Chris J Powell

In the Forecast….a lot of Cloud Part 2

I had every intention of only talking about how the Cloud has changed the landscape within an IT Department today but at the end of the day yesterday my employer did something completely unexpected!


During our Monthly Company Meeting that outlines the successes of all the departments in the organization, I was awarded the coveted X-Factor.  To give some insight, this is an award that is given to the person who exemplifies our company values:

1. Deliver Extraordinary Value
2. Expect Excelence
3. Act with Integrity
4. Get Things Done
5. Enjoy the Work We Do

Now it may not seem like much but for some time but I have always tried to do more than my fair share both for myself and for those around me.  Lately after diving into the great Napoleon Hill’s ground breaking work “Laws of Success” I really focused on Law 9 – Always Do More than You are Paid For.  For my efforts in April and for the past years I was awarded a brand new iPad 2…yes the dominance of Android in my home is over and I am a convert to the ways of Steve Jobs (so far)…more on my experience with the iPad next week though.

The roles in a modern IT Department have been shifting.  The call for more Agility and Alignment with the Business are all around but in my opinion even more daunting is the change that Virtualization and the Cloud are having on the department.

Yesterday I wrote about the OSS Cloud Software called Eucalyptus and on their site they give some amazing insights into the changes that are occurring as the Data Center Shrinks.

The image above is a complete Data Center at one of my clients (my daughter and I visited their facility last summer).  It is completely managed by one person thanks to the value added by Virtualization.

“Evolution or Revolution? Cloud Computing brings new tools and operational methodologies that enable IT professionals to more quickly satisfy the ever-growing demands of their users. The adoption of cloud computing also implies the emergence of new roles and responsibilities within IT management as the need for specialized skills in cloud deployment, management, and utilization continues to grow.”

Now this is even more true when it comes to the change in individual roles within a larger IT Department and bridges a digital divide and connects and overlaps with many of the traditional roles.  The following is directly from the Eucalyptus Site:

System Administrator
The skills and duties of a System Administrator are wide ranging and typically a ‘sysadmin’ is called upon to perform a range of duties within a small group setting. These duties involve the planning, implementation and maintenance of servers/hosts, along with the services hosted on these servers.
Computer Operator
The duties of a Computer Operator relate to day-to-day maintenance activities, and are viewed by some as a junior System Administrator.
Network Administrator
The skill set of the Network Administrator tends to be specific to the managing of the network fabric to ensure proper and reliable communication between computing resources and users. There can be wide variation in the responsibilities of Network Administrators, as individuals can specialize in authentication, intrusion detection, performance, network based services (e.g., file servers), or drivers on desktop computers — to name a few specialized responsibilities.
Storage Administrator
The responsiblities of a Storage Administrator is more loosely defined. In general, they are responsible for the design, implementation and maintenance of the storage infrastructure with an organization. Based upon the organizations choice of storage (DAS, NAS, SAN, etc), their skill sets tend to be specialized.
Data Base Administrator
A Data Base Administrator is responsible for the design, implementation, and maintenance of a database. Within the realm of database systems, this role is akin to a system administrator. See
End User
An End User uses applications running on instances created by the Cloud Application Architect in the cloud. Thus an End User may actually be unaware that the application they are using is located in the cloud
Code Developer
A Code Developer (not to be confused with a ‘cloud developer’) may be either a Cloud User (when they want to fully control the environment they want to use) or the End User (when they use instances created for them by the Cloud Application Architect).
Managers influence the direction of the enterprise, including deciding if and when to move IT into the cloud. They directly or indirectly work with all other IT roles.
Cloud Architect
The Cloud Architect will determine when and how a private cloud meets the policies and needs of an organization’s strategic goals. The Cloud Architect is also responsible for designing the private cloud, understanding and evaluating the technologies and vendors needed to deploy the private cloud.
Cloud Administrator
A Cloud Administrator is responsible for the implementation, monitoring and maintenance of the cloud within the organization. Typically this role also involves the implementation of service level agreements (SLA) for permissions, access, quotas, etc. as required by an organization&rslquo;s policies. The Cloud Administrator works directly with System, Network and Cloud Storage Administrators.
Cloud Service Manager
The Cloud Service Manager design the policies, rules and pricing model (SLA) for every cloud resource available within the organization. The SLA will need to stay current with the organization’s policies, rules and priorities, thus the Cloud Service Manager works with the management to receive directions and with the Cloud Administrator to implement the SLAs.
Cloud Data Architect
The cloud offers many different types of storage with possibly different SLAs associated with each of them. The Cloud Data Architect makes sure that an application in the cloud is using these different storage types appropriately, and that the application is taking full advantage of the properties of each type of cloud storage.
Cloud Storage Administrator
The Cloud Storage Administrator writes SLAs for the various groups and users (maps space, bandwidth, and reliability of the various cloud storage to the various groups/users), to ensure SLAs stay in compliance with current policies and that SLAs are met and respected. The Cloud Storage Administrator works directly with the Storage, Network and Cloud Administrators.
Cloud Application Architect
The Cloud Application Architect is responsible for adapting, porting or deploying an application to a target cloud. They work closely with end users to ensure that an application’s performance, reliability and security are all maintained throughout the life-cycle of the application. The architect’s skills draw from both system administration experience (to tune the underlying OS and to act as System Administrator on instances) and from domain specific expertise (to tune the application and understand end user needs). Typically there is one architect per application domain who works closely with the Cloud Data Architect and the Cloud Administrators.
Cloud Operator
The duties of a Cloud Operator tend to relate to day-to-day cloud maintenance and monitoring activities and are considered by most as a junior Cloud Administrator.
Cloud User
A Cloud User has access to compute resources (pre-packaged images, instances, volumes, buckets etc.) within a cloud, and are generally granted System Administrator privileges to the instances they start. Cloud Users may work with a Cloud Architect to tune specific applications, but often use the images provide to them independently.
Cloud Developer
Cloud Developers develop for the cloud infrastructure itself. This can be a developer working on a client tool (such as the euca2ools suite) or a system component such as the Eucalyptus Cloud Controller. Typically Cloud Developer’s work independently, though they may interact with the Cloud Administrator during debugging sessions.

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