Our Partner Highlight is our blog series where we get up-close and personal with our Top Partners in the Sophos Community.
Up next is Philipp Rusch, Top Sophos Community Partner in 2021.
Let's Talk Career
1. Tell us about yourself and your professional background.
In 1986, I started studying physics at the University of Gießen, Germany, where we had to do some experiments with laser electronics. All measuring equipment were self-built by the older students, and computers were rare and had to be programmed before we could do something meaningful with them in our labs. So I started programming in assembler, Turbo Pascal and later some ANSI-C. This was a fun!
Then I went to the University of Frankfurt/Main in Germany, where they just began lectures on Informatics the year I came in. Later I found a working student job at an IBM business partner in Neu-Isenburg, working as a freelancer for them for many years. I installed one of the first AS/400 systems in Germany in 1990 IIRC.
These midrange systems had a network cabling called “twinax”, only later they were equipped with first TokenRing and then, much later, with Ethernet Cards as LAN interfaces.
I became the “networking guy” for connecting all kind of servers and PC-systems together, speaking strange protocols no one knows about today (SNA anybody? APPC? AnyNET aka SNA over TCP/IP?).
While working as a freelancer, I had my own customers to support. So I learned how to program Cisco routers, spent a huge time with Novell Servers (started with Novell 386 and IPX/SPX networks), then explored Windows NT 3.1 (in 1993), and so on.
Then came the Internet. We had to connect our first customers to that “supernet” and it was an exciting time! Always learning, every day something new.
Nowadays, I work with nearly every platform which is relevant to the IT industry: Linux, ESXi, MacOS, Windows, iOS, Android, IBM-System i/OS and others. While I used Linux to build firewalls from scratch (with a great script called “Shorewall” from iptables guru Tom Eastep), I came across Astaro Security Linux and then about 2004/2005 the Astaro Security Gateways. I got an ASG220 to install and learn. I soon got my first customer projects and since then, I’ve been in IT-Security business.
Today I live near Gießen, Germany, have four children with my ex-wife and two children my fiancée brought with her, all already grown-up and left the house.
2. What inspired you to get into IT and security?
At the age of 11, I had the chance to get my hands on a “Kontron Zilog Z80 Kit” in 1977 in my father’s lab. So I almost learned the “Zilog Z80 Assembler handbook” by heart and wrote small programs in pure machine code.
Later I found an HP85 in the neighbour lab, where I programmed in HP-BCD-Basic after working hours, printing sinuswave curves on a 10” thermopaper roll for illustrating a school presentation in physics. Yes, I was a nerd with thick glasses.
Later I built PC-systems and sold them to my fellow students at University to earn some money, until I found out that freelancing as an IT consultant and a troubleshooter is more than enough for a good living. This wasn’t even stressful for me, and thus started my IT-career.
3. Tell us about your company and your partnership (with Sophos)?
I am co-owner of New Vision GmbH, which is run by my partner Marion Nagorr, myself, and a team of 5 people. As I said, we were an Astaro partner for long and held a breath when Sophos was taking over the business. But Sophos did a good job, the SG-UTM business grew and we decided to become a certified partner. Today we are a Sophos Silver Partner and we are working on Sophos Central projects and other products as well.
My team and I specialize in Enterprise IT Infrastructure, that is Serversystems, SAN-Storage, Virtualization (VMWare), VDI, HCI, IT-Security, Networking, Cloud-Solutions, Backup, IT-consulting, IT-Architecture, concepts, training for admins, troubleshooting and service.
Despite being a small team we had some very sophisticated international projects and IT-migrations done in the last years. We strive to be the trusted advisor for our customers in our niche.
4. What do you enjoy most about your job?
There is a great variety in what I am doing each day. Every day brings something new and interesting things to learn.
5. Have you taken any Sophos Training Courses?
I have completed several Sophos Certified Engineer Certifications.
On the Sophos Community
6. What brings you to the community?
As troubleshooter/supporter you always want to help and solve problems. And I like to explain complex things to other people. Maybe it’s because I am the main instructor for the apprentices in our company.
7. What's a fun fact about you that you want to share to the community?
My birthday is on the same day as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Who is Philipp?
8. What's the best lesson you've learned (in career or in life?)
Never make assumptions, always ask questions!
9. What are your hobbies outside of work?
We got two young Beagles who love hiking with us. I love to travel to the Mediterranean Sea.
10. Do you have a personal motto or mantra?
100% is the lower limit!
11. Three words to describe you.
Always think first.