A Cloud Architect is expected, among other roles, to convert the technical requirements of a project and outlay them into the architecture and design that will guide and inform the final product.
Cloud Architects also bridge the gaps between complex and technical business problems and the solutions provided by and in the cloud. He or she also works hand in hand with other members that make up the TechOps teams – which include developers and DevOps engineers – to provide and ensure the implementation of the right custom technology or technologies to solve organizational needs effectively.
Roles and responsibilities of a Cloud Architect
Do you want to start building a career as a Cloud Architect? Here are roles and responsibilities to help you define what first steps you can take to begin your career journey.
A cloud architect is responsible for overseeing a company’s cloud computing strategy.
The responsibilities that come with the role include:
- Cloud adoption plans, where you estimate and anticipate cloud infrastructure costs and meeting budgets.
- Cloud application design involves the modelling and design of the application as a suite of services (or functionalities).
- Cloud management and monitoring: Here they are tasked with IT monitoring systems, privacy, and developing incident response procedures.
- Oversee application architecture and deployment in cloud environments: including public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud.
- Act as consultants for their organization: they need to stay up to date with the latest trends and issues, whether the company is already using cloud services or is planning to migrate to the cloud.
- Understand legal aspects of cloud computing: such as negotiating cloud SLAs, and contracts and working in tandem with the legal and procurement departments to ensure the smooth running of services
Key skills required to become a Cloud Architect
Should you be thinking of jumping into the role of a Cloud Architect, you will be required to have already gained some strong background knowledge in cloud computing or a similar technical role. Some initial study or work to gain experience is recommended in the below areas before you can comfortably take on the role of a Cloud Architect.
- Networking development and administration skills: You will be required to have a fair amount of aspects such as TCP/IP, IP addresses, HTTP, and DNS. Therefore ensure that you gain some practical knowledge of these concepts before accepting a role as a Cloud Architect.
- Operating systems: It is key to gain a fairly good knowledge of at least one operating system: these include Linux, Unix, Solaris, Ubuntu, and/or Windows. Preference is for any Linux operating system such as Red Hat or Ubuntu. If you have gained some industry experience as a system admin or architect in the handling of the famous more utilized operating systems then you will have an upper hand.
- Understand different cloud systems such as Azure/AWS/GCP
- Computer programming languages: Five Programming Languages are recommended for any aspiring Cloud Architect to learn including Python, Golang, Ruby, Java, and ASP.NET. A minimal understanding of programming or scripting languages may not be a must, but you will definitely need it when building and automating using scripts.
- The use and implementation of tools and platforms including but not limited to Hadoop, Spark, Kafka or Kubernetes, and SQL/NoSQL databases.
- Security is everything: Since everybody is moving to the cloud, this also makes it a premium target for hackers and other rogue tech users. Having good knowledge of cyber security in the cloud is paramount and compulsory. Therefore as a skilled Cloud Architect, you will be required to have some initial knowledge of some basic security concepts, such as firewalls, etc.
What is the difference between a Cloud Engineer and a Cloud Architect?
Confused about the role of a Cloud Architect and a Cloud Engineer? Well, they both work within the cloud-based computing systems industry and require comparable training and years of experience because their tasks are similar in many ways.
As a first thing, Cloud engineers take on all aspects of any cloud-based system and therefore work to ensure Cloud Architects have access to properly designed cloud-based servers, where the architects would then focus on creating the system designs.
Cloud Engineers on the other hand are tasked with the cloud-based computing systems infrastructure and they thus provide documentation that details and outlines the design of their systems. They are required to have a deeper and wider role as they work on both computer hardware and software simultaneously. They would also need excellent knowledge of different operating systems and programming languages, such as Python, and be familiar with different operating systems.
What qualifications do you need to become a Cloud Architect?
Well, employers ideally prefer candidates who have undertaken a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, Electronics, or Telecommunications. This is mainly because the candidate that has gone through university would have gained a sizable and all-rounded basic knowledge of programming, computing, and networking. Some organizations, however, take into consideration relevant work experience or a Master’s degree in Engineering.
However, it is important that you gain a solid understanding of cloud computing, including the various cloud deployment models, cloud service models, and cloud deployment architectures. This also includes a good understanding of the cloud service provider market, as well as the various cloud service providers and their offerings.