I got my start in system administration in 1993 by chance. A good friend of mine owned a Hyatt Legal Services franchise. When Joel Hyatt decided to run for US Senate in Ohio, he shuttered Hyatt Legal Services, and all franchisees suddenly became independent law firms. All Hyatt franchises used an AT&T Unix/386 system as the central computer and my friend inherited both the computer and its expensive lease. As I had experience with computers – I had worked at NCR Corporation for a decade as a test equipment programmer – I took up the challenge of migrating everything to a 486 computer running SCO Unix. Needing a home Unix system to gain more experience, I went looking for something that was Unix-like and affordable. Not easy to find in 1993. But I stumbled upon an ad for an operating system called Linux which came with the full suite of GNU open source utilities. For $50 I received 39 5.25-inch floppy disks and was soon running Soft Landing Systems Linux, the original distribution.

A year later I left NCR Corporation and landed a job with a small insurance company. They needed a systems administrator for a Novell NetWare file server, an HP/UX system running an Informix database server, and Windows 3.1 client computers. As they were converting from an IBM mainframe to a client/server environment backed by the Informix database, I had to connect remote offices in four states and was soon in charge of a regional data network. To provide file, print, and mail services in the remote offices, I deployed Linux servers. In 1996, I connected the company to the Internet.  And I finally retired the NetWare server, replacing it with a Windows NT 4.0 server.

In 2002, I decided to try my hand at being a computer consultant but found I was a better systems administrator than an entrepreneur. In 2006, I joined Web.com as a lead Windows systems administrator, and then in 2007 accepted a position as IT Manager for Hong Video Technology (HVT), a company founded in 1994 by my friend George Hong. In 2008, left HVT to join Peer 1 Hosting, the company that would eventually become Aptum Technologies. Here I found my niche and soon became a Level 3 Support Systems Administrator. And this is where I have been ever since.

During my career I’ve had the opportunity to work with a diverse array of technologies – Unix, Linux, Windows, VMware, Informix, SQL Server, MySQL, and Exchange, to name a few. My networking experience includes frame relay, point-to-point, demand dial-up, VPN, and of course TCP/IP. And I am somewhat decent programmer having worked with Smalltalk, Basic, Visual Basic, C#, Bash, VBScript, SQL, and PowerShell. But I excel at systems administration and enjoy helping Aptum customers with their web, database, and virtualization host servers.

Charles Rutledge

Systems Administrator – Linux, Windows, and VMware