a cloud infrastructure engineer at work

​Cloud Infrastructure Engineer: Five skills you need

Written on February 3, 2020 by Daryl Riley

Cloud computing is one of the most fast-growing sectors in the IT industry at the moment. Cloud technologies are featuring more and more in our job ads, and we are seeing more clients looking to fill cloud engineer and cloud infrastructure engineer positions than ever before.

But what is a cloud infrastructure engineer, and what skills do you need to know to have a successful career in this area? This article will help you to answer those questions:

What skills does a cloud infrastructure engineer need?

When you are working as a cloud engineer you will be part of a cross-functional team which look after cloud architecture, software and operations. This means that when it comes to core skills, there are a lot of different areas to choose from.  We’ve narrowed it down to the top five though:

Skill One: Understanding how different cloud service providers work.

There are many different cloud service providers operating within the cloud computing space, and so it is critical that you have an understanding of who they are and what they offer.  Most of them will offer the complete end to end cloud service, including databases, ML, migration and storage which is what makes them so key to the success of cloud computing and why it is important that you know and understand the differences between them.

A lot of the larger service providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, GCP and Openstack will have a free usage tier, meaning you can set up an account and have some hands-on practice with each of them to get a feel for the differences yourself.

Skill Two: Understanding of how cloud storage works

Cloud storage is the term given to the storing of data online in a way which means it can be accessed from multiple connected resources. Cloud storage is often seen as a huge benefit to businesses as it gives them greater accessibility and reliability than on-site servers. It can also be a more cost-effective option as well. From a security point of view, depending on the provider, it can also offer strong protection of a business’s data as well as improved disaster recovery and a robust data backup and archive service.

There are four main types of cloud storage often referred to, and these are personal cloud storage, public cloud storage, private cloud storage and hybrid cloud storage. As you can imagine, data is key to cloud computing and so knowing where and how to store it is a critical skill to learn. Setting up the optimum cloud storage process for the business you are working for will depend on your knowledge of the above, and the volume and type of data that the business wants to be able to store and use. The most popular cloud storage services include blobs & Queues (Microsoft Azure), data lakes, Glacier (AWS) and S3.

Skill Three: Understanding networks and virtual networking

Networking refers to the way in which centralised resources are shared for clients through the use of the cloud. In the past, networks have been managed by many customer devices, but using the cloud means that more network functions can be pushed into the cloud freeing up customer devices for other tasks. Cloud networking is now seen as the easiest way to build and access networks.

As a cloud infrastructure engineer, one of your responsibilities may be to ensure the network is responsive to user demands through the use of automatic adjustment procedures. This is why having an understanding of the fundamentals of networking and virtual networks is key.

Skill Four: Knowledge of virtualisation

Virtualisation is a key part of cloud computing as it allows businesses to run virtual machines side by side on the same hardware, meaning they can do away with many of their hardware assets as this allows them to emulate different components of their IT systems on one machine.

Many businesses are looking to invest in virtualisation as it is a big step towards serverless computing. So, if you have a working knowledge of virtual machines and virtualisation you will make yourself invaluable to the organisation you are looking to work for.

Skill Five: Knowledge of security and disaster recovery concepts

Data security is a huge topic of interest at the moment with lots of reports about hacking and so on being seen. Cloud security, therefore, is aimed at protecting all of the applications, data and infrastructures that are involved in cloud computing – in a similar way to the way that on-premise security works.

As a cloud engineer, if you are aware of potential security risks and know how to track the current state of a businesses security, how to track and respond to unexpected events, and how to prove that data and systems are safe – you will be in demand in the job market.

If you are looking to fill a cloud infrastructure engineer role, or want to get a cloud engineer job then please get in touch with the team at Agile Recruit today. You can contact us on 0161 416 6633 (Manchester) or 0203 800 1222 (Milton Keynes) or email us at info@agilerecruit.com if you prefer.