Cloud computing allows access to software applications, data storage, as well as other services, over the Internet, rather than through physical servers. In this blog, we provide top cloud computing skills to boost your career.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is a service that makes computing services available online and does not store data on your computer or server. Cloud-based services are paid for as needed. This includes storage, the number of users, and the type of services required.
There are three types of cloud computing services.
- Infrastructure (servers and storage, as well as networking)
- Platform (databases and operating systems as well as development tools)
- Software (applications).
Cloud computing can be a great option for companies that don’t have the budget to purchase and maintain physical infrastructure. This is especially true if they don’t plan to use their databases or applications 24/7. Cloud computing is less beneficial for hospitals and other organizations that have mission-critical software on their premises.
Major cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud are able to take advantage of scales, such as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. They can offer the same service to thousands of customers, of different sizes and industries.
There are two types of skills required to manage cloud computing services: the fundamentals that are essential for everyday work, and the more advanced skills that are necessary for larger IT projects or IT management. These cloud computing skills are described in greater detail below.
Top 15 Cloud Computing Skills to Boost Your Career
Fundamental Cloud Computing Skills
These eight cloud computing skills are essential to the day-to-day work of a cloud architect or cloud engineer. These cloud computing skills will allow you to contribute to a team responsible for designing, developing, securing, and maintaining cloud services within an organization.
2. Platform Expertise
The cloud services market is dominated by Google, Microsoft, and Amazon. Cloud computing professionals need to be able to understand how each platform works. There are many cloud platforms offered by other companies, including Oracle, IBM, Dell, and Alibaba. Alibaba has a significant presence in China. Each major vendor offers a certification program. However, the Graduate Certificate in Cloud Software Development will give you a comprehensive look at all cloud platforms.
3. Choose the Right Services
Each cloud platform offers its own strengths. Amazon is a leader in infrastructure, Microsoft is well-known for software, Google integrates with other vendors’ products, IBM focuses on artificial Intelligence, Cisco Systems is a leader in networks, and so forth. You need to be able to evaluate different platforms and choose the best one for your particular needs in order to work with cloud services.
4. Management of an Integrated Environment
Platforms have distinct strengths and organizations will not use one cloud platform. Cloud computing professionals are highly skilled in data integration across multiple platforms. This is particularly true for companies that use cloud services in conjunction with legacy client-server applications. A multi-cloud strategy can be beneficial for redundancy as it provides an option to a company in case of a down cloud service.
5. Maintaining Databases
It is not the same thing as having data stored in the cloud. There are many challenges, including storage limitations, security, performance, and data protection. Gorton states that vendors often offer a range of databases. Some are better suited to analyzing large files, while others are more suitable for processing transactions. Cloud computing professionals must understand which databases and services are best suited for a specific business need.
6. Managing a Network
Cloud engineers need to be able to manage multiple cloud services. Different networks can be used for different cloud services, just like databases. Organizations may require employees to log in to a virtual private network to gain access to applications that contain sensitive information, such as financial reports and personnel files. Services such as videoconferencing, however, might be routed to a different network due to performance requirements. Effective network management will become an increasingly important skill in cloud computing as more workers work remotely following COVID-19.
7. Secure the Cloud Environment
It takes a lot of attention to ensure that cloud services are secure for an organization. It is not enough to just secure data; organizations must also protect the applications that access the data, as well as the servers where they run. It is important to secure all devices that transmit data to the cloud, including the smartphones and tablets in employees’ hands as well as the sensors that transmit data from the hospital. You can keep your organization ahead of major threats by staying on top of emerging cybersecurity trends.
8. Adapting to New Roles and Technologies
Cloud computing has made it possible to shift away from traditional IT specializations. Although an onsite data center may include a network administrator, storage engineer, security analyst, system administrator, and network engineer, IT professionals today need to feel comfortable with each of these roles. They also need to be able to take on additional responsibilities as needed or learn new technologies.
Advanced Cloud Computing Skills
These skills can be applied to long-term cloud computing projects an organization will likely undertake as it matures its use of cloud services. These skills will allow you to demonstrate your cloud expertise and will enable you to take on additional responsibilities that will enhance your career in cloud computing.
9. Migrating Data
Two main types of data migration to the cloud are: Moving an older (or legacy) app from an onsite server into the cloud or moving to another cloud platform. Cloud professionals need to be the ability to map and assess their infrastructure and understand the data migration process of each cloud platform. They also need to indicate where data was moved to while making sure that no data is lost.
10. Automating key tasks
Cloud services offer automation as a key benefit. Software that can input data and determine the next action to take in response, the end-user does not have to make this decision. This further increases efficiency. This automation can only be programmed if you are proficient in artificial intelligence and machine learning. They allow the creation of complex algorithms that aid computers in making decisions. To automate multiple tasks, you must also know the cloud architecture of your organization. This includes which systems interconnect with each other and depend on each other.
11. Designing Distributed Systems
Gorton states that cloud computing is not about creating new systems but more about using existing services to put together systems. Gorton says that assembling these distributed systems, so named because they have different resources, requires many skills. These skills include the ability to predict and monitor system performance and compare attributes of different services or data models.
12. Managing Change
It is important to know how to create plans to migrate data, bring a new database online or establish a new connection to the network. The plans should contain a step-by-step process and a fallback option that allows the project to be returned to its original state in case of problems. These plans can be used by organizations for site changes like server migrations and network upgrades. However, updates will be required to accommodate the cloud.
13. Estimating Cost and Workload
Gorton states that cloud service providers must have the ability to estimate workload and cost. Organizations can expect to incur overages if they exceed their data limit or require more computing power for data analysis. Gorton also mentions “orphaned resource”, which is a term that refers to features that have been created, lost, or re-created at an organization’s expense. Cost savings can be achieved by monitoring whether features are not being used.
14. Analyzing and Measuring
Employers are looking for candidates who have a strong understanding of metrics and analytics. Organizations using third-party cloud service providers to monitor application performance are important because this helps them ensure that they get the best value for their money. A network engineer might be asked to evaluate and compare cloud-based communication services in order to replace landline telephones. Cloud computing skills include understanding which metrics are important to distinguish a service or which features will be most expensive in the long term.
Cloud computing careers require soft skills beyond technical knowledge. These skills include communication and decision-making skills. As they assess cloud platforms for their department (or entire company), internal stakeholders will look to you for guidance. It is important that you are able to clearly explain the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Cloud engineers who work in customer-driven fields like retail and travel need to feel comfortable speaking directly with vendors, especially when they are having problems or negotiating new service contracts.