By Mohammad Ali
Over the past few decades, there hasn’t been any field of IT that has created as much investment, interest, and hype as cloud computing. Even though the term might mean different for different users, the cloud is a permanent fixture for service providers and end-users, as well as global organizations of different sizes. This is also the reason why cloud computing gets a lot of attention and coverage from certification providers and companies providing cloud-related services such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, VMware, and Microsoft. They offer certifications for several cloud-based roles including the Cloud Architect. In this article, we will be discussing how you can get started on your journey to becoming a cloud architect.
What is a Cloud Architect?
Cloud computing architecture includes all the components and subcomponents needed for setting up cloud computing. The components usually consist of backend platforms, a front-end platform, a network, and a cloud-based delivery. When these components are combined, you get a cloud computing architecture. The design of the cloud solutions has the same architectural methods and procedures that have been used for the past two decades.
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As a cloud architect, your job will include converting the project’s technical requirements into the design and architecture that will be guiding the final project. You will also have to bridge the gap between the solutions in the cloud and the complex business problems. You will work with developers and DevOps engineers to ensure the right technologies are built.
What are the prerequisite skills?
If you are planning to become a Cloud Architect, ideally, you will have a strong background in either cloud computing or other technical areas. If you are comfortable working with most of the concepts or at least a few of them, you are on the right track. If not, you can work in some of these areas or study them before tackling the role of a Cloud Architect.
- Operating System – You must have an in-depth understanding of at least one operating system which can be Windows, Linux, Unix, Ubuntu, or Solaris. You must have experience working as an architect or an administrator in any of these operating systems as it will help you transition into the role of a cloud architect.
- Networking – You must have a good understanding of networking concepts such as IP addresses, TCP/IP, DNS, and HTTP before you pursue the position of a cloud architect.
- Programming Languages – Even though knowledge of at least one programming language is not a must, it will definitely help you in your job as a Cloud Architect. You can learn C++, Java, Python, or Ruby.
- Security – If you want to be a Cloud Architect, then you should have a high-level knowledge of core security concepts. Security is crucial in the cloud and knowledge of crucial concerts like firewalls is a must.
It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive. However, if you want to be a Cloud Architect, you must have a strong technical background.
What is the AWS Certified Solutions Architect?
In May 2013, Amazon Web Services launched its AWS certification program. Currently, they are offering several role-based credentials available at professional, associate, and foundation levels along with many specialty certifications. Through their certifications, they aim to prepare candidates for the architect, operations, and developer roles.
The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate and Professional certification targets networking professionals with some experience in designing as well as deploying cloud solutions on AWS. If you want to work in this role, you must know how to assess the needs of the client, plan and design solutions meeting those requirements, recommending an architecture that can implement and provision AWS applications, and provide guidance throughout the project’s lifecycle.
During the associate level certification training, you will learn how to identify and collect requirements for the solution plans and provide guidance on best architectural practices throughout the AWS projects. It is also a prerequisite for professional-level certification. Before you go for the professional level certification, you must make yourself familiar with concepts such as business continuity, high availability, network design, costing, data storage deployment management, hybrid structure, elasticity and scalability, security, and cloud migration.
Here are a few other certifications from the AWS:
- AWS Certified Developer – Associate: This credential is the best fit for someone who wants to design, develop, and implement cloud-based solutions using the AWS platform.
- AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional: This role involves provisioning, managing, and operating distributed applications using AWS. Here are a few other responsibilities of a DevOps Engineer:
- Implementing and managing delivery systems, governance, compliance validation, and security controls.
- Defining and deploying monitoring, logging, and metrics systems.
- Maintaining operational systems.
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate: With this credential, you will be responsible for provisioning services and systems on AWS, automating deployments, monitoring metrics on AWS, following and recommending best practices.
- AWS Cloud Practitioner: This is the only foundation-level certification from AWS. Even though it is not required, it is recommended for the associate, professional, and specialty AWS certifications.
AWS also offers specialty certifications in the field of networking, big data, and security:
- AWS Certified Security – Specialty
- AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty
- AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty
Amazon is currently on the top spot in the field of cloud computing services. Because of this, the AWS Certified Solutions Architect certification is a must-have for someone who wants to work as a Cloud Architect in a company that relies heavily on AWS for their business. This certification will distinguish you from your competitors and give you an advantage while pursuing new clients.
Cloud Architect is a crucial role in an organization that comes with high demand and endless possibilities. There is no denying that this demand will only grow exponentially over the next few years. So, getting a Cloud Architect certification will be the right step for your career growth. It will be your opportunity to learn the new and exciting technologies that are emerging in the cloud arena.
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored and hence, promotes some commercial links.)