A network systems administrator is responsible for maintaining/configuring a computer network. This can range from settings up new user accounts to exchanging servers in a rack. The network systems administrator makes sure that a network is running at peak performance 100% of the time, and exceeds user demand. To exceed user demand an administrator may have to install and or upgrade hardware/software, troubleshoot problems that may emerge when installing new hardware/software, provide technical support for staff, and train staff to use new hardware/software.Ever since around 2014 I’ve wanted to become a network systems administrator. It all started when my dad had given me my first server, it had an Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 clocked at 2.93GHz and 4 gigabytes of DDR2 memory running at 667MHz. I started out running a Minecraft server for me and a few friends and after that, it just started to grow. I don’t quite remember how I branched out from just running Minecraft servers but eventually, I ran my own FTP (file transfer protocol) server, with this, you can upload and download files between a client and the server. Then I started to host VOIP (voice over IP) servers for guilds/clans. Eventually, I had to stop due to my internet connection being too slow. Shortly after though Google Fiber was offering plans in the Kansas City area. We had gotten the best plan they offered, 1 gigabit per second upload and download, after that my interest in server hosting peaked. I started hosting everything from game servers to websites.My first upgrade came when my dad had bought three Dell PowerEdge 1950 generation III’s in 2015, they each had 32 gigabytes of DDR2 ECC (error-correcting code) memory running at 667MHz, and two Intel Xeon X5470 quad-core CPUs running at 3.33GHz. Not too long after I was introduced to the world of Linux. Linux is an open-source operating system, it was released on September 17, 1991. Linux has many different ‘flavors’ or distributions; Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, Arch Linux. The list goes on and on, there are literally thousands of different flavors of Linux. I started running Ubuntu server. I soon realized how difficult Linux really was since it was just a terminal so I switched to Windows Server 2012 R2 to educate myself more on the subject. I figured out to truly learn how to use Linux I had to run the operating system in a virtual machine. A virtual machine is a computer running inside of the host machine, this isolates Linux from Windows so I’m not locked down to one operating system. Obviously the virtual machine will use resources like memory and CPU power from the host system. Eventually I was running so many virtual machines that I was at my servers max. I had websites, mail services, VOIP, game servers, and FTP all running on one machine. I felt that it was extremely efficient, I wanted to virtualize everything but I was at the capacity of my server. I had to get an upgrade.For christmas in 2016 I had gotten the upgrade that I needed. I had gotten a Dell PowerEdge R710 configured with 288 gigabytes of DDR3 ECC memory running at 1333MHz and two Intel Core Xeon x5650 hexa-core processors running at 2.67GHz. This gave me 12 cores and 24 logical processors in total. I had tons of room for expansion, and I still do. I haven’t even scratched the surface with this server yet. I was again hosting everything I could imagine. I was doing more experimenting than ever before, mostly with different linux distributions, different network configurations with my storage server that I had. I was learning a lot.In the spring of 2017 I started to experiment more and more with the hardware side of things. For example, I would start to configure my network switches so I could have the fastest data transfer speed to my storage server. Everytime I would go to my ‘datacenter’ I would always find something to do. Whether it was plugging in another ethernet cable, or exchanging out processors in servers for faster ones, I was doing a little bit of everything at that point in time. Towards the summer of 2017 I was beginning to invest all of my time into cyber security. I had seen a video on youtube that covered building your own router. Shortly after I had my mind set that I was going to build the best firewall that I could, I wanted to get it to secure that it would block DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks. These are attacks that get performed on a network to deny the client and or users service. I had gotten attacked before when I had refused hosting for an individual so he had essentially taken out my internet. I didn’t want this to happen again in the future so I really wanted to make my router the best.