2017 Rising Star Awards

Justin C. Ariel

Network Engineer/Systems Administrator, Office of the CIO, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA

 

As a network engineer and systems administrator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Justin Ariel took a lead role in the expansion of JPL’s national security IT environment.

His work included handling a network migration that touched nearly every aspect of JPL’s field center, building infrastructure servers and services, and instituting centralized desktop management.

The self-described jack-of-all-trades when it comes to technology said the network migration took six to eight months, and he had to balance mission delivery with strict regulatory compliance on a closed network that supports users nationwide.

Not only was Ariel the architect and leader for moving the old network to the new one, he also had to establish connections within the intelligence community.

“The fact that JPL is fairly new in the intelligence community [means] the footprint’s not there yet,” he said. “The challenge is to make those contact points, to establish the relationships for their support and vice versa.”

One colleague called Ariel’s involvement instrumental in expanding JPL’s national security IT environment and forging connections for the relatively new office.

“Without his innovative solutions and fierce determination to produce optimal and customer-centric results,” the colleague said, “program teams would have been hampered by limited bandwidth,…a higher risk of work-impacting outages or performance degradation, and daily operations and management of the environment would not run as smoothly.”

Click here for more on all the 2017 Rising Stars

About the Author

Chase Gunter is a staff writer covering civilian agencies, workforce issues, health IT, open data and innovation.

Prior to joining FCW, Gunter reported for the C-Ville Weekly in Charlottesville, Va., and served as a college sports beat writer for the South Boston (Va.) News and Record. He started at FCW as an editorial fellow before joining the team full-time as a reporter.

Gunter is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where his emphases were English, history and media studies.

Click here for previous articles by Gunter, or connect with him on Twitter: @WChaseGunter

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