Cloud Services Uncategorized

Skills Needed for Building Clouds

By Mike
Global Cloud Architect, VMware


As many have read
in the past, VMware is hiring like mad for the cloud team. We continue to
expand at a rapid pace to meet all of the demand around the world for our cloud
products and services. As I get out and recruit more people for the team I
often get asked what skills one needs to build or architect a cloud. Even
customers that we pitch cloud to on the service provider or enterprise side ask
what kinds of people or skills they need in order to start building their own
clouds. I usually break it down into the three hardest parts of building up a
cloud service:


1) Networking
– Networking is about the most complex piece of VMware's cloud tools. Our
product manager likes to call it "flexible" which it really is (and
powerful) but it's also complex. Giving end users the ability to configure
their own network segments on-the-fly complete with VLAN IDs is something that
would scare most network admins and yet this is something that we need to
tackle to get to "true cloud". I usually suggest to customers that
they go and engage their network team early on in the cloud building process
and then recruit the best of the networking engineers to be on the cloud team.


2) Storage –
Storage is another area that can get complex. How do you make it so end users
don't have to care about the underlying storage and yet land on the right
volume from a performance perspective? And don't even get me started on
movement of data from one place to another or backup. All of these things are
going to require an ace storage engineer on the cloud team.


3) Programming
Skills – You don't need some uber code monkey on the team but you do need
someone that understands APIs, how to use them, and how you would go about
plugging everything together. Automation is the name of the game in the guts of
cloud and that's why tools like BMC Atrium Orchestrator, VMware vCenter
Orchestrator, and HPOO have become centerpieces in the cloud. Most of these are
based on Java or Javascript so find someone who can at least start there. And
since nearly everything in cloud land seems to be going the path of REST it
would be great to get someone that knows that and XML really well.


So those are
my three core skill sets that I tell people to go out and find. There are more
you could add to the list such as security or billing or portal design but
those can be from people that augment the core team. If you find people in the
above core skill sets then you'll be well on your way to architecting a
successful cloud build out.


20 comments have been added so far

  1. An excellent step for successful career in I.T industry is VCP Certification. Lot of revolution in every arena, especially in the software industry, has increased the popularity of virtual machines and vice versa it caused a major uplift in value of VM ware certified professionals. Today people are more clever than machines.

  2. I’d add one thing to this list, security. I don’t consider security a “networking” function as my experience is that most traditional networking experts don’t understand the “big picture” when it comes to how all of these pieces come together to form a cloud. You can’t secure what you can’t fully understand and with networking, applications, storage and APIs all taking place to provide the final solution, security needs to be though as net that is woven though all aspects of the solution.

  3. @Paul Security is definitely something that needs to be addressed and it gets a lot of attention in the cloud. I’ll make sure to do a much longer posting about security and cloud and what we’re seeing with partners and customers soon. I can’t do the topic justice in a comment reply.
    You did hit the main point of this post in your first sentence – a lot of people have trouble seeing the big picture. The 3 skills I mention above really should be in each person on the team. For example, on my team I don’t have someone that’s just networking or just storage or just programming. You need to have all 3 of those skill sets or you’re not on the cloud team. What’s great about being picky like that is most of the time people bring the networking, storage, and everything else security knowledge with them when they have those skills so as you say security gets “woven through all aspects of the solution”.
    Keep watching the blog as I promise I’ll do my best to get a good security post up soon.

  4. Interesting post. Its an excellent step for successful career in I.T industry by doing VCP Certification. There has been increased popularity of virtual machines in the software industry. It has caused a major uplift in value of VM ware certified professionals. Today people are more clever than machines.

  5. I agree with Paul, security is a big part of the job in IT today. All of us need to look at the big picture to determine where we fit in the overall infrastructure and department.

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