Cloud computing is in higher demand than ever, with larger businesses moving towards the Cloud for several years and gradually reducing their investments in on-premises data centres. The trend saw an uptick recently due to the COVID -19 pandemic that forced organizations to enable remote workforces. Cloud based products like Zoom, Google Meet and productivity apps such as Google Docs have now become the norm.
What is cloud engineering?
Cloud engineering refers to the design, implementation, and management of Cloud Computing systems and solutions. Cloud engineers work with Cloud providers to ensure their network has the proper tools and capabilities to handle increasing demands. They also provide maintenance and troubleshooting for Cloud-based systems and identify new ways to improve efficiency and performance. With businesses increasingly relying on Cloud technology for data storage and management, the demand for skilled Cloud engineers is rising. Cloud engineering requires a combination of technical expertise and a solid understanding of business needs, making it both a challenging and rewarding career path. Whether it’s optimizing Cloud infrastructure or designing cutting-edge Cloud solutions, the role of a Cloud engineer is integral to success in the modern business world.
Within the world of cloud computing, there are three main types of service:
Software as a service (SaaS). SaaS refers to software hosted on the Cloud and can be accessed by multiple users simultaneously.
Platform as a service (PaaS). PaaS offers an entire platform for building and deploying applications in the Cloud.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS). IaaS provides virtualized computing resources such as storage and servers.
Cloud engineering professionals are skilled in navigating these options and determining which type of service is best for a given situation. In short, understanding the three main types of cloud services is crucial for successful cloud management.
The current leaders in the Cloud computing industry are Amazon, Microsoft and Google, who can offer their services to hundreds of thousands — if not millions—of customers across different industries at an attractive price point while maintaining high levels of security. These public cloud service providers (CSPs) products are AWS, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure. Other top providers include Alibaba, IBM and Salesforce.
LinkedIn has rated this as one of the most sought-after tech abilities alongside artificial intelligence and big data, which means that plenty out there want these qualifications.
Here are the top 12 basic cloud engineering skills everyone needs to know in 2024.
This may seem obvious, but a thorough understanding of the cloud service platform landscape and marketplace is essential. You must understand and familiarise yourself with the three big public cloud computing platforms: AWS, Microsoft Azure and GCP. Other companies with cloud platforms include IBM, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, DigitalOcean and Alibaba Cloud. Each CSP is different, has its own strengths, and is more appropriate for various applications.
2. Essential knowledge of Programming languages
3. Application programming interfaces (APIs)
APIs have become a standard in modern software development. They enable different services and applications to communicate with each other for data exchange, but building these links often requires you to code. As an expert on this subject matter, it is your responsibility to code these APIs and create access points so developers can easily integrate their workload into the Cloud. The most common types used by professionals today would be REST and GraphQL APIs, respectively.
4. Database management
The Cloud is home to some of today’s most popular application services, including the database. Cloud databases provide high scalability and availability for organizations to manage their offerings. There is a wide variety of databases available in the Cloud. Some examples include relational, NoSQL and graph database services and data warehouse options from significant providers such as Microsoft Azure or AWS Step Functions. It’s vital for professionals who plan on working with these systems to understand what each type offers so they can choose an option that works best for their needs.
5. Network management
The Cloud has created new networking challenges for IT pros. With resources often located on-premises, establishing connections across different locations is essential to the success of an organization’s virtual private clouds and secure connectivity efforts. Cloud Engineers need basic knowledge about how networks function both within enterprises as well as between them when working through third-party providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS).
6. Development and operations (DevOps)
DevOps is the practice of harmonizing and integrating development operations activities throughout the software life cycle. This includes design and production support systems in today’s cloud environments. DevOps workflow also commonly involves using CI/CD services in the Cloud and observability monitoring for operational workloads. These practices result in faster market time while eliminating bottlenecks, ultimately leading to lower costs overall.
