Evolution of the Super Administrator
Large enterprise organisations are traditionally siloed from an IT perspective. You have the Server Team, the Network Team, the Storage Team, the Security Team, the Application Team; you get the idea. There are usually politics involved, where the IT Division resembles a kindergarten with playground arguments and disagreements.
THE GAME IS CHANGING! With the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), Hyper-Convergence, the “Goldilocks Zone” and Network Virtualisation, you are seeing the rise of the “Super Administrator” – the one person who has the skills that span every silo. That individual can lay cables, install hardware, configure a router or switch, install a hypervisor, configure directory services, build a VM, configure Windows Server, carve a LUN, zone fiber-channel, configure application firewall rules, manage a hybrid cloud, troubleshoot VDI and present a NAS share.
The SMB version of this person is normally present in small organisations, since they have only one or two people who run the whole shop and out of necessity become the “jack of all trades, master of none”. The trick is to evolve these skills to the Enterprise and Service Provider level by “T-Skilling”. This means developing your knowledge until you are minimally competent in all areas of the SDDC (Cloud, Data Center, Network, Storage and VDI).
So you have to ask yourself: “Do I want to be a one trick pony?” and “How do I break out of my silo?”
There are a number of ways to develop “T-Skilling”:
- Request a transfer to another silo within your organisation or change companies to get the technology role you want
- Training – Cisco, VMware, EMC, Hitachi, HP, Microsoft, Red Hat, Nutanix, etc.
- Certification – Cisco (CCNA, CCNP, CCIE, CCDE, CCAr), VMware (VCP, VCAP, VCIX, VCDX), Microsoft, Red Hat, Nutanix, etc.
- Home Lab – you can download and run most of the SDDC at home, with nested hypervisors and evaluation versions of software.
- Blogging – document your discoveries, placing it in the public domain forces you to be extra vigilant with developing accurate content.
As long as you are prepared to learn new skills, there is no reason why you cannot be a “Super Administrator”. If you do not enjoy change and learning then Information Technology may be the wrong career path for you.
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