturing sectors.



·               Provided 24/7 on call support for a pair of Sun 6800s running Solaris 10 with Veritas Cluster Server (VCS) and Oracle DB.  Also provided similar support for several smaller Solaris and Linux systems used as web servers.

·               Developed scripts (Ksh, awk, curl, sed) to extract system inventory data from an internal web based database, then used that data to generate the /etc/hosts file on our team servers, thus enabling connectivity by hostname to all the servers in the “official” inventory database.  The generated /etc/hosts files included the imbedded XML comments needed by my ssh/scp wrapper scripts, which adapt to the SSH vendor (OpenSSH, F-Secure, vshell) on the target host.



June, 2003 – August, 2006                IBM-eBusiness          Security Manager


            Managed the application of security related patches and processes by our system administration team.  Wrote summary descriptions of the impact of each particular security issue which required patching.  Tested operational procedures for the SysAdmins to follow in applying these patches. 

            Provided 24/7 on call support for a number of Sun systems for a large banking customer.



·               Developed scripts to determine whether given servers required patching for each particular security issue.  Conducted weekly meetings on security topics with teammates.  Drove to completion the security patching of all Sun systems under our team’s care.

·               Wrote non-technical overviews of the impact and potential risk involved with each applicable security issue for the consumption of the Account Managers and their respective customers.

·               Provided 24/7 on call primary and/or backup support for 50 Sun systems.

·               Provided software support and further development for system used to change passwords for a single user ID on multiple systems.  Developed a Korn shell front end with several additional features and improvements in the user interface to the tool.



March, 2001 – June, 2003                 IBM-eBusiness          Sr. System Administrator


            Developed tools using various scripting languages (ksh, awk, expect, sed) to bring standardization and uniformity to the 400+ Sun servers in the Boulder datacenter.



·               Designed and built a Sun team server to be used as a system gateway for all other supported customer systems.

·               Developed scripts to simultaneously run a set of commands on multiple servers so that a SysAdmin could execute either a script contained in a file or a one-off set of commands on all or a portion of the servers in his/her account(s).

·               Improved customer satisfaction by reducing response time to get a knowledgeable SysAdmin on task and by eliminating errors in the SysAdmin process (all as a result of the similarity between systems).

·               Developed the sal tool which provides SysAdmins an opportunity to record, in free form text, their significant activity during the just completed login session.  This tool became a standard package for all Sun systems in the datacenter.

·               Developed the agefile tool (a derivative of an AT&T tool of the same name) for keeping copies of older versions of files in an organized manner.  This tool became a standard package for all Sun systems in the datacenter, and was used to rotate all system logs.








October, 1999 – March, 2001           SBC/Ameritech          Sr. System Administrator


            Provided 24/7 on call system administration support for APEX, an internally developed set of tools for authoring and distributing electronic documents written using the SGML markup language.  The documents handled by APEX were utilized by customer service representatives and operations technicians as they provided telecommunications services to external customers.



·               Expanded the existing APEX system after analyzing growth patterns, writing the business case, ordering and installing the hardware.


July, 1997 – June, 2001         TsarQuest Corporation         Owner/President


            Managed UNIX consultation business which provided system design, network design, software and hardware integration, system administration, and basic training in the proper care and feeding of UNIX systems for entry level personnel.  The client list included a large county government office complex, a telecommunications company, and a Sun Value Added Reseller (VAR).



·               Wrote software to integrate the use of Microsoft Word on the desktops with a UNIX based law enforcement application so the officers could use Word to write the their text descriptions that were then stored on the UNIX system within the application database.

·               Designed campus wide, switched network utilizing fiber between buildings.

·               Wrote software to integrate the report generation module of a proprietary database application system with PostScript printers.


1994 – June, 1997                  Ameritech                               Sr. System Administrator


            Provided 24/7 on call support for several Solaris based systems in what were then known as High Availability (clustered) configurations.  Provided system integration for the APEX system of electronic document authoring and distribution.  APEX documents were authored in SGML on a Windows desktop, stored within an Informix DB on the Solaris authoring server, and distributed via a web interface from the Solaris distribution servers.



·               Developed several scripts to integrate the use of X-Windows and NFS shares between the Windows desktops of the authors and the Informix DB system running on the Sun authoring server.  This enabled the authors to simply click one button to Print their intermediate work or another button to Distribute (to the distribution servers) their completed work.

·               Provided software support to the Authoring group for the above system.

·               Developed several scripts to integrate the Informix DB on the authoring server with the DynaWeb application running on the geographically separate, but redundant distribution servers.  The DynaWeb application provided internal web based access to the APEX electronic documents.  These scripts ensured that the two distribution servers remained in sync with fully redundant copies of all documents.

·               Provided hardware installation and support for three pairs of clustered servers each with shared disk arrays.

·               Wrote and presented a training package to other SysAdmins on the concepts and implementation of High Availability (clustered) systems.



