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Unsung Heroes of the Data Centre Part 1: Chris Ryan, Fordway

Thu 11 Jun 2020 | Richard Blanford

Techerati and Data Centre World are giving shout-outs to data centre professionals who have been nominated by their colleagues for their exceptional efforts in recent weeks. This week, Richard Blanford, CEO at Fordway, nominates Chris Ryan, the company’s senior infrastructure lead.

I’d like to nominate Chris Ryan, Senior Infrastructure Lead at Fordway as an unsung hero of the data centre.

Chris has 30 years’ experience in IT developing his skills in several IT engineering and maintenance roles, primarily looking after UNIX systems, before joining Fordway in 1999 as a systems support engineer. Having shown his skills, ability and commitment he was quickly promoted to become a technical consultant, helping our clients with the design, installation and configuration of core data centre infrastructure, specifically enterprise SAN and server environments.

In 2011, as Fordway’s business evolved to become a Managed Cloud services provider, Chris moved into our Service Operations team, managing, enhancing and supporting Fordway’s Managed Cloud platform.  He has assisted and managed two major upgrades to this environment since it was installed and is now leading the implementation of our third generation Managed Cloud platform, based on MS Azure Stack HCI with Software Defined Networking in Fordway’s data centres. It’s very much behind-the-scenes work, because a key aspect of a data centre upgrade is that the changes should be seamless to our customers!

Since the COVID-19 lockdown, Fordway has been focused on helping our customers transition to and manage their remote working strategies, this has placed additional load on Chris but he has continued to drive the migration project forward. His duties and responsibilities include being the technical lead as well as maintaining close collaboration with vendors across networking, switching, security and disaster recovery aspects including our primary supplier Microsoft. It’s a challenging implementation, as parts of the technology are ‘leading edge’ meaning unexpected issues are almost unavoidable. But Chris is keeping the momentum going; he has risen to the challenge with positivity and is very much enjoying learning new and exciting technology from the experts.

Chris deserves recognition for all his efforts and dedication on a project which will go largely unrecognised but is a key aspect of Fordway’s future strategy. The project will provide our managed services customers with a more flexible, scalable and cost-effective solution, as well as increased performance, granularity and improved security.

  • If there is a colleague, friend or family member working in the data centre sector that you think deserves special recognition for their efforts in recent months, we want to highlight them and their work. Send us an email with their name, bio, and why you think they deserve a shout out.

Experts featured:

Richard Blanford



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