Here we are in an age of automation, consolidation, virtualization, optimization and the proliferation of a dozen other terms and technologies that are enabling IT organizations and users to do more with less and from just about any location. We’re building clouds and service catalogs, virtual desktops and creating IT service providers. The skills required by IT organizations continue to grow in leaps and bounds. No more can you just be “the router engineer” or “the backup engineer”, you’re faced with learning other technologies. Not so much learning, but cross training. How can you design any IT system without knowing how other parts work? The inter-dependencies are deep, and are only getting deeper. There was a day when you had discrete systems. A server, with a NIC and a SCSI adapter connected to a LAN and a disk array. The server was managed by the server team, the LAN by the network team and the array by the storage team. The line of demarcation was the cabling or the NIC/SCSI adapter. There wasn’t much need for the LAN team to work on the server or the server admin to work on the array. Some might say, “Times were simpler back then.” Maybe, but the silos were taller and their walls thicker.
That was then, this is now. There are switches that run on the server like the Nexus 1000v. There was a time when “internal storage’ meant a server with 20 internal drive bays. Now storage companies are demoing running VMs inside their arrays. In BigData environments, we move the data closer to the compute, maybe it’s time to move the compute closer to the data? Is specialization of skills fading and generalization emerging?
So now we’ve got server folks learning LAN, LAN folks learning SAN and everyone learning server virtualization.