Top 5 Trends for Cloud Storage Jobs

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Rapid cloud adoption is a mega-trend influencing every aspect of IT and business. According to Omdia’s most recent survey of 151 companies in North America that use cloud services, 39% of IT budgets will be spent on cloud services in 2023, up from 34% in 2021. Nearly half of enterprise applications will be developed using cloud platforms by 2023. And CIOs expect to use nine cloud service providers (CSPs) to meet their needs by 2023, up from seven today. 

Inevitably, the cloud has impacted the job market. Instead of having separate individuals or teams to look after networking, storage, compute, applications, and development, many of these functions have been combined. And new positions have emerged. 

Specific to storage, let’s look at the biggest trends related to cloud storage jobs: 

See more: Data Storage Job Market Trends

1. Storage Managers Need a Broader Look 

In years gone by, the life of a storage manager revolved around internal capacity, disk arrays, storage area networks (SANs), and network attached storage (NAS). But the focus has shifted. Yes, there are still internal storage requirements. But the storage manager now must be able to span their attention outward to all the places where their organization might store data. 

“The shift to using more cloud storage means workers need to know how to manage storage in the cloud and understand how cloud storage can be accessed from outside the cloud,” said Greg Schulz, an analyst with StorageIO Group.

“This also means knowing more than just S3 buckets and object storage. It is important to know about Azure blobs as well as cloud file, cloud block, cloud stream, and cloud tables.

2. Cost Optimization via Tiering 

Knowledge of the technology is no longer enough. Now storage professionals need to be up to speed on cloud costs and how to contain them. One of the best ways to do this is to possess a firm understanding of the different tiers of storage, such as memory, solid-state drive (SSD), hard disk drive (HDD), tape, as well as the many flavors of cloud storage

“As more companies seek to realize the cost savings, security, and other benefits of cloud storage, expect cloud storage professionals to increasingly be tasked with finding tools, services, and other ways to optimize cloud storage costs and performance by tiering cloud storage,” said David Ngo, CTO of Metallic.

“With tiering, expensive hot cloud storage can be used for high performance, and less expensive cool cloud storage for use cases that don’t require these levels of performance.” 

For example, they might use hot storage to store backups of business-critical data that needs to be recovered quickly after a ransomware or other attack and use less costly storage to store backups of email archives and other data that does not have to be recovered immediately. Major cloud storage providers, as well as new backup-as-a-service (BaaS) and other data management-as-a-service (DMaaS) solutions, increasingly offer both hot and cool cloud storage options that enable such storage tiering. Cloud storage professionals who understand the nuanced differences between these options will be better able to leverage cloud storage resources in ways that support their company’s needs. 

“Cloud storage professionals who acquire the knowledge and skills needed to deliver cloud storage performance while minimizing cloud storage costs will become valuable,” Ngo said.  

3. Knowledge of Containers 

Prasoon Pushkar, product marketing manager, DataCore Software, pointed out that the rise of Kubernetes and container adoption means that Kubernetes knowledge-based DevOps engineer job roles will be in high demand. Adoption of Kubernetes and the use of containers in production has increased by 300% since 2016, according to a recent CNCF survey.

Earlier Kubernetes and containers were built for stateless applications. But the CNCF 2020 report states that now more than 50% use it for stateful applications — and more than 90% think it is ready for stateful applications and workloads. Adoption of DevOps practices on Kubernetes is still more than the adoption of software development life cycle on Kubernetes. 

“As more stateful applications are deployed on Kubernetes-based platforms, the demand for operations knowledge on deployment, configuration, management, monitoring and security will increase,” Pushkar said.

See more: The Cloud Computing Market

4. As-a-Service Mindset

Public cloud providers and software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers have long operated as a service. But now internal storage operations are being required to provide storage capacity and tiers as-a-service. This is the case even if they are only serving internal customers. 

“Private cloud operators are evolving into the as-a-service mindset that the public clouds embody, but inevitably they will get there,” said Chris Cummings, VP of marketing at FalconStor

5. Revenue Positions 

In some organizations, positions are evolving that look directly after cloud spend as well as revenue and SaaS revenue. In some cases, they mainly keep track of cloud costs. But increasingly, positions are opening up that seek to maximize cloud revenue. 

Ahana, for example, has appointed Andy Sacks as chief revenue officer to lead Ahana Cloud’s global revenue strategy. Ahana Cloud for Presto is a cloud-native managed service for AWS that gives control, price performance, and visibility of Presto clusters and their connected data sources.

“We’ve seen rapidly growing demand for our Presto managed service offering, which brings SQL to AWS S3, allowing for interactive, ad hoc analytics on the data lake,” said Steven Mih, co-founder and CEO of Ahana. “As the next step, we are committed to building a world-class go-to-market team with Andy at the helm to run the sales organization. His strong background building enterprise sales organizations, as well as his deep experience in the open-source space, makes him the ideal choice.”

Sacks said Ahana is “simplifying” open data lake analytics with its SaaS for Presto. 

“I am looking forward to leveraging my experiences to help drive Ahana’s growth through innovative Presto use cases for customers, without the complexities of managing cloud deployments,” Sacks said.

Drew Robb
Drew Robb
Drew Robb is a contributing writer for Datamation, Enterprise Storage Forum, eSecurity Planet, Channel Insider, and eWeek. He has been reporting on all areas of IT for more than 25 years. He has a degree from the University of Strathclyde UK (USUK), and lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

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