Cloud Architect: Triple Play of Skills

Susan Hall
Slide Show

The Top Six Cloud Computing Pitfalls to Avoid

According to my colleague Arthur Cole, a few things about cloud computing are becoming evident. He writes:

First, the cloud is not like data center architectures of the past in that they tend to incorporate a much broader set of systems and technologies that in-house enterprise techs may not be familiar with. They also require a high degree of automation and system interoperability across a much more diverse landscape than even the largest of enterprises have had to deal with.

So who will handle all this? The enterprise architect? I wrote yesterday that the EA's role increasingly is to collaborate on business initiatives.


David Linthicum, writing for InfoWorld, however, warns that cloud architects are not the same thing as enterprise architects. He writes:

Those who are good architects and good with technology won't have many issues transitioning to "cloud architect," as they will have the necessary foundation to become someone who can configure public and private cloud computing technology to form business solutions. However, this does not necessarily mean that your existing enterprise architect can be your cloud architect. ...
The cloud architect who works for an enterprise and the person who designs actual cloud technology have two very different skill sets. I think many people are confused about that.

He proposes a formula: Cloud architect = enterprise architect + SOA architect + cloud technologist. This person must understand the basics of enterprise architecture, yet most clouds are accessed using services architecture, hence the need to understand SOA. Finally, he says:

... the cloud architect needs to be an expert in the existing cloud computing technology: public, private, and hybrid, including IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. You can't build something unless you understand the tools and raw materials that are available, and the same goes for bringing cloud computing technology into the enterprise to form solutions.

It seems a given that those folks will be hard to find.

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