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Data centres: what are the new skill sets?

Commodity technology = commodity staff?

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Ian BeckinghamIain Beckingham
Manager of the Enterprise Technical Specialist team in EMEA, for Intel.

With new servers and technologies such as virtualisation, data centre skillsets are evolving. The new frontier of cloud is pushing IT departments and Data Centre Staff people to move their skill set from traditional single server, single OS, single application to a new level.

The sharing of resources like computing, networking and storage across different OSes and application have huge impact. Managing such a Dynamic IT Infrastructure requires a new global approach and awareness to the Data Center.

Think back several years - if a user wanted to measure performance on a database, they just needed to lookout the number of transactions per second. To find out a CPU bottleneck it was just enough to have a look at the CPU load.

Nowadays, that same database may be virtualised on a server with virtual networking and virtual storage. Identifying the bottleneck(s) becomes harder.

Although the skillsets are changing, the skillsets of IT staff need to converge as the resources do. People dealing just with servers and OSes in the past need now to know about networking and storage; network administrators will not be able to ignore the storage and the virtual computing environments, and the storage administrators will also need to open to networking and to Computing to fully understand the needs of the modern computer infrastructures.

Intel is helping to make things more transparent and less complicated through technology features in the platform eg Intel Virtualisation Technology. However, this also means that the skillsets of IT staff will need to evolve.

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