Around ten years ago, traditional IT-professionals started to talk about losing their jobs due to the public cloud.
It’s no secret that people actually have lost their job in the last years. But I’m pretty confident those who managed to make some changes kept their job or got a better position in another company.
In my job, working for a service provider, I have seen the change from many angles. Ten years ago, we helped companies with traditional IT infrastructure. Smaller companies running physical servers On-Premises, or larger companies with an ESX stack in their office. They were all managed by our specialists. Specialists on network devices knew everything about the hardware, and how to place them in the racks.
The server team was Windows Server specialists, but also knew ‘everything’ about storage. Disks, SAN, etc.
Many companies hire new people to handle the infrastructure on Azure or other public and private clouds. But I think that is a bad idea. Investment in making cultural changes should be the main priority. Moving to Azure introduces a new platform and products to your ecosystem, but the knowledge from traditional infrastructure is still very valid. Subnetting and firewalls still exist, as do operating system patches and failed backups. Your existing team already knows your infrastructure, making them the best fit to manage it on Azure as well.
Moving to Azure or any other cloud will require a code-first approach to manage and deploy the infrastructure. Git, Pipelines and pull requests is now as normal as calculating subnets.
The team required to move your infrastructure, and successfully manage it should be familiar with the DevOps methodology, and how to define the infrastructure in code.
Another thing to keep in mind is that platform knowledge is very important for everyone managing the workloads running in Azure and other cloud platforms.
Let’s take a look at monitoring. In order to have a good monitoring platform, you require a few basics like alerting. Alerting is built into every monitoring platform out there, and is the foundation of monitoring. But alerts need to be handled. Hopefully, you have killed email alerts already, and you have other routines in place, like an ITSM platform or maybe your alert remediation is a PowerShell script.
To have an alert automatically remediated in Azure Monitor, you will need to learn a new product like Azure Functions to run your PowerShell script.
PS: Microsoft replaced SCOM for Azure monitor, driven by cultural changes and DevOps
At its core, IT hasn’t changed that much. It is still zero’s and one’s. The cultural changes and the desire to learn new technology and work methodology is, in my opinion, the biggest challenge.
The amount of pressure to adopt a new way of work and to learn new technology is not a joke.
If you can call your self a modern IT pro, you deserve many high fives, and you can be very proud of what you have achieved.