Cloud computing has become one of the most important fields in technology. Amazon Web Services, the largest provider in the industry, launched its cloud computing solution in 2006. Since then, the cloud has grown to the point that more than 94% of enterprises use it in some way. If you want to build a career in this field, one of your many options is to become a cloud administrator.
What Is a Cloud Administrator?
A cloud administrator is an IT professional charged with developing, maintaining, and managing cloud computing resources. In other words, this role is focused on ensuring organizations have seamless access to all their cloud-based systems. Below are a few key responsibilities of a cloud administrator:
- Provisioning new cloud systems and ensuring they are appropriately connected to other computing resources
- Maintaining cloud systems through the application of updates, setting permissions, and deploying services
- Monitoring network performance and making data-based decisions to maximize performance, security and reliability
- Defining, implementing, and enforcing policies for the management of cloud-based systems
- Protecting cloud-based resources with firewalls and anti-malware solutions as well as identity, credential, and access management
What To Expect
In most organizations, the cloud administrator is a mid-level position. Depending on the size of the organization, this role may report to the chief technology officer, a vice president, director, or a senior cloud administrator.
Typically, a cloud administrator will have had work experience in a junior IT or systems administration role. This may be directly related, such as an associate cloud administrator, or indirectly related, such as a network administrator. Eventually, someone in the associate cloud administrator role may earn a promotion to senior cloud administrator, cloud engineer principal, director of cloud technology or a similar role.
How Do I Become a Cloud Administrator?
Typically, to become a cloud administrator, you need to have a degree in a relevant field such as computer science or information systems. You’ll probably want to have a master’s degree or three to five years of experience in systems administration or information technology. Prior experience as an associate cloud administrator is ideal, but other roles are often acceptable including systems administration and help desk.
The Key Skills Needed for Cloud Administration
Beyond education and experience, a strong candidate for a cloud administrator role should demonstrate skills in key competency areas for cloud computing. This includes, but is not limited to, working with Unix, Linux, Windows, virtualization, data management, network administration, and IT infrastructure.
Naturally, the requirements of a specific position may vary. However, working to develop the following will also help better prepare you for your cloud career:
- Systems Administration: You should be familiar with Unix-based systems and Windows. Many organizations use Linux in the cloud (although Windows Server is also popular).
- Virtual Machines: Cloud solutions rely on virtualization to create computing instances. Understanding how to provision and manage VMs is a must.
- Databases: Many organizations store data in the cloud. This can include SQL Server, MySQL, MariaDB, NoSQL and similar database technologies.
- Cybersecurity: Although some organizations may have cyber security specialists, cloud administrators should have a basic understanding of key security concepts such as firewall implementation and maintenance, encryption, and ICAM are all important in cloud environments.
In addition to the above, you should have a strong understanding of the top cloud providers (AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform). Make sure you brush up on other skills that might be important in a team or leadership setting, such as budgeting or communication practices so you can be ready for all the demands that come with being a cloud administrator.
Start Learning the Skills You Need for a Career in Cloud Technology
Are you interested in becoming a cloud administrator or following another career path in the cloud computing field? INE provides in-depth education and training in cloud computing concepts and skills.