7. Machine learning and AI
Cloud Engineers must constantly keep up with the latest technological advancements to successfully design and manage cloud infrastructure. This often includes staying on top of artificial intelligence and machine learning developments. Cloud platforms must be able to handle large volumes of data, and AI and ML are becoming increasingly crucial for efficiently processing and analyzing this information. Cloud Engineers also need to understand how to integrate AI and ML capabilities into their clients’ infrastructure, as well as anticipate any potential issues that may arise from using these technologies. In short, Cloud Engineers need a solid understanding of AI and ML to stay ahead in an ever-evolving industry.
8. Cloud security
In today’s increasingly digital world, Cloud Security and Cyber Security must go hand in hand to ensure the safety and integrity of valuable data. Cloud Engineers are crucial in keeping sensitive data secure and protected within cloud systems. From implementing robust authentication measures to monitoring network activity, Cloud Engineers are responsible for ensuring that all security risks and potential vulnerabilities are addressed promptly. That’s why it’s essential for Cloud Engineers to have a solid understanding of Cloud Security and the fundamentals of Cyber Security. Without this understanding, Cloud Engineers may be unable to properly defend against cyber attacks or protect sensitive information from being compromised. As a Cloud Engineer, learning about these topics is beneficial for your career development and crucial for protecting the security and reputation of your organization and its clients.
9. Hybrid Cloud
Cloud Engineers must understand the different Cloud models, including the Hybrid Cloud model. The Hybrid Cloud combines public and private Cloud services, allowing for greater flexibility and scalability. It also allows for sensitive data to be stored on a private Cloud while less sensitive data can use the resources of a public Cloud provider. To properly design and maintain the hybrid infrastructure, Cloud Engineers must understand both public and private Cloud environments. Additionally, they need to be able to identify and address issues related to security, data management, and hybrid integration. As more companies turn towards the benefits of a Hybrid Cloud model, being able to design and manage such systems effectively will become an increasingly valuable skill for Cloud Engineers.
Cloud data storage is at the heart of Cloud Computing and has become a popular option for businesses looking to store their information securely and in an easily accessible way. But with so many options, it can be challenging to know which one is right. That’s where Cloud Engineers come in. A capable Cloud Engineer can guide businesses through the various types of cloud storage, including:
- Public Cloud Storage, where data is stored on servers made available to the public;
- Private Cloud Storage, which stores data on a dedicated set of servers only accessible to specific individuals or organizations;
- Hybrid Cloud Storage, which combines both private and public Cloud Storage options.
Each has its advantages – private Cloud Storage offers increased control and security, while public Cloud Storage often requires less maintenance and cost and allows for scalability. Ultimately, choosing the right type of cloud data storage depends on a company’s specific needs – but with the help of Cloud Engineers, businesses can make an informed decision.
Becoming familiar with container technology is a must. As container technologies like Docker and Kubernetes continue to grow in popularity, Cloud Engineers who have a strong understanding of them will be in high demand. Containers provide a packaging mechanism for applications, allowing them to be deployed swiftly and consistently. Every major cloud platform now offers some form of container service to assist with deployments.
- Data and application migration and deployment
Cloud migration requires a skilled team of Cloud Engineers to assess and strategize the best approach for each application. It's important to note that not every on-premises application can be lifted and shifted into the cloud environment. Some may require restructuring or even re-architecture. Working closely with business stakeholders, Cloud Engineers will devise a plan to ensure successful data and application migration and deployment in the Cloud. However, it's crucial to note that ongoing assessment and optimization will also be necessary to continually improve performance and organizational efficiency.
As Cloud technology continues to advance and become increasingly integrated with business, the role of Cloud Engineers will only become more critical. In 2023, Cloud Engineers should have a strong understanding of cloud environments, including the ability to deploy and operate Cloud infrastructure from providers like AWS, Azure, and GCP. They should also possess skills in Cloud automation tools such as Terraform and Cloudformation for efficient management of Cloud resources. Additionally, Cloud Engineers must have experience with containerization technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes for efficient deployment and scaling of applications in the Cloud. Lastly, understanding Cloud security is crucial for ensuring the safety and protection of sensitive data stored in the Cloud. These essential skills allow Cloud Engineers to stay at the forefront of technological advancements and successfully meet the demands of the ever-evolving Cloud industry.