Mark Gigliotti – Terralogic Solutions Inc.
Working from home in southwestern Colorado in mid-February, Mark Gigliotti was deeply concerned about the weather 850 miles away in Dallas.
There, a snowstorm and freezing temperatures had blanketed the city and the state, revenging its energy grid and leaving businesses unplugged. While there was nothing he could do about the weather, Gigliotti and Terralogic could protect their cloud customers’ abilities to store data and direct operations.
“We can take a virtual server and move it from Dallas to Utah or put it on Azure and AWS with no one knowing the difference,” he says. “To be a trusted cloud provider, you can never be down.”
Founded in 2008 and headquartered in San Jose, California, Terralogic provides and develops software and cloud services around the world, with six offices in the U.S., four in India and locations in Dubai, Australia and Vietnam.
Gigliotti joined the company in January 2020 when his company, USACI, was acquired by Terralogic and he continued as Terralogic’s CIO.
Terralogic acquired USACI for its strong security posture. That, explains Gigliotti, is almost entirely a result of his longtime partnership with Fortinet, a Sunnyvale, California-based developer of cybersecurity solutions.
Not only does the company keep a database of every known computer virus, it has more than 500 FortiGuard engineers ensuring its customers stay safe, he says.
Fortinet and its FortiSandbox tools search for and monitor against cyberthreats as they track how a company’s system is used by employees. Should someone download software they thought was safe, but isn’t, the software can be blocked and removed.
Should Fortinet detect activity in an area an employee doesn’t typically use, such as finance or somewhere else containing private information and data, it blocks access.
“The typical cyberthreat was phishing before, and now the cryptovirus is the problem,” Gigliotti says of increasing efforts to design malicious software that appears harmless. While a cryptovirus can slip through the digital cracks because it appears benign, Fortinet’s able to detect its virulent origins and shut it down.
For example, with 24/7 Fortinet protection, a virus found in the Tokyo financial markets can be blocked before it hits New York, all done in real time, he adds.
Leveraging Fortinet’s security solutions, Terralogic was able to expand its business in 2020, but the greater expansion came as companies with remote workers doubled down to protect them. With a pandemic and extreme weather blasting Texas in February, there’s no reason to believe the expansion won’t continue, he notes.
Fortinet is the backbone, but continued success and growth also come from the flexibility and customer service Terralogic offers, Gigliotti says.
To start, Terralogic offers basic monthly fees to its customers with services and software like QuickBooks or Microsoft built in. The fees are not based on the number of processors a company may need for its cloud operations, and the services can be expanded as needed. The network is also flexible; workloads can be shifted across Terralogic data centers to ensure continuity.
The 24/7 customer service makes a difference, too. There’s always a live voice on their end of the line and customers can be onboarded within hours after making a call, Gigliotti adds.
“IT has always been the wild, wild west,” he says. “Anybody can hang a shingle and say they’re a managed service provider. The difference is, we answer the phone and deliver what we promise.”
In 2021, Gigliotti is making sure the data centers communicate and work together more seamlessly—he’d like them all running at about 65 percent capacity to leave room to pick up more operations if there’s a disruption somewhere else. He relies on Nutanix as an infrastructure software partner, noting it integrates well with Azure and Amazon Web Services platforms, enabling Terralogic to manage its hyper-cloud environment effortlessly, he says.
An IT architect
Though he’s learned the ins and outs of IT throughout a career of more than 35 years, Gigliotti’s first interest was accounting.
Born outside Cleveland, he moved with his family to Missouri after the family farm was sold to Ford. He was the first in his family to attend college when he enrolled at the University of Missouri, and it was only because he was required to take a computer science course that Gigliotti found his aptitude for IT.
He found programming was more lucrative than accounting and founded his own company when he was 27.
After working as a senior IT consultant for American Electric Power in Ohio in 1997-98, Gigliotti moved to Texas and began his first tenure at USACI in January 1999, consulting with companies preparing for the Y2K bug expected to affect digital operations as the 20th century became the 21st.
Meeting his wife at USACI turned out to be more eventful than the millennial bug, and in November 2000, he joined Enron. Here, he helped the energy, commodities and services company integrate its pipeline supply network to the internet, a project that succeeded even as the company went bankrupt.
He continued his work in the energy sector as senior director of IT for Southern Union from October 2004 through November 2006, then took on the same role at Transwestern Pipeline Co. in 2006-07. In January 2008, he rejoined USACI, which eventually paved his path to Terralogic.
“I like technology—all around building systems, integrations and stuff like that,” Gigliotti says. “I wrote financial systems in the ‘80s. Nowadays, when someone wants SAP or Oracle, I understand exactly how they work, and I can give it in layman’s terms.”
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