The demand for professionals with cloud computing certification has risen rapidly, reflecting the shift from in-house servers to cloud-based systems. The scarcity of skilled professionals in this field presents a valuable opportunity for those willing to acquire cloud computing skills.
The most sought-after cloud platforms are maintained by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing refers to providing IT resources and services over the internet through a pay-per-use model. Investing and managing physical data centers or servers is no longer necessary with this technology. Instead, you can access a range of tech services, such as computing power, storage, and databases, as and when you need them from a cloud provider such as AWS and GCP.
Cloud computing: types
Cloud Computing is divided into the following three categories, including:
The public cloud refers to a cloud computing model where a service provider offers access to computing resources, such as SaaS applications, virtual machines, and complete infrastructures, over the public internet. Users can avail of these resources for free or pay based on a subscription or usage-based pricing model.
A private cloud is an exclusive cloud computing environment solely dedicated and accessible by a single customer. This type of cloud combines the benefits of cloud computing, such as flexibility, scalability, and seamless service delivery, with the security and customization of on-premises infrastructure. A private cloud can be hosted on a customer's data center or an independent cloud provider's infrastructure. It can also be established on rented infrastructure in a remote data center.
Hybrid cloud combines public and private cloud services to create a flexible and efficient IT infrastructure. By combining the benefits of both public and private clouds, organizations can choose the best cloud solution for each application and adjust their workloads as needed. The hybrid cloud provides a balance of access control, security, and customization from the private cloud and scalability and ease of service delivery from the public cloud.
Cloud computing: services
With SaaS, you can access essential services and applications over the internet. No more headaches from installing and maintaining software. SaaS eliminates the need for hardware and software maintenance, freeing you from the complexities of running applications on your computer or in data centers.
PaaS provides developers with a platform and environment to create applications and services in the cloud. With PaaS, everything is hosted in the cloud, and you can access it with just a web browser.
IaaS offers computer infrastructure on an outsourcing basis. This means you can receive support for various operations, such as networking equipment, devices, databases, and web servers. With IaaS, you can enjoy a streamlined and cost-effective solution for your infrastructure needs.
Cloud computing: benefits
1. Optimized speed
The speed and ease of obtaining IT resources and services from the cloud are unmatched. With cloud computing, you can have your desired product or service almost immediately, ready for production with minimal delay. This makes it a highly advantageous alternative to traditional legacy systems, as businesses can generate revenue sooner after launching their services.
2. Cost saving
Say goodbye to the hassle of hardware purchasing and maintenance with cloud computing. There is no need to invest in costly hardware that may not meet your needs in the long run. Instead, pay only for what you use and scale up or down as needed. This can result in significant cost savings for your business.
3. Scalable resources
Gone are the days of trying to predict demands and allocate resources accordingly. With cloud services, you can set up automated monitoring tools to quickly scale your operations up or down based on your needs.
4. Remote accessibility
Enjoy the freedom to access your resources, data, services, and applications from anywhere with an internet connection. Even when offline, some tools and techniques allow you to access the cloud whenever necessary.
5. Enhanced security
Protect your valuable data and ensure it is stored securely with cloud computing. With encrypted and tamper-proof storage, you can have peace of mind knowing your data is secure and accessible whenever needed.
Cloud computing: service providers
Let's take a closer look at the various companies that provide cloud computing support and services. Today's cloud service providers offer a wide range of services that help users easily migrate, upgrade, automatically scale, monitor, and secure their cloud data for optimal accessibility and utilization.
Some of the top cloud service providers (CSPs) are:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Google Cloud
- Microsoft Azure
- IBM Cloud
- Alibaba Cloud
- Rackspace Cloud
Cloud computing: job responsibilities
1. Cloud Administrator
As a Cloud administrator, you play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth functioning of cloud-based systems. Your responsibilities include configuring, maintaining, and provisioning systems within set parameters. With three to five years of experience, you are expected to be proficient in significant scripting languages, remote monitoring tools, troubleshooting, and configuration management. Your primary duty is to collaborate with the IT department to design and maintain Windows, cloud, or Unix infrastructure and to provide technical support in case of any operational issues. You are accountable for ensuring the reliable and efficient operation of cloud-based systems.
