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What is a Cloud Architect and how do you become one? It seems like an easy question, but the answer can be elusive. A cloud architect is someone who understands how to design and deploy solutions based on various deployment models in the cloud. It is someone who knows how to use data, compute power, storage, and networking capabilities of different providers to deliver a solution that meets business needs.
Cloud architects are becoming more important as businesses move their operations into the cloud-based world. They also manage architecture for private clouds or hybrid environments where some applications are hosted inside company walls while others reside outside of them in public or private clouds. We’ll take you through what it takes to become one – so keep reading!
What are the requirements to become a Cloud Architect?
To become a cloud architect, formal training and experience in networking and systems design, database administration, or software development is required to round out your skillset. You need good writing and communication skills for designing blueprints of logical architectural models that can be translated into physical designs as well as the ability to work with people at all levels—both technical staff who will implement your plans but also non-technical planners who may not understand what you are talking about!
You’ll want a lot of on-the-job experience too! Cloud architects typically start by managing smaller projects before they get promoted to senior architect roles where they manage large cloud deployments across multiple locations. Gaining your AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certificate may not secure you the job, but it’s a great way to get started.
Cloud Architects Also need:
- Deep understanding of cloud computing fundamentals: They need to know about the various deployment models such as public, private, or hybrid cloud.
- Strong communications skills: They need to be able to understand and communicate the needs of their business partners, non-technical managers who are responsible for allocating budgets, as well as IT staff who will execute on those plans.
- Experience designing or deploying network infrastructures: They’ll know how data enters a company’s system with subnets and virtual local area networks (VLANs), what happens when that traffic hits an intranet router, where it might go once inside the firewall, and more importantly – they’ll have experience building out these systems.
- Knowledge of computing power: A cloud architect should not only know about different processors but also GPUs. Understanding the various workloads running in your environment is essential in making sure you’re getting enough resources allocated appropriately.
- Experience designing or deploying storage infrastructures: Cloud Architects should have a good idea of where data can be stored (in-house on servers that you manage), but they’ll also understand public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services. And while it’s not essential for everyone to remember all those acronyms used by different providers, it’s helpful to know the basic ones like IOPS (input/output operations per second), EBS (Amazon Elastic Block Store), and SMI-S (Storage Management Initiative – Standards).
- Experience designing or deploying networks: They’ll understand network protocols such as TCP/IP. A Cloud architect should also be familiar with data encryption standards and routing, switching and firewall technologies.
- Knowledge of operating systems: A Cloud Architect should understand how to work with the various operating systems that are used in an environment.
- Knowledge of storage technologies: They’ll need knowledge of storage virtualization and replication as well as backup and recovery, so they’re able to ensure data is safe even when it’s accessed from multiple locations and devices.
- Experience designing or deploying application infrastructures: A cloud architect should be skilled at testing for performance bottlenecks—such as slow response times on web servers due to inadequate bandwidth speed—and recommending appropriate changes such as adding RAM or moving service providers.
- Practical understanding of security principles: The job isn’t done until you’ve implemented a solid cybersecurity strategy. That means knowing about things like authentication methods (e.g. passwords, tokens) and encryption standards for data in transit.
- Experience designing or deploying a disaster recovery strategy: They should be able to understand how to plan for disasters such as power outages and natural events like hurricanes by keeping multiple copies of backup data securely stored offsite.
- Knowledge of server virtualization: Cloud architects will need knowledge about the different types of hypervisors available on the market today including VMware ESXI, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, and more. They also need experience building out servers using these products – and troubleshooting them when something goes wrong.
- Experience managing large-scale data center infrastructure deployments: This includes product knowledge of things like Cisco Nexus switches, Arista and Juniper routers, and IDC backbone networks.
- Experience in development: They’ll have a good understanding of how to work with the latest computing languages – including Python and Ruby on Rails – as well as frameworks for cloud applications such as Apache Hadoop.
- Ability to write effective documentation: When you’re leading large-scale projects it’s important to be able to articulate your ideas effectively. That means being able to write documentation that’s clear and easy for other people in the organization—from developers to executives to understand.
- Practical understanding of technical security principles: Cloud architects will have a good idea about how various types of malware present on an endpoint might be detected through antivirus software or sandboxing techniques.
What does a Cloud Architect do?
A Cloud Architect is a senior-level position in the IT industry that designs, builds and maintains cloud infrastructures for companies. They can work on projects from the ground up or with existing data centers to make them more efficient through scaling out, auto-scaling, automation services like AWS OpsWorks, and much more.
How do you become a Cloud Architect?
It takes experience – both working in IT as well as managing large-scale deployments—to qualify for this job. You must be someone with knowledge of all aspects of building an application infrastructure including how to best utilize storage technologies like object storage systems (e.g. Amazon Simple Storage Service) and databases such as MySQL/Oracle and operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and even more. You will need to understand how to best build out disaster recovery strategies as well as security for data in transit.
How important is the Cloud Architect’s role?
The Cloud Architect role is an important job as it encompasses all aspects of building out a cloud infrastructure. This includes choosing the best technologies for your company, scaling up or down to handle different loads, and much more.
This is a very important role as it encompasses all aspects of how to design and build an application infrastructure for your company. It requires knowledge of the latest technologies, best practices in scaling out and auto-scaling to handle different loads, as well as data security.
When you land a job as a cloud architect, you will be required to choose the best technologies for your company, scale up or down depending on different loads and data security needs. This is a lucrative job, but one that has a lot of responsibility. When you work hard, focus on your responsibilities, network and help others grow, there is a good chance that you will soon become a celebrated cloud architect.
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