How to Learn Cloud Computing?
This article is very useful if you want to learn Cloud Computing. Here, I have explained all concerns that comes in a beginner’s mind along with required training courses. Cloud Computing is growing faster than ever and creating lot of high paying jobs. Cloud means compute for e.g. (Storage, Software, Platform, CPU, RAM, Processor, network, Cluster etc.) using Internet anywhere, anytime and in any size. It enables any organization to focus on their core business rather than maintaining IT infrastructure.
Cloud Computing brings best in breed technologies mesh to provide high availability, durability and capacity with minimum time frame. In simple words your traditional data center (DC) would have flew down from on-premise to somewhere with big giants Cloud Service Providers DC like GCP (Google Cloud Platform), AWS (Amazon Web Services), Azure, IBM, Salesforce etc.
Why Should You Learn Cloud Computing?
As i mentioned above, Cloud Computing is growing faster than ever and creating lot of high paying jobs. The reason behind its popularity is its Pay As You Use model.
All cloud services are running on “Pay As You Use” model. You only pay for the services till you are using and can increase/decrease the usage capacity in few hours only. The Cloud Computing takes away hassle of procurement of servers, software’s & resources. It also removes the need of building, managing & maintenance of Data centres that is why most of the organizations are adopting cloud computing these days.
As more organizations will move to cloud, more cloud related jobs or opportunities will arise. So, it is imperative to learn cloud computing technology so that you can make use of it in your IT career. The added advantage of learning cloud is that you can bring value to your organization and its clients.
Prerequisites to Learn Cloud Computing
Today I will brief you about the skills needed to learn cloud and build promising career in it. Cloud can add value to your CV/Resume. Every IT professional need to have some familiarity with cloud. It has become an essential part of Information Technology. We as Digital Users are leveraging cloud Technology every day in our life. The most common example is social media, mails, music, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, News etc. Everything where data is stored in huge size is using cloud technology in the background.
Cloud Computing services falls into three categories:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS),
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Software as a Service (SaaS).
Although this article is very much applicable to all three categories for learning standpoint but primarily we will talk and refer about IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) model. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a form of cloud computing that provides virtualized compute resources over the internet following pay per use model.
As in earlier days Data center had multiple roles and responsibilities, similarly in cloud you can get similar technology, roles and career. If you belongs to IT Infrastructure services, then you can pursue your career in IaaS cloud computing.
One can learn cloud as a beginner even if you have very basic skills in computers, prior experience in IT is an added advantage.
To begin with cloud there are three-important area to cover:
- Virtualization concepts
- Networking in virtual environment
- Operating systems (Linux & Windows)
It is important to understand how virtualized environment operates. In cloud context, virtual machines lie over and above hypervisor layer. Multiple VM’s shared same physical hardware and all the network equipment but are isolated or virtually separated from the other client machines using hypervisor technology. Virtualization means every type of application or workload which needed physical machines in past now can run by using shared resources across many clients. For more information refer to
The most important aspect of cloud is to understand cloud networking. It is very difficult section in cloud, and even those with some robust skills, typically require time to fully understand it.
Operating System (Linux & Windows)
Hands on experience on Linux and Windows is with excellent command lines skills is must before begin journey in cloud computing. One must begin with above three concepts to enter cloud computing.
How to Start Learning Cloud Computing?
The very first thing you need to do is, you need to decide the cloud service provider for which you want to learn and pursue distinct roles. There are many Cloud service providers in the market. You can choose any of them but it’s always wise to choose from top 3 service providers. Currently, Amazon is top cloud service provider in the market followed by Microsoft. Below are the names of some popular cloud service providers.
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Microsoft Azure
- IBM Cloud
- Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
Once you have chosen the right cloud service provider then you should focus on the distinct domains. For example, if you had prior experience in networks you can choose to become Cloud Network Architect role and start focusing on CSP network services. If you are a system administrator then you can pursue Cloud System Administrator role. Below is the list of some cloud computing roles.
