Why do you need to learn from Infra domain knowledge as certified Cloud Professional ?
In the current IT World Cloud computing became regular practice for any IT Professional. Any cloud services we use, we need to know the current/traditional infrastructure setup. But every IT professional may not have that background/knowledge to understand. Because in this industry each of us played different roles.
The Infra activities handled IT Professional only will come to know this knowledge and will have experience. But the industry needs every IT employee need to know this knowledge apart from the Cloud service provider [Ex: AWS, Azure, GC, etc..] products operations. [Eventhough, if you are a certified Solutions architect with that Cloud service provider.]
Then only whoever the professionals are certified they will be able to use these products/services and implement them under cloud setup. Hence the Infra domain knowledge or experience is mandated for every IT professional who is working for Cloud services or in that infra setup. I have been hearing during Cloud professionals recruitment the interviewers are keeping some questions on this area also. If one understand the Network domain setup then only they will be able to design the Cloud architecture. Hence more employers are worried to have this domain knowledge with the Certified and recruited Cloud professionals.
I have started a Cloud Practices group to educate/share the IT professionals with this domain knowledge. The below link can be used to join/apply:
Many people might feel the Cloud Architect and DevOps Architect can play dual roles. As per my observation yes, many small and medium level organizations are utilizing the IT Professionals in the same manner. I wrote a blog for these roles segregation with their main Activities. I felt this might help to some of the practitioners.
With reference to my previous blog on Cloud Architect role comparison with DevOps, there were questions on DevOps architect role comparison.
Identifying the Sprint cycles for different projects.
Identifying the different environments needs including the different test levels requirements.
Plan/design the environment specifications to build Infrastructure As A Code [IAC] and guide the DevOps Engineers.
At the same time he/she need to collaborate with the Cloud Architect to seek the permissions/approvals to utilize the cloud environment on these environmental requirements/setup.
Both these architects need to measure the cost of this Infrastructure to estimate and get approval from the management.
The DevOps Architect is also responsible to plan for different production deployments. He/She need to work together with the Cloud Architect to establish this setup.
In the current trend the containerization is accelerating with Cloud technology. Both these architects need to keep working on these areas to reduce the Virtual Machines cost by replacing with containers. At the same time these two people need to think on converting the applications into Microservices slowly with the Agile methods. This will have easy maintenance in future and also the further cost can be reduced in view of infrastructure and the man power. And their guidelines need to submit to management as a proposal. These two people are also responsible to upgrade their teams skills on the new trends in Cloud technology.
If you ask me the question who are the team members for these roles;
DevOps Engineers will report to DevOps Architect.
Cloud/system engineer reports to Cloud Architect.
So these architects need to manage their teams well in view of their skills augmentation and the tasks rolling as per the DevOps Speed/Velocity concepts.
What kind of IT Professionals can be converted into DevOps Architect ?
Basically, the DevOps activities are related to more on Practices and Culture. If your background is related to the below areas in the past, your profile might suit to convert by learning the above mentioned skills.
You might have worked on Deployment areas
Worked in release management
Worked in Development processes implementation areas.
You should be savvy in implementing the Agile/Scrum/Lean practices.
You should have worked as a Servant leadership role also. [Even as a Scrum master]. In many cases this role is responsible to mentor the teams on different practices implementation by gearing up the teams to follow DevOps Velocity.
You should have worked in Identifying the retrospective issues very well and implemented the improvements in different Sprint cycles.
He/she should be savvy in learning new technology and transform the knowledge to the teams well. This knowledge should be very simple on the tools features related areas and how they can utilize them in their setup ? How they can reduce the efforts and cost to the company with a ROI Demonstration. They need to prove it to management with a POC.
This person is responsible to show some ROI as Cloud Architect does it on DevOps New practices implementation.
The DevOps Architect reports to the DevOps Practices head or CIO or CTO. Where as the Cloud Architect reports to CIO or CTO. Depends on the size of the organization, there can be Chief Cloud architect also, where all the Cloud architects report to this position.
Why the DevOps practice team is required to involve in Infra cloud planning?
I was talking to some clients recently on the importance of Cloud migration activities planning. I have come with some guidelines for them as part of my engagement. Some of my guidelines given to them, I would like to share as below.
