Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Jyoti Bansal, Yeshim Deniz, Greg Schulz, ManageEngine IT Matters

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Computing: Network Janitors

You don’t get Superman by paying Jimmy Olson wages

If Cloud Computing is going to be part of the critical network infrastructure of an enterprise, senior executives better realize that no technology runs by itself. You need people that are very skilled in all aspects of planning, designing, implementing and managing these systems. There are dynamic people and there are also caretakers that can only do minimum maintenance on systems.

The idea that you can run Cloud Computing applications with a bare minimum of skilled people is a nice sales pitch, but in reality organizations better make sure they have skills on staff or skills readily available in times of emergencies as well as day-to-day operations.

When It Comes to Mission Critical, Network Janitors Don't Cut It
There are many titles like Network Administrator or Systems Coordinator that organizations throw out for systems administrators and project executives, but one that should be used when they hire minimally skilled people is "network janitor".

A "network janitor" is hired under the executive assumption that the applications are all worked out and "we just need someone to oil up the ratchets and moving parts" once in a while. There is no need to hire anyone with any depth of skills or experience. The big focus is paying the minimal for skills "just to get by".

This is when organizations get into trouble. In the name of "cost cutting" they get rid of a lot of talent and the people who are left cannot do a lot of complex functions. They are there strictly to "maintain the system". In dynamic markets, this is the wrong approach for having IT and network skills on board.

People Are a Critical Asset, Not a Commodity
Supporting mission-critical cloud applications requires a good group of people who can react quickly in times of emergencies and "one-in-a-lifetime" disasters. The funny thing about "one-in-a-lifetime" disasters is that they seem to happen every year and sometimes quarterly.

Many organizations looking at Cloud Computing have been sold the idea that skilled personnel will not be needed or at least "not needed as much". I have seen organizations where they got rid of so many IT people who had a depth of knowledge of their systems and applications, that every little problem became a crisis because the people who are left cannot handle an "everyday" problem and it escalates into a crisis-level problem.

Users get frustrated because they are not getting answers to simple technical questions. Something that should have been taken care of by a first level technical person has to be escalated up to a higher-level person or even sent out to a third party because there are no skills left in the organization.

How many people have called the "Help Desk" only to be bounced from person to person because no one knows what they are talking about? How many have become so frustrated that they call back and ask to be immediately transferred to the supervisor because they know they are just going to waste time as someone goes through a script of questions like, "Is the system plugged in?" "Is it turned on?"

What is the cost-savings of a couple of technical people, if the whole organization gets stagnated because a simple technical question cannot be answered?

A case in point is where an Illinois-based company cut back on their IT department and when it came to applying some software security updates, they did not have the personnel to do it in a timely fashion and their whole network got hit with a known virus. They were sent the security updates to load into their network and instead of applying them, there was no one to load them so their whole system wiped out all the memories in ALL hard drives that were attached to the computers on the network.

How much money did this company lose as executives scrambled to try to scrape up their notebooks and the information that got wiped out on them? How many hours of executive time were spent in trying to reconstruct lost files and data? They could have easily kept several people on as employees because the money lost in executive time was huge.

As more of an enterprise's electronic commerce is implemented and relied upon as a part of the core business, the skill levels of personnel that support these applications better be adequate so that no problems stall the operations.

You have to spend money to make money and that is true when it comes to people. You cannot commoditize talent. You pay for talent and there is a big difference between a Network Administrator and a Network Janitor.

•   •   •

Copyright 2012 - James Carlini

More Stories By James Carlini

James Carlini, MBA, a certified Infrastructure Consultant, keynote speaker and former award-winning Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University, has advised on mission-critical networks. Clients include the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, GLOBEX, and City of Chicago’s 911 Center. An expert witness in civil and federal courts on network infrastructure, he has worked with AT&T, Sprint and others.

Follow daily Carlini-isms at www.twitter.com/JAMESCARLINI

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
DevOps and microservices are permeating software engineering teams broadly, whether these teams are in pure software shops but happen to run a business, such Uber and Airbnb, or in companies that rely heavily on software to run more traditional business, such as financial firms or high-end manufacturers. Microservices and DevOps have created software development and therefore business speed and agility benefits, but they have also created problems; specifically, they have created software securi...
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of Soli...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business. Though, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected with a majority of IoT projects having failed. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, Chief IoTologist at Wipro, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology portfolios and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will delve in...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, vice president of DevOps Product and Solutions Marketing at CA Technologies, has been named co-conference chair of DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, CTO and founder of Striim, will delve into four enterprise-scale, business-critical case studies where streaming analytics serves as the key to enabling real-time data integration and right-time insights in hybrid cloud, IoT, and fog computing environments. As part of this discussion, he will also present a demo based on its partnership with Fujitsu, highlighting their technologies in a healthcare IoT use-case. The demo showcases the tracking of pati...
Tricky charts and visually deceptive graphs often make a case for the impact IT performance has on business. The debate isn't around the obvious; of course, IT performance metrics like website load time influence business metrics such as conversions and revenue. Rather, this presentation will explore various data analysis concepts to understand how, and how not to, assert such correlations. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Sys...
Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, exhibited at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which took place at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, in June 2016.Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere, IT is empowered to take control of their data ce...
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the...
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...
To manage complex web services with lots of calls to the cloud, many businesses have invested in Application Performance Management (APM) and Network Performance Management (NPM) tools. Together APM and NPM tools are essential aids in improving a business's infrastructure required to support an effective web experience... but they are missing a critical component - Internet visibility.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" ...
Both SaaS vendors and SaaS buyers are going “all-in” to hyperscale IaaS platforms such as AWS, which is disrupting the SaaS value proposition. Why should the enterprise SaaS consumer pay for the SaaS service if their data is resident in adjacent AWS S3 buckets? If both SaaS sellers and buyers are using the same cloud tools, automation and pay-per-transaction model offered by IaaS platforms, then why not host the “shrink-wrapped” software in the customers’ cloud? Further, serverless computing, cl...
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The speed of software changes in growing and large scale rapid-paced DevOps environments presents a challenge for continuous testing. Many organizations struggle to get this right. Practices that work for small scale continuous testing may not be sufficient as the requirements grow. In his session at DevOps Summit, Marc Hornbeek, Sr. Solutions Architect of DevOps continuous test solutions at Spirent Communications, explained the best practices of continuous testing at high scale, which is rele...
Hardware virtualization and cloud computing allowed us to increase resource utilization and increase our flexibility to respond to business demand. Docker Containers are the next quantum leap - Are they?! Databases always represented an additional set of challenges unique to running workloads requiring a maximum of I/O, network, CPU resources combined with data locality.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.