You can choose any roles given below as per your choice and are of interest. It would be an added advantage if you choose a domain in which you have some knowledge. The Distinct Technical roles which you can pursue in cloud are given below.
- Cloud Operations Engineer
- Cloud System Administrator
- Cloud Solution Architect
- Cloud Technical Architect
- Cloud Network Architect
- Cloud Security Architect
- Cloud Sales Consultant
I have explained the responsibilities and job profile of each and every role in below points.
- Cloud Operation Engineer – You should have at least 3 years of experience in this role. You need to ensure management of daily operations like adding Virtual machine (VM) to the cloud stack, installing software’s on the VM’s, monitoring cloud usage, controlling access to cloud environment, Identify and Access management for cloud.
- Cloud System Administrator – This job profile is similar to the system administrator job in legacy environment. Here, you need to take care of your cloud deployments and administration. In cloud context security is shared responsibility however the systems security is client accountability. This role is mainly focus on hardening the Operating system and maintaining it. This will cover antivirus installation, policy control and overall protection services offered by cloud service provider. Strong Linux command line skills are needed.
- Cloud Solution Architect – You should have more than 6 years of experience to pursue a cloud solution architect role. The Cloud Solution Architect roles means to understand client requirement and propose possible design for the cloud IaaS. This comprise of servers, Data storage strategy, location, region, monitoring, security, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity solution. Cloud SA may need to design a Hosting solution for some website or Data analytics, Data warehousing, Graphics processing solution. The responsibility of cloud SA is to understand all services provided by the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) so that he can design a suitable solution considering all services and their relative cost.
- Cloud Technical Architect – You should be on senior role or at least 7 years of experience to work as cloud Technical Architect. The Technical Architect role is to create the proposed design by the cloud Solution Architect. The responsibility of the Architect is to manage all technical queries in creating the entire cloud stack. Expert in shell, Perl, python compiled code language will be an added advantage. You must have expert level knowledge of Linux and windows operating system. This role demands knowledge of all fields including Networks, Infrastructure, Servers and settings, Identify and Access management. The Architect need to fix any issue which comes under configuring access, or security settings, Roles distribution etc. The hands-on experience on all services provided by CSP is mandatory for this role.
- Cloud Network Architect– The Network Architect need to configure Virtual Private Network(VPC), load balancing in cloud, manage ports, Incoming and outgoing connections, Tunnelling, Internet to cloud connection etc. Deep understanding of TCP/IP, Subnetting, DNS, DHCP, NAT and routing, strong knowledge of layer 2 network protocols, Good knowledge of IP routing, scripting abilities Perl or Shell. CCNA or CCNP preferred certification. The Network Architect need to design, create and maintain any network related issues.
- Cloud Security Architect –The role is most crucial and important in cloud environment considering the fact you can access cloud from anywhere anytime and its security need to be designed by Cloud Security Architect. The data security at rest and in transit, encryptions and descriptions, to avoid data loss and exposure. Good understanding of Internet and hosting from network layer up through the application layer, monitoring tools, clustering and internet security. The cloud security policies, governance, risk assessment, Multi-factor authentication and Authorization. Read attached article if you want to understand the basics of Cloud Security and Data Protection.
- Cloud Sales Consultant – Must be a business administration preferable MBA, Client facing roles, excellent communication skills, building strategic partnership at the C-level. Google knowledge of market leader in cloud in terms of services and costing. Love travel jobs.
There are lot of study materials available on internet to start with. Many portals have free courses that you can register to learn cloud computing. You can also buy a cloud related course on Udemy or Coursera. I have given specific training courses for each cloud providers in below links. You can access as per your choice to learn different cloud courses like AWS, Azure, GCP etc. You can also get practice papers as well if you are preparing for AWS or Azure certifications.
Online Training Courses for Top Cloud Service Providers:
- AWS Certified Solution Architect – Online Training Courses
- Architecting with Google Cloud Platform
- Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions
- Hands on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) – Cloud Architect
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