When the DevOps practice team need to do the infra setup for a cloud migration they also need to participate on the identification of Infra activities and the specifications. Which is very essential.
This need to be done as initial step with any Cloud services migration.
As per my opinion we can work with any cloud services like; AWS/AZURE/Google Cloud, etc., by having the above activity as mandatory.
The attached blog/Video contains the same discussion with the details of the steps required to setup a Virtual Private Cloud. The VPC nomenclature we might have seen with AWS. But similar setup or name cane be there with other Cloud service providers also.
Once this VPC is created the systems are going to be hosted on Cloud.
The Ops team’s responsibility is; to make sure the Cloud migration is correctly and completely done for all the live setup.
At the same time they also need to conduct a pilot testing activity successfully which is mandated as per the Agile Projects management [Agile PM] standards before they announce go live.
They also need to do a parallel run along with the past production setup with a new cloud setup for few weeks.
Below URL contains the initial planning discussion as mentioned:
How A Cloud architect is different from DevOps practices ?
We have been watching on lot of FB Groups and ad sites as “learn DevOps/AWS”. In general everybody believe with these stickers/posters they need to learn AWS and DevOps together is a must for any Modern technology professional.
When we talk about AWS and DevOps they are two different work streams.
Now, one might get the below questions in their mind.
Is a Cloud Architect need to be expert to work on DevOps activities also ?
What are the activities related to Cloud architect ?
Why the Cloud architect need not bother on DevOps ?
Now, let us analyze them as below:
The role of the cloud architect is to migrate the existing IT infrastructure setup into the cloud services. The cloud services can be AWS or Azure or Google cloud [GC] or Alibaba, etc.
From the below picture one can have clarity if they have experience in traditional Infrastructure building practice.
This role need to understand clearly on the usage of those vendor related [AWS/AZURE/GC/Alibaba] cloud services and should have command on mapping the current traditional infrastructure setup to map to the cloud services and plan/design for its transformation with the additional benefits to the management in view of cost and easy operation.
Once the modern application architecture/infrastructure in cloud is operational, then the management can think of introducing the DevOps practices.
To work on DevOps practices, each Cloud services vendor provides their own setup or tools at different processes or pipeline stages. To do these tasks a separate role professionals are required, who are called DevOps Engineers. At this point the role of the cloud Architect is he/she can guide them on the available infrastructure with the Cloud vendor. As per the Cloud architect planning/guidelines the DevOps engineers need to adopt the relevant tools/processes. Basically all the setup is going to be on IAC [Infrastructure As A Code] technics. There can be Configuration tools to create the IAC for different environments. At this point the Cloud architect can monitor these tools implementation as a part of cloud infrastructure implementation.
So, the Cloud architect do not need to make his/her fingers dirty with tools/commands to implement the DevOps processes.
For example; If you read the roles of AWS with different certifications, they mention Solution Architect [SA] separately from DevOps engineer role. They have multiple roles like; Sys ops, Developer, etc. All these roles need to be expert in making their fingers dirty with the relevant AWS services usage/implementation efficiently and effectively . But here the Cloud Architect [which is SA in view of AWS] role is to monitor on their activities only. He/She doesn’t need to put the fingers into techie stuff.
Hope I have given clarity for the above questions.
I get lot of enquiries; as they want to do AWS/DevOps both the courses together. I understood due to lot of training vendors are making their posters on social for their business, these experienced professionals are getting confusion as they need to learn both.
Now, I would like to ask the below questions to you as this blog reader after the above understanding;
Do a modern technology professional need to learn Cloud services and also the DevOps as mandatory ? [Ex: Which is DevOps/AWS].
Answer:It is not. They can choose One route only. If he/she came from the real work experience of Sysadmin/Sys engineer role, the past experiences need to be utilized efficiently in IT Industry. Hence the Scalable role is Cloud architect. In view of AWS it is SA. But they need to have very good command in understanding the traditional architecture and also the cloud services to establish a well suited conversion plan. This role person is responsible to show ROI [Return On Investment] also to the management.
You can also compare the SAA Salary among all the roles being played with AWS:
See the difference on the salary amounts to seek your role as per your professional potentiality.