Cloud computing is a network-based computing model. It provides on-demand access to shared or private resources and data over the internet. Cloud architects oversee the structure of cloud computer programs, and how they are used. They try to design applications that are:
- Available most or all the time
- Easy to use
- Secure and resilient to breaches
- Scalable (they can grow to fit demands)
- Expandable (to meet future needs) at minimal operational expense
- Easy to integrate with existing systems
They also understand traditional architecture. This helps them decide how to move systems from on-premise (non-cloud) to the cloud.
Cloud native (100% cloud-based) implementations are only one option that cloud architects use. Hybrid and multi-cloud implementations are becoming more common.
Cloud architects consult with business managers to make sure cloud designs meet business needs. They:
- Assess whether a hybrid cloud or cloud native strategy fits better
- Recommend different cloud service models (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS)
- Design virtual infrastructure
- Recommend technology choices (such as networks, servers, or VPNs)
- Provide cost estimates to evaluate cloud solutions against alternatives
Cloud architects use their knowledge of on-premise, cloud, and hybrid application design to create, manage, and maintain the cloud. They:
- Migrate existing computing environments to the cloud
- Oversee the deployment of business solutions in the cloud environment
- Oversee development activities and review or test solutions as required
- Develop and review best practices for cloud security to keep data and network resources safe
- Support DevOps (an environment that optimizes efficiency and teamwork)
- Develop analytic solutions to process real time or “data lake” data (a large amount of raw data)
- Report on the health and availability of cloud systems
- Lead or advise teams that administer computer networks and provide end-user support
- Write technical documents
Cloud architects act as consultants to their organization. They need to understand the organization’s business operations. They must stay up to date on the latest trends and issues. This can include participating in reviews and attending technology and product conferences.
Some cloud architects design an organization’s private cloud environment. They need to be familiar with open-source cloud software. They may also need to help design the supporting physical architecture.
In large organizations, these responsibilities might be split into multiple roles. Cloud architects may work with different departments in an organization. They work with a wide range of people such as: