How to retool your IT skills for the cloud

By , CIO |  IT Management

Eucalyptus's Knosp says the systems administrator will become a cloud administrator. "The cloud administrator will combine a variety of different skillsets around systems administration, virtualization, storage and network administration," he says. "The role will be multifaceted. They'll have some level of responsibility for design of the cloud environment. They'll have definite responsibility for administration and ongoing management."

Rich Wolski, CTO and co-founder of Eucalyptus Software, said he believes IT professionals currently working in infrastructure management roles (systems administrators, storage administrators, network administrators) will be able to make the transition to cloud administrator.

"The trend in data center management and construction has been towards automation," he says. "The cloud is sort of the epitome of that automation. Administrators have been going down this path step by step for a decade or more."


Organizations migrating their applications and infrastructure to the cloud will need cloud architects to help set and drive that strategy, says Knosp. Cloud architects will bring together their knowledge of cloud computing, enterprise architecture, storage, networking and virtualization to develop and execute the cloud strategy.

Ernst & Young's Nichols says cloud architects will also be responsible for figuring out how to integrate disparate cloud applications while maintaining performance and service levels. He adds that the role of the cloud architect will be critical inside organizations once approximately 30% of an organization's IT infrastructure is in the cloud.

Capacity Planners

Capacity planners' role becomes much more important —and more difficult —in a cloud environment. They're trying to predict an organization's need for IT resources, such as bandwidth or server capacity, so that users have the computing power they need when they need it. Accurately forecasting this demand for IT resources is critical because it impacts budgets, but it becomes a much harder task in the cloud, says Golden, because workloads are much more volatile and much less visible. "Your forecasting window is a lot shorter, and the variability of the load is a lot higher," he says.

Vendor Managers

Cloud computing changes the vendor managers' role in two significant ways:

First, the vendors with which they'll be working will change.

"A lot of IT organizations, especially at very large companies, have been used to using the largest of the large consultants, outsourcing suppliers, software vendors and hardware vendors. 80% of their spend is with the very large providers," says Nichols. "When you move to the cloud, you'll have a lot of small companies providing services in ways that haven't been done before."

Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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