Interview Series: Daniel Zuthof

Meet our next participant in the Cloudfix Interview Series! Enjoy the read, feedback is always welcome!!


Full Name: Daniel Zuthof
Company: Equinix
 Certifications:  VCAP5-DCA/DCD, VCP3,4,5-DCV, VCP-Cloud, MCSE NT4,2000,2003, MCITP EA 2008, MCSA 2012, MCTS Exchange 2007, MCTS SQL Server 2000,2005, Brocade BCNE, NetApp NCDA 7-mode,cDot Novell CNE 3,4,5,6, Oracle 11g OCA, ITIL, Prince2
Twitter: @DanielZuthof


Who is Daniel Zuthof?

I am an IT enthusiast living in Enschede with my wife and 2 young kids. In my spare time I love to spend time with my family, friends, ride my motorcycle and road bike as often as possible.

After finishing school at age 20 I started working at several employers of which all are in IT. The first was at a local IT firm in the city I lived in at the time. Afterwards I worked at several larger businesses in the Arnhem and Utrecht area. Before starting at Equinix, I worked in the IT department of the hospital in Enschede as senior systems engineer.

Can you tell us something about your employer/company?

I work at the Managed Services department at Equinix. Equinix is the world largest suppliers of carrier neutral datacenters and operates 145+ datacenters across 5 continents in 40 metro areas. In The Netherlands, Equinix operates 10 datacenters of which 1 is currently being build.

The main business consists of housing, inter rack connections, inter metro area connections, inter country connections, direct public cloud connections (Equinix Cloud Exchange) and internet connections.

The Managed Services department designs, builds, operates and supports IaaS and PaaS platforms for customers inside our own datacenters. Besides building dedicated platforms according to customers specifications we also operate our own Equinix Business Cloud (EBC) IaaS platform, which is located in 3 datacenters across The Netherlands. Other products we sell are security & storage solutions and back-up &  replication services.

Can you describe your IT infrastructure in short?

We operate IaaS and PaaS platform of every scale. One of them is the Equinix Business Cloud (EBC). Without going in too much detail the EBC platform is operational in our Enschede, Zwolle and Amsterdam datacenters. The 3 sites are well connected in a redundant way. In each of the sites a VMware based independent IaaS platform is operated which is managed by using a common management layer. If required by a customer, complete site redundancy solutions can be offered.

What is the main purpose for this IT platform?

The EBC platform is primarily designed for customers who do not want to operate their private (on-premises) cloud platform. They want to extend their existing platform without investing in new hardware and find it important to know where their information is stored.

The storage layer is based upon a multi-tenant scale out design. This makes it easy to add additional capacity and it can deliver specific tiers up to a guaranteed 10K IOPS level. The EBC platform makes it possible for our customers to connect to the EBC network and consume compute and storage independently from each other in all 3 sites.

If you had the chance to design and build this environment all over again, would you change anything? If so, what would you do differently?

As a matter of fact, the EBC platform is just rebuild using the latest 100GbE networking technology using overlay networks and multi-tenant scale out storage. This makes it possible to scale the platform to the next level while lowering operational efforts.

The next focus will be on cloud scale automation and further implementing the network overlay techniques into the platform.

What are new developments or solutions which caught your eye and why?

I’m interested in a lot of great techniques. A quick summary would be cloud native apps, storage, cloud management products, network virtualization and automation.


What are your thoughts on applying these on your own environment?

To be able to serve our customer at the levels they deserve now and in the future, network virtualization and automation products are key to the infrastructure. Network virtualization is important for hypervisor based routing and firewalling. Also the micro segmentation and hybrid cloud possibilities are important for us as a service provider.

For the automation part, the operability with the virtualization solution is important since these two work closely together. Automation lowers the operational costs and implementation time while quality is increased.

How do you see IT change in the next 5 years?

Cloud native apps will be a greater part of the IT landscape. More companies will move towards the DevOps style of managing their environment, which aligns to the agile framework where more and more companies move to.

How do you think this will translate to your current working environment?

Equinix will embrace the changes to be able to serve our customers the best way possible.


What’s the greatest tech disruption you’ve seen in your career?

I would say cloud computing in general. This manner of looking to IT provided services changed everything in the last decade. Combined with virtualization on the compute, storage and network layers, the possibilities are endless for those who are open for it.


What would you do for a living if you had not ended up in IT?

Probably I would be cook or electrician is some way. Those two appealed to me in my teenage years, besides computer technology. When looking back with my current knowledge, I would not choose another type of job. Working in IT is one of the most challenging in any aspect if you are open to it. The industry is so innovative and new product and techniques are released often which requires you to rethink designs and solution regularly.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!!

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My main focus is infrastructure (Storage, Networking and Computing), but I'm also very interested in designing and implementing VDI and Server Based Computing-environments.
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