Here is a recommended list of certifications for aspiring cloud administrators:
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrators
- Google Apps Certified Administrator
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert
- VMware Certified Cloud Professional
- Certified OpenStack Administrator
2. Cloud Developer
Becoming a cloud application developer is the next step in your career as a cloud computing professional, requiring 2-3 years of experience in app development or managing cloud environments. Cloud application developers create software platforms that run on the cloud, whether as SaaS-based web apps or platforms hosted in a private cloud. They take on responsibilities related to technicians, architects, engineers, or analysts, as well as application development. When hiring a cloud developer, employers seek hands-on experience with major cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud. Knowledge of multiple development tools and programming languages and proficiency in DevOps, including continuous integration and delivery, can enhance your chances of success in this role.
Aspiring cloud developers would benefit from obtaining the following certifications:
- AWS Certified Developer – Associate or Professional
- Salesforce Certified Platform Developer
- Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate
- Google Certified Professional Cloud Developer
3. Cloud Engineer
As a cloud engineer, you are focusing on the technical aspects of cloud technology and must be knowledgeable in optimizing its value. A minimum of three to five years of experience is expected, as well as expertise in application programming interfaces (APIs), integration design, and cloud database management. Your responsibilities as a cloud engineer include planning, maintenance, and support of cloud systems. Proficiency in programming languages such as Java and Python is expected, and recruiters highly value experience in developing and designing cloud-based web services. Hands-on experience with platforms like OpenStack, AWS, Linux, Microsoft Azure, and Dockers can give you a competitive edge in the market and skills in DevOps, APIs, and automation.
Considerable certifications for aspiring cloud engineers are:
- AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional
- Cisco Certified Network Professional – Cloud
- Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer
4. Cloud Architect
The role of a cloud architect is highly strategic, often requiring more than a decade of expertise. Cloud architects are responsible for envisioning a company's cloud landscape before migration or implementation and creating an end-to-end blueprint that guides cloud engineers, app developers, security professionals, and administrators. The cloud architect makes critical decisions about the company's cloud computing strategy, oversees cloud adoption plans, and manages cloud application design and monitoring. They must stay updated with industry trends to ensure that cloud environments run efficiently. A cloud architect should have the ability to develop a future-proof cloud computing strategy for an organization based on business needs and be knowledgeable about containers to address the challenge of application portability across cloud platforms.
Here's a list of cloud architects certifications:
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate or Professional
- Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect
- IBM Certified Cloud Solution Architect
- Red Hat Certified Cloud Architect
5. Cloud Security Professional
The role of a cloud security professional involves securing cloud environments for an enterprise or a client organization. They collaborate with developers to integrate security measures into cloud applications. To pursue this career, obtaining formal training and industry certifications is necessary, while prior experience may be an advantage.
The following certifications are available to aid in preparing for a career as a cloud security professional.
- Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)
- Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
- GCP - Cloud Security Engineer Professional Certificate
- GIAC Cloud Security Essentials (GCLD)
- GIAC Cloud Security Automation (GCSA)
- GIAC Public Cloud Security (GPCS)
- GIAC Cloud Penetration Tester (GCPN)
Cloud computing: skills
Security is of utmost importance in cloud computing as it involves managing and storing sensitive business data. IT security must be prioritized in organizations to prevent data breaches, intellectual property theft, and damage to a company's reputation. There is a high demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals in the cloud industry.
Machine learning and AI
The use of machine learning and artificial intelligence has grown significantly, especially in the cloud computing industry. Major cloud vendors now offer tools and services that provide greater access to cloud-based AI and machine learning applications, making these skills increasingly crucial in cloud computing. Cloud computing provides the necessary computing power and infrastructure for organizations to engage in AI and machine learning.
The massive amount of data generated every day has the potential to provide valuable insights for organizations. As these databases are mostly hosted on cloud platforms, there is a growing demand for professionals with the skills to manage, store, and access data in the cloud. IT professionals should consider investing in learning a database querying language and associated database platforms.
DevOps is a software development method that considers the entire software lifecycle, from planning to maintenance. It enables organizations to automate updates and release updates more efficiently. DevOps is a crucial development process in cloud computing, making it a valuable skill in the field.
Cloud Computing: salary
The demand for cloud computing professionals is on the rise, and the top 16% of earners in the US make over $150,000 annually. Salaries in this field vary based on experience, job function, location, and qualifications. On average, a cloud computing professional in the US can expect an annual base salary of $81,519. With the increasing demand for cloud computing services, now is a prime time to explore this growth-oriented and lucrative career opportunity.
The final words
Cloud computing is a rapidly growing field with a high demand for skilled professionals. The industry offers a range of job opportunities with varying responsibilities and salaries, from entry-level to senior positions.
A career in cloud computing can be highly rewarding, offering the potential to earn even more with experience and qualifications. With the expected continued growth of cloud computing services, now is an excellent time to enter this dynamic and lucrative industry.