E62 - Tim McConnaughy at Aviatrix

George Barnes
Tim McConnaughy

By George Barnes & Tim McConnaughy

Today on The Route to Networking podcast, our Co-Founder, George Barnes, was joined by Tim McConnaughy, the Customer Solutions Architect at Aviatrix. Tim has been in the Networking industry for 22 years now, where he started as a Technical Support Representative at Continental Visinet. Since then, he has progressed into senior roles at Cisco and is now at Aviatrix where he’s been since February this year.

Tom didn’t become a Network Engineer until he was almost 30. He was working as an Asset Manager, but it was not paying the bills. He had got married, just started a family, and bought a house and it wasn’t working out for him. He always enjoyed the Networking side of IT from when he worked at an ISP. So, he thought he would spend his days studying for his CCNA to get his foot in the door. After passing on his second attempt, he got his first job in a NOC and that’s where his Networking journey began.


Aviatrix is a cloud networking solution based on being able to build cloud networks in a scalable architecture specifically being able to give a lot of the data plane back to the customers.

The reason he left Cisco was mainly that he wanted to focus on cloud networking and that was hard to do at Cisco. Aviatrix offered him the opportunity to focus on what he was truly excited about.

After passing his CCNA the second time around, he can’t stress enough the importance of breaking up your studying into blocks. Repetitious studying with breaks is key to absorbing knowledge. People who cram it all in are just cheating themselves. He recommends taking a more regimented approach to study. While it’s important to take breaks and play some games, doing less of the same thing over several days helps you memorise concepts much faster than if you were to just try cramming them in.

Some of the key changes he has seen since starting in the industry across all technologies and networking verticals are the scaling upward of networking. We network more things now and so we need more technology to be able to network those things. The development of the network solutions happens so we can scale up. As technology has progressed and networking has become more ubiquitous scaling up has been very much needed. Network automation is incredibly hot in the industry at the moment and the reason for that is scale. We have enterprises that have thousands of network devices with teams of 4 or 5 people. Imagine they had to do all the changes manually. It wouldn’t be possible.

Tech trends are always changing, with new emerging technologies arising almost every day. Some of the emerging technology that excites Tim currently is the rise of cloud networking specifically. Cloud has evolved from its original intention of being a robust and scalable solution to an offering that can now benefit different services such as networks, infrastructure, and applications. More cloud means they need more networking support.

Moving to the final part of the show, Tim goes through our quick-fire questions with some brilliant answers. We learn that he is more of an Android man whereas his wife is Apple. He is more technical focussed and likes things customised whereas she likes things a lot more user-friendly.

He shares one thing he believes in that everyone thinks he’s crazy for and it’s a great answer. Make sure you tune in now to listen!