Choosing Cloud: The Virtual Jack-of-all-trades
April 25, 2013
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Do you like to know a little bit about everything, rather than everything about one thing?
If that’s the case, you may just end up with an IT career on Cloud 9.
The Cloud sphere is radically changing the face of IT, and what it means for end-users in terms of efficiency and agility. Speaking from a career perspective, Cloud brings a significant challenge, and that’s because of the multidisciplinary requirements it’s placing on our technical staff.
As Director of Cloud Services with Long View, I can tell you that it demands a strong understanding of all the technologies required to build and operate the environment — Storage, Networking, Compute, Virtualization. At the same time, it also demands an in-depth knowledge of the software used to manage and maintain these environments.
In other words . . . Cloud really demands a virtual Jack-of-all-trades.
Cloud brings together several technologies, and removes the silos that have traditionally been involved in IT delivery. Essentially, these silos no longer exist. You can’t just be a Storage guy anymore. Or a Network guy. You work in integrated pods of teams — you’re sitting beside the Virtualization guy, and you have to understand each other’s worlds.
Here’s the analogy I like to use: My dad worked on the line at an auto-assembly plant for 40 years. As that line got automated, they were responsible for the automated equipment, as well as multiple tasks on that line. What’s happening in the IT world right now is very similar.
Some people out there believe that the Cloud model is so compelling, some businesses are making their final hardware purchases
as they opt for a service model. Our own Robin Bell, Chief Technology Officer at Long View, says that because workloads, such as Microsoft Exchange, can exist in a virtualized environment which may not even be on a client’s premises, IT professionals need to get their heads around this concept — and possess the skills to troubleshoot those environments.
As career opportunities go? Cloud’s game-changing demands have also created the emergence of a new discipline called Automation — basically, creating scripts that allow you to build components like operating systems and storage automatically. It’s taking the workflow process and automating it, and creating massive efficiencies for things like provisioning and configuration. It’s a key area . . . and it’s a skill set we’re extremely interested in.
Besides the multitasking and the silo removal, here’s the straight goods on Cloud. Clients don’t really care about the capacity anymore. They just care about the functionality.
They tell us what they want to do, and our IT professionals — using a business-analytical skill set, understanding an organization’s requirements, and translating them into what the organization needs from the Cloud — make it happen.
Long View Duo Achieves Everest-like VCDX Certification Challenge
April 25, 2013
Going back nearly a century, British mountaineer George Mallory offered a simple reason for his attempts to climb Everest: “Because it’s there.”
Jump forward to the present day, and you’ll find Long View’s very own Matt Vandenbeld is cut from the same cloth. He’s reached a rare summit in the IT industry . . . and he did it, in large part, because he likes a challenge.
“I’m a completionist, I guess. If something’s out there to get, I like to get it,” says Matt, a Technical Architect in Long View’s Calgary office. “I like to set targets for myself and achieve them. And it was kind of a career goal of mine to be top of the mountain, as it were.”
Recently, Matt and Long View colleague James Charter, the Practice Director for Virtualization Solutions, managed an extremely rare distinction in the IT sphere — earning VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) accreditation. Just five IT experts across Canada, and 110 all over the world, have qualified for VCDX status.
It’s the highest level of certification available from technology vendor VMware, a Long View partner and an industry leader in cloud and virtualization software.
Matt and James have joined the global elite, effectively, and they’ve managed it with Long View assistance. Competence is one of Long View’s core pillars, and Long View backs that up by both sourcing and providing technical, soft-skills, and leadership training year round.
Reaching the VCDX summit took nearly a year, and hundreds of hours, for Matt and James — who worked in tandem to design and implement a refined virtualization project that demonstrated an appropriate level of background expertise. Finally, during the VMware Partner Exchange 2013 conference in Las Vegas in February, they successfully submitted, presented, and defended the project in person before a panel of VMware VCDX-certified experts — and then, on top of that, they worked through a design and troubleshooting scenario with the panel, too.
“VMware have certified us as global design experts,” says James. “To a Long View client, this means we have the capability of applying the best practices, and the approach, to ensure the solution we’re building with them will be successful.”
Prospective employees will be intrigued to learn that Long View has its own Learning and Development group, working with employees to actively source training and certification opportunities. And if it qualifies as relevant professional development, it’s on the company dime.
Nathania Parnetta is our incomparable Learning and Development Team Lead at Long View. She says that in any given year, Long View will offer 180 different technical, soft-skills, and leadership classes, and that our employees will partake in more than 1,800 different formal training sessions, all paid for by Long View.
Some impressive stats, to say the least.
“Long View openly supporting employees in their professional and personal development really fits with the culture that’s here,” says Nathania.
Only 44 virtualization architects from service providers around the world have aced VCDX certification. For Matt and James, it opens doors and instantly adds credibility to any professional discussion.
And the fact that Long View paid the bills? “To me, it shows that Long View is a company that’s invested in the development of its people,” says Matt, “and it speaks volumes as to how we operate as an organization.”
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