Mike Manos: Data center pros need to catch up to cloud


Michael Manos, Senior VP of Technologies at AOL is presenting at the Uptime Institute Symposium in Santa Clara, May 9-12 2011 on the topic of cloud computing.

But before you roll your eyes over another cloud love-fest, you need to hear Manos out. The former Microsoft exec built out one of the largest cloud infrastructures on the planet, and more importantly — he understands the impact of cloud computing on data center operations staff.

C-Level execs are reading about cloud computing in airline magazines, and end users from marketing and software development departments are already working in the cloud without any oversight.

And data center managers are caught in the middle, trying to piece together a strategy that meets the company’s business objectives.

So what happens when an executive decides to move data center workloads into the cloud, because a service provider is “cheaper” than internal IT operations?

“Data center managers are not well versed in cloud computing offerings,” Manos said. “Internal IT operations may or may not be more expensive, but you can’t get an apples-to-apples comparison unless you have some honest way of assessing whether that’s true or not.”

Manos’s presentation at Symposium will help arm data center managers with specific, comparative information they can use in these discussions with management.

According to Manos, a lot of the data center managers he talks to about this issue think that cloud computing will kill their jobs. “They sound like factory workers in the 1980s when robotics were introduced,” he said. “If you don’t prepare, evolve your career, you may find yourself without a job. But most data center managers will have a role managing a mixed infrastructure of cloud and in-house IT.

Manos said this mixed role will require traditional technical data center skill sets, but data center managers will also need to build up contract negotiation expertise and other cloud-centric skills to be relevant in the data center going forward.

Manos wrote up a blog post on his presentation: Preparing for the Cloud: A Data Center Survival Guide.

Further reading: Tech Target’s Jo Maitland and Carl Brooks wrote an excellent article on how some data center folks are transitioning from technical roles to cloud management at SearchCloudComputing.com.

Posted by mstansberry on 14-02-2011
Categories: Uptime Institute Symposium
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