The market for cloud processes is growing every year and with it the demand for cloud professionals like cloud automation engineer who specializes in building and maintaining virtual infrastructure.
Today, the IT industry is rapidly adding new cloud professions and “modifying” old ones. According to a 2018 RightScale report, 81% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy, and 38% of enterprises see the public cloud as their top priority in 2018 (up from 29% in 2017). The report also found that jobs for cloud architects increased that year (from 56% in 2017 to 61% in 2018).
The IT infrastructure market is constantly changing. Today, everyone is talking about digital transformation, virtual infrastructure, and personal data regulation. These are the challenges and tasks that core professionals and IaaS providers are called upon to address.
In order to effectively allocate responsibilities and resources between them, business managers and HR directors have to understand what’s behind the names of professions like “cloud anything,” and understand the levels of responsibility of such specialists and outsourcing companies.
Who Is a Cloud Automation Engineer?
Cloud developers like normal software developers are responsible for creating and deploying web applications. However, they must be a kind of multi-tasker. Job descriptions of cloud application developer jobs include requirements such as project management skills, cloud automation expertise, expertise in software architecture, and proficiency in several programming languages (Java is often mentioned). Essentially, they build and improve the tools that the business ends up using in the cloud. Examples include Cloud Automation Engineer and cloud management automation specialist.
Cloud platforms serve various web services and companies that develop their own digital products: medical clinics, universities, Internet providers, marketplaces, housing reservation services. Each service has its own tasks and requirements. And the cloud automation engineer must make sure that the service in the cloud works flawlessly. Cloud automation engineer is responsible for the design, cloud resource management, and maintenance of cloud infrastructure, security, and planning.
Tasks are versatile, sometimes it may be required to develop cloud software or carry out a migration of an existing solution to the cloud, sometimes software maintenance is enough – it all depends on the company’s requirements. But more often, a business is looking for a “universal soldier” who can implement software, write a script, and create a disaster recovery plan to keep the company running smoothly.
The cloud automation engineer also talks a lot with customers to learn their needs, with developers to discuss changes, and with colleagues to get help or experience.
What Is Cloud Automation?
Cloud automation is the process of using orchestration to automatically align work tasks and distribute workloads across cloud computing resources. Cloud automation helps organizations deploy new projects quickly without having to go through lengthy procurement processes.
Cloud Automation Services Providers That Are Popular in the Market Today:
1) IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service. IaaS providers provide the customer with computing infrastructure (servers, data storage, operating systems, and network resources) to deploy and run their own software solutions. This option will suit companies with different needs in resources at different moments of time – there are bursts of demand, but they gradually fall down (or the organization grows rapidly, and there is a problem of constant scaling of infrastructure). Also, IaaS will be the optimal solution when a company does not have enough money to build its own infrastructure.
2) PaaS – “platform as a service”. A cloud service provider provides the customer with a ready-made software environment and tools for its configuration. The elements of PaaS are hardware, operating system, DBMS, middleware, testing, and development tools. A customer can customize such a platform to their needs, making it a platform for software testing or, for example, a system to automate a management system. This kind of service is especially popular among software developers.
3) SaaS – “software as a service”. The developer of a software platform provides the client with remote access to it. For example, it is the SaaS model, according to which Microsoft provides the clients with MS Office Suite (Office Web Apps) along with SharePoint Server, Exchange Server, and other services and applications. Also according to the SaaS model is provided mail service Gmail and cloud version 1C.
4) DRaaS – “disaster recovery as a service”. An option for providing disaster-resistant solutions using a cloud provider. Data from the customer’s main site is replicated to the cloud provider’s site. If the customer’s services fail, they are restarted within minutes, but already in the cloud. Such solutions are especially interesting for companies with a large number of business-critical applications.
5) BaaS – “backup as a service. As follows from the acronym, this refers to backing up the client’s data to the cloud provider. The provider provides not only storage space, but also tools for fast and reliable backup.
Major cloud providers also offer customers services such as DBaaS (“database as a service”), MaaS (“monitoring as a service”), DaaS (“desktop as a service”), STaaS (“storage as a service”), and NaaS (“network as a service”). Cloud technology makes it possible to provide enterprise customers with a full range of services that can simplify many business tasks.
The Advantages of Cloud Automation
Сloud solutions for business have a number of advantages:
- 24/7 accessibility: every user of the corporate IT system has access to information in the cloud regardless of geographic location or time of day;
- platform-independent: access is not device-dependent – it may be a personal computer at work, a workstation in “thin client” mode, a tablet, or a smartphone;
- mobility: employees can hold business meetings online, work remotely, receive and update information, and solve urgent problems while on a business trip or vacation;
- cost-effectiveness: no need to maintain equipment, hire a staff of engineers to maintain the infrastructure, spend money on electricity and cooling servers;
- flexibility: resources can be increased or decreased depending on the needs. This way, the customer doesn’t overpay for extra capacity. The cloud scales faster and more economically than a local data center;
- professional equipment: Providers buy Enterprise-class equipment and place it in data centers, which have the conditions for the work of industrial-format servers;
- reliability: it is easier for providers to organize fault tolerance for continuous operation of servers, to set up information security tools and data backup in the data center.
Cloud computing is probably the most revolutionary development in IT since virtualization. Cloud-oriented architectures offer more flexibility than previous generation systems.