There is a new type of role quickly evolving in the IT industry. Cloud architect and cloud engineer are becoming highly sought-after positions in the modern technology environment. Now, more than ever before, it's making a lot of sense to jump into the cloud job arena. Why? Data centers and cloud providers are desperately looking for people who understand cloud communication, various delivery models and, most of all, security.
- New Service Delivery Models. With new service models like “Everything-as-a-Service” cloud providers are striving to become your one-stop-shop for everything that is cloud services related. But that’s not where it stops. You now have Data-as-a-Service, Security-as-a-Service, and even Backend-as-a-Service. This is where developers can create cloud-based repositories for applications which still reside locally at a data center. Cloud engineers must stay on top of these new delivery models as more will be emerging. Don’t be surprised if you see even more options in the future. Now, compliance and regulation play a big role in how service delivery models are applied. As a cloud architect, knowing the business impact of a service delivery model can make all the difference in a competitive situation.
- Understand APIs. APIs are not only optimizing the application, they are directly impacting resource and data center utilization. Administrators are bypassing hardware layers and are creating logical connections directly into required resources. Cloud-based APIs are making waves as technologies which are optimizing the application and cloud communication layer. APIs are helping organizations interconnect between vastly distributed resources. These are the connection points for very heterogeneous technologies. As a cloud engineer, it’s important to understand how all of these logical operations work together to deliver rich content and resources. On a related note, engineers should know how software-defined technologies are directly impacted by today’s API architecture.
- Security, Security, and More Security. A new area of security has been created to directly address cloud security challenges. Solutions like a next-generation firewall are making their ways into the modern data center. IPS/IDS, DLP, application firewalls, and virtual security appliances all fall into the next-generation security conversation. It’s no wonder that the folks at Palo Alto Networks and Checkpoint are doing so well. There is a big need for cloud engineers who understand the intricate workings of LAN, WAN, and cloud services security models. Beyond next-gen security topics, security virtualization has become a big hit with clouds. Engineers must understand that security in the cloud is absolutely no longer only at the physical layer. New types of virtual appliances and software services are enhancing the way organizations secure and protect their data.
The evolution of the cloud will continue to evolve the IT person as well. There’s no doubt that proliferation of cloud services will push engineers and architects to understand new technologies that will optimize their infrastructure. There is a boom in data center cloud services. There are more cloud connection points, and now with “fog computing,” engineers are really bringing massive amounts of content to the user and to the edge.
As you evolve your own cloud career, always make sure to stay innovative and keep pace with the speed of technology. Unlike even a few years ago, the speed of innovation is much greater than it ever was before. Architects and engineers are no longer in silos. Rather, they must interact with other engineers, the end-user, and in many cases, the entire business organization.