Jeff Harper got his start in computers in the early 80s when his parents bought him his very first computer, a Timex Sinclair 1000. This computer ran on only 2K of RAM, but had an expansion RAM module of 16K. These were the days in which Bill Gates declared that computers would never need more than 64K of RAM. If technology advancements have taught us anything, it’s to acknowledge that was is impossible today, could be possible tomorrow. Jeff was also online at an early age and sent his first e-mail in 1980.
As they say, timing is everything. And as timing would have it, Jeff’s High School first introduced a computer course his freshman year using Apple II+ computers attached to what was then considered a whopping 6 MB Corvus OmniDrive via Corvus Omninet, a 1 Mbps LAN.
Jeff’s computer skills grew as he learned the programming languages of the day, including FORTRAN and COBOL, and working on Unix systems such as HP-UX, SCO, BSD, Solaris and IRIX.
After college, Jeff was hired by GTE (now Verizon) as a Unix/Network Administrator. As a Unix Admin, he worked on programming switches such as the DMS-250 using HP-UX. As a Network Admin, he supported the IPX/SPX network using Netware.
As technology grew, so did his expertise in Networking. In the early 90s, networking companies such as Cisco and Bay Networks were gaining momentum as network started to become more mainstream in corporate America. Technology such as FDDI, Frame Relay and X.25 were in full swing to deliver 100 Mbps solutions to backbone networks.
In the background, the NSF had created the first nationwide backbone called NSFNET. The first iteration was a 56 Kbps backbone, soon to be upgraded to a 1.5 Mbps backbone in 1988. By 1993, the NSFNET was a 45 Mbps backbone and realized that privatization of the Internet was coming with Telcos such as AT&T starting to building their own Tier 1 backbones.
GTE saw the potential in commercial use of the Internet and formed a new subsidiary called “GTE Internet” in 1996. GTE had recruited Jeff as a member of the network engineering team that built, deployed and supported their national network infrastructure. GTE.Net was in full swing by fall of 1996. In order to grow quickly, GTE leveraged UUNET to provide a national dialup solution for its userbase. With only 82 employees at the time, GTE had become a national ISP. Jeff’s role in GTE grew to him as managing the network team and responsible for it’s growth and technological advancements, such as DWDM, Traffic Engineering and Wireless technologies
Jeff has held several interesting positions as a chief network engineer, including working at Marvel Studios. As Marvel Studio’s only network engineer, he created MarvelNet, Marvel Studio’s global networking infrastructure using DWDM, Cisco Nexus technology as well as their wireless technology.
Jeff is an award-winning chief network and security engineering professional with a strong track record of designing, building, and supporting cutting edge network and server solutions that supported business needs and increased performance and overall profitability.
Jeff has a vast experience using many technologies and products, here is a small list of them:
- MPLS Traffic Engineering (BGP, VXLAN, etc)
- Automation such as Cisco ACI and Ansible
- Cisco, Arista, Juniper, Meraki,
- Cisco Prime
- Cisco ISE
- DWDM (Infinera, Cisco, Juniper)
- SD-WAN (Velocloud, Viptela, Fortinet, Palo Alto)
- Cisco ASA
- Cisco Firepower
- Palo Alto
- Ekahau spectral analyzers
- NAC (Forescout, FortiNAC)