Virtualization Technology News and Information
Who is the New Infrastructure Administrator?

A Contributed Article by John McNelly, Product Senior Advisor for Performance Monitoring, Dell Software

Traditional IT roles are beginning to converge as organizations leverage more and more innovative technologies to modernize the data center. Technicians are expanding their responsibilities into new domains, which means that yesterday's "silo" administrator is quickly becoming today's "infrastructure administrator." As part server administrator, virtual environment manager, network engineer, and storage architect, this next generation role requires a broad spectrum of knowledge across all of these multiple domains. Today's infrastructure administrators need the skills to build, maintain and manage high performing data center infrastructure solutions, with the end goal of producing a flexible infrastructure where capacity can be scaled up or down as business requirements change, while simultaneously focusing on data center cost optimization.

To progress in your career, you need to grow as your role evolves, and in today's world, that means mastering all aspects of your role. To market yourself as an infrastructure administrator, you need to be well-versed in the responsibilities of the virtual environment manager, as well as the server administrator, network engineer and storage architect. Since storage configuration is a foundational element of a modern data center environment, it is becoming the most important aspect of an administrator's role. Without storage, the virtual environment cannot operate, since there would be no place for the machines to exist. At the same time, the storage configuration can make or break infrastructure performance and availability. Without a properly configured storage infrastructure, a company's IT assets are wasted, and business services are negatively affected, so it's important that configuration be right for the virtual environment.

Even as more attention is focused on storage, it remains a complex challenge for many organizations, making hiring for the infrastructure administrator position even more difficult.  If you're a virtualization administrator, you are a potential infrastructure administrator, and if you are somewhat new to the way storage can impact your virtual environment, it is essential that you gain the comprehensive storage knowledge that will enable you to holistically manage the virtual environment, and position yourself for consideration as the infrastructure administrator.

To that end, there are nine basic storage concepts you should familiarize yourself with ─ measuring the storage environment; hard drive options and the differences between them; the importance of solid state storage; array types on the market today; RAID levels and their impacts; the role enterprise storage features, including deduplication, encryption and thin provisioning, play in virtualization; storage transport mechanisms; VMware VAAI and Microsoft ODX, and why they're important; and Microsoft's contribution to the storage arena, including new features added to the operating system of Windows Server 2012.

As the virtualization administrator's role edges more and more toward managing the infrastructure as a whole, a working understanding of these nine storage concepts will give you the tools you need to move into the role with ease. The virtualization environment requires storage to operate, and the infrastructure's performance and availability are closely tied to the storage configuration. While anyone eyeing a move into the infrastructure manager's role needs a grasp of the duties of the virtualization manager, server administrator and network engineer, a solid background in all aspects of storage configuration will be the most beneficial. Once you have mastered these storage infrastructure concepts and no longer are a storage novice, you will be equipped to function as a successful cross-domain infrastructure administrator who can manage a flexible, scalable infrastructure, and optimize data center costs at the same time.  


About the Author

John McNelly serves as the Product Senior Advisor for Performance Monitoring with Dell Software Group. He is also a Cisco Certified Network Associate and Product Evangelist for Dell Software Storage and Virtualization solutions.  John has specialized in working with organizations to tackle end-to-end system management projects, and has specific focus on the evolving challenges of virtualized infrastructures.
Published Thursday, August 08, 2013 7:06 AM by David Marshall
Filed under:
Who is the New Infrastructure Administrator? - Telapprise - (Author's Link) - September 6, 2013 8:37 AM
Who is the New Infrastructure Administrator? - Telapprise - (Author's Link) - September 6, 2013 8:37 AM
To post a comment, you must be a registered user. Registration is free and easy! Sign up now!
<August 2013>