1986 – 1994                            Indiana Bell                            E911 System Administrator


            Provided cradle to grave hardware and software support for the E911 system operated by Indiana Bell which provided Enhanced 911 service (name & address lookup based upon calling telephone number) to 300 Public Safety Answer Points (PSAPs) in Indiana, Wisconsin, and downstate Illinois.  The E911 servers were fully redundant systems with automatic failover, i.e. these were clustered systems but before clustering.



·               Provided 24/7 on call support for the E911 service which ran on redundant DEC 11/84 servers using the RSX-11 operating system.

·               Wrote business case to purchase two small UNIX based systems to provide additional services and monitoring of the E911 systems.

·               Wrote scripts to automate many previously manual process on the E911 systems.  These scripts ran from the UNIX systems but executed commands on the E911 systems.

·               Managed project to add a second set E911 of systems to provide for growth in the service.

·               Managed project to relocate the redundant mates of each of our E911 pairs to the opposite datacenters in order to improve disaster hardening.

·               Developed the ACDRS and OLOMS applications which provided Centrex customers with access to their telecommunications data via a menu driven interface.


1979 – 1986                            Indiana Bell                            Forecaster


            Developed telecommunications forecasts for northwest Indiana to assist the planning for added local communications equipment.  Developed software to assist the other forecasters with their jobs.






·               Presented business case to purchase and install a UNIX based system to provide computing resources to our forecasting group.

·               Ordered and installed all hardware – purchased from multiple vendors.

·               Obtained tape copy of UNIX OS from Bell Telephone Laboratories and compiled UNIX from the ground up.  Needed to modify the disk driver to adapt it to the newer version of drives we had.

·               Wrote forecasting tools in C, shell, and awk.


1975 – 1979                            Indiana Bell                            Team Lead Special Study


            Managed team of long distance switching experts from various telephone companies operating within the State of Indiana.  The team worked for two years to develop a 20 year plan for long distance switching within Indiana.  The plan was based upon analysis of historical calling data and the costs of telephone equipment.



Developed a slide presentation, consisting of over 200 slides, of our team’s results and made several presentations to executive officers in each of the respective telephone companies.  Each presentation typically lasted 2 hours with another 1-2 hours of questions and answers because of the extensive nature of the study and the sensitivity of the topic.  This was pre-divestiture when a significant portion of each telephone company’s revenue was derived from long distance calls.  Any plan which proposed to change how long distance calls were handled or who handled them was touchy.  Management entrusted me with making these presentations without stepping on anyone’s toes.


1970 – 1975                            Indiana Bell                            Plant Extension Engineer


            Wrote 20 year plans for adding (extending) local telephone equipment (plant) to handle forecasted growth.  Used a time-share program written in Fortran to analyze the data and perform the economic calculations.



·               Wrote tools in Basic, Fortran, and assembler language to assist the planning process.

·               Improved the human interface of the existing Fortran analysis tool and added the ability for it to produce graphical output.








Skills Acquired


            I have extensive experience in script writing using ksh, awk, expect, and sed.  I have developed and presented training material on writing Korn shell scripts to both customers and peers.


            I have been involved in several projects requiring the engineering of the hardware, whether computer or network hardware.  Often this led to the installation of said hardware.  Thus, I have had experience with computing platforms from DEC, AT&T, Sequent, Sun, and Intel.  In the Sun realm, I have worked with nearly the entire line from Sparc 5 and Ultra 1 systems to Enterprise 6900 and 890 systems.  This has provided experience with versions of the Sun OS from Solaris 2.3 through Solaris10.  These Sun systems have also utilized Veritas Volume Manager (VxVM) and Veritas File System (VxFS) and/or Sun’s Solstice Disk Suite (SDS).  Some of these systems were clustered using Veritas Cluster Server (VCS), Sun Cluster, or proprietary clustering methodologies.


            Running my own business for several years taught valuable lessons regarding customer relations as well as not over selling what can be accomplished in a reasonable time at a reasonable cost.


            Though I have supported systems which ran various databases - Unify, Informix, Oracle, Sybase, or MySQL - I am not a DBA.  I have developed small databases using Unify, Informix and MySQL.  I have also supported systems running various web servers – Apache, WebSphere, and iPlanet - however, I am only slightly familiar with the inner workings of these web servers.  While I have written programs in Basic, Fortran, DECSystem 10 assembler, C,  and Korn shell, I do not consider myself to be a programmer.


            I love learning.  All of my programming knowledge is self-taught.  I suspect that this trait of being a self-learner is key to being a good System Administrator.  Often I have had the privilege of being the pioneer within my work group to learn the “new technique” or use the “new method”, then teach others what to do and what to avoid.  This love of learning extends beyond the workplace to areas such as church history, theology, home remodeling, model railroading, car repair, and child rearing.