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CheckMates Member of the Month for May 2019: Maarten Sjouw

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Maarten.jpgPut your virtual hands together for @Maarten_Sjouw , our CheckMates member of the Month for May 2019!

When he's not on his houseboat, managing customer gateways, or helping people here, you can also find him on LinkedIn as well.

Tell Us About Yourself and What You Do, Maarten

I was born and raised in the Netherlands and I started my career in IT in 1983 when I started working for a company that delivered and maintained DEC equipment and, a few years later, included PC’s and MAC’s in network environments. My first TCP/IP training was in 1986, since then networking had my main interest. Around 1999, I started working with a Gauntlet firewall, which was replaced by my first Check Point NG firewall for a worldwide shipping company.

Since 2008, I've been working for an MSP and the number of gateways we manage has moved to 300+ for around 150 customers in various complexities of networks. Some just have a single network and firewall, others have complex MPLS networks and multi-layer firewalls.

Tell Us About Your Experience with Check Point

I started working with a single cluster and a management server in Check Point NG on Nokia hardware with IPSO and SPLAT for management. This grew to around 40 gateways managed by a Provider-1 setup. Then, I moved to an MSP where I was taking over a 25 international customer setup with mostly Nokias and a Provider-1. This grew to about 50 international customers before we were merged with the national team of the same company. This team managed around 100 customers with an average of 1.5 gateways per customer (some single some cluster). On top of that, both teams ran a number of VSX clusters. Also in this area my assistance is often requested.

Do You Have a Unique Check Point Deployment?

We are working on a project for our companies own Internet access based on 2 Maestro setups to support 10GB each. These setups will be running as each other’s backup, but will be independent from each other.

What do You Use the CheckMates Platform For?

To learn, to share the weird things we run into and to help others with their questions.

I really like the involvement of Check Point employees in the forum and on top of that the knowledge that is out there with a lot of the other members.

What Do You Like To Do for Fun?

I like to work with wood in my spare time, to build furniture and other things. I also like to assist with hot-air ballooning, which I do not do so much anymore since the pilot I assisted regularly has passed away. About 10 years ago, I had a new houseboat built and finished it off myself in about 3 months, with a lot of help from my friends. I have been living there with my family since then.

Anything Else You'd Like to let CheckMates Know About?

Thank you all for the excellent work everyone does on this very useful forum.


Hooray, @Maarten_Sjouw , you are one of our best contributors!


Keep up the great work. May the force of the community be with you 🙂


Thank you Dameon and Valeri, I feel really honored by this.


The long term Check Point master of The Netherlands  💪

Maarten congratulations!!

Congrats Maerten! very nice "Introduction" on @PhoneBoy's questionnaire 🙂 I like it!

My first firewall was Gauntlet...from 1995.
Even installed TIS Toolkit at home at some point.


Congrats @Maarten_Sjouw ! Thank you for your contributions!