I re-watched the Jack Lemon classic The Apartment, and data center professionals trying to get a leg up in their own careers could learn a lot from the schmoozy, clumsy corporate-climbing C. C. Baxter.
One would think it’s a great time to be a data center guru: Facebook just invested half a billion in their new data center upgrades and Apple spent a billion on its own new one. And it’s not just the mega-companies that are investing: The industry is exploding, so that analysts worry about a data center spending crisis down the road. While that might be bad for companies, it should be great for the professionals powering those behemoths. Right?
Unfortunately, it looks like some data center pros are just too busy to look after their own careers, according to recent analysis by Lauren Horowitz and SearchDataCenter. Even as salaries have been increasing (slowly), data center careers are stalling.
Doing more with less, that tired mantra of the recession:
“I’m torn between my operational role and becoming more strategic,” said David Fouts, a data center systems administrator at Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City, Mo. “ Just finding time for larger projects and staying on top of them” is a challenge, he said.
For many data center professionals, the task of keeping the trains running can easily subsume more strategic projects.
So where do we go from here? Well, as the fumbling Baxter learned, hard work will only take you so far. An insurance middle manager, he could prime performance and cut costs, but what ultimately helped his career was renting out his apartment to executives looking for a discreet midweek getaway. While I won’t suggest turning your bachelor pad into a house of ill repute, creating your own getaways is not just a way to retain your sanity, it’s a way to keep your career on track.
As Lauren’s article notes, infrastructure expertise is important, but it’s also an increasingly low-level, outsourced skill. What is sticking around, analysts predict, are hybrid jobs that can not only manage the day-to-day but also plot strategic roles for their department.
Have any getaway tips you’ve found help clear your head from the day-to-day to see the big picture? Leave them in the comments or shoot me an e-mail.
Contrary to the marketing hoopla we’re being force fed, once all the “cloud” hype settles down the data center as we know it is still going to be around. So, there’s no better time than now to get your physical security and IT ducks in a row to ensure everything in and around the data center stays in check.
Here are several pieces I’ve written on data center management than can help you get rolling:
- Locking Down Today’s Data Centers
- Progression of Convergence: Trends and Tactics
- The latest on convergence and network standards
- Physical security threats to your Linux systems
- Locking Down the Data Center of Tomorrow
Several of these pieces are from another trade rag I write for called Security Technology Executive, a great resource for all things data center related.
Kevin Beaver is an independent information security consultant, expert witness, author, and professional speaker with Atlanta-based Principle Logic, LLC and a contributor to the IT Watch Blog. You can reach Kevin through his website at www.principlelogic.com and follow him on Twitter at @kevinbeaver.
If you thought your data center was overrun with data, imagine holding all of the information of over 500 million people, from the things they like to who they’re having a complicated relationship with this week. That’s right, the monster that is Facebook is running out of servers. Their solution? Continued »
A recent Ponemon Institute study revealed that 95% of organizations represented by the 450+ U.S.-based data center professionals surveyed have experienced an unplanned data center outage within the past two years.
For some perspective, some data center outages can add up to thousands of dollars in loss per second of outage.
The numbers just don’t add up. Continued »
Each year, the legions of IT professionals fan out to hit up the conference circuit to learn more about their craft, whether it’s at a pricey Gartner Summit or an easy going, free-to-attend Security BSides event. One thing we haven’t seen, however, is a good breakdown of when these conferences are happening, and which are the best in their category. We’re trying to change that: Take our quick survey below, and in return we’ll compile a list of the best IT conferences out there, complete with dates, coupon codes, tips and news coverage, all available in a convenient Google Calendar format (if you’d prefer some other way to access the data we compile, just let us know in the comments).
If we use your suggestion, we’ll even throw an extra 50 free knowledge points your way … for each suggestion!
In the age of Facebook, it matters who your friends are. So when the Open Data Center Alliance announces itself and its members – BMW, JP Morgan Chase, Lockheed Martin, Deutsche Bank, Marriott – people take notice. Yep, that’s representation from over $50 billion in IT spend.
But isn’t this just another glorified user group? Not really. Continued »
According to the Gartner report released today, “User Survey Analysis: Key Trends Shaping the Future of Data Center Infrastructure Through 2011,” 47 percent of those surveyed struggle with data growth on a daily basis. Numbers two and three on the list of daily challenges were system performance and scalability and network congestion and connectivity architecture, chosen by 37 percent and 36 percent of respondents, respectively.
The survey didn’t just ask about obstacles, but solutions Continued »
Starting November 1st, Amazon will grant all new customers one year of running an EC2 instance for free. They’ve got some side dishes too: You can leverage that free usage tier across Amazon S3, Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon Elastic Load Balancing, and AWS data transfer. The sky’s the limit: launch new apps, see how your current apps stand up in the cloud, or sort out all of the hype surrounding AWS firsthand.
But what’s their angle? Continued »
Despite IT’s general disinterest in all things cloud, conferences such as last week’s Interop NY dedicated the majority of their sessions to the subject: 40 of over 100 sessions and expo floor presentations centered around the cloud. But according to Gartner Inc.’s 2010 Hype Cycle Report, released earlier this month, IT professionals everywhere can finally exhale. Continued »
You’re not going to wake up one morning and discover you’re in the private cloud. Just as there required planning to create your current infrastructure, there are certain steps you need to take before changing it. This year at Interop New York, the focus on the private cloud starts first with virtualization, and the key to getting the most out of virtualization is automation.
This method of managing provisioning and configuration involves codifying something that you’re currently doing manually. This will require different tools and levels of management as your infrastructure evolves. Continued »