Renaming Infrastructure Architects to Evolution Architects…

National Techie day, or you might be a geek if… I’ve read some of the posts, some of the what geeks are descriptions and I find them interesting. I have a few of my own, but I am not going to share them. Instead I would like to talk about the concept of techie, and why that has changed.

I have been an infrastructure architect for many years. During the time of my career the evolution of what infrastructure means has been considerable. Every time the organization adds new functionality it slowly becomes part of the infrastructure. The first components were the Local Area Network (LAN), added in the 1970’s and 1980’s evolving into larger organizations connecting their LAN’s together into what was called a Wide Area Network (WAN). Then we added campus networks where a company or organization had multiple buildings and wanted fast connectivity between them. Then came the birth of DR, and the creation of networks connections using Dark Fiber. Dark Fiber always sounded like a horror movie title to me. And in the forest they awoke the Dark Fiber.

The Internet caused companies to shift their infrastructure considerably. Cloud has done so even more. If you think about the infrastructure team they were most likely security and infrastructure now security is separate. The infrastructure team once in charge of that LAN, then the WAN then the connection to the Internet. Now also owns the platform on which the business or organization delivers solutions or products. Email, collaboration and so on now considered part of the infrastructure. I like to call infrastructure architects evolution architects. Able to go with the flow and pay attention to what is changing around you. There are disciplines with infrastructure architecture that don’t evolve, but they are smaller and smaller now.

Infrastructure architects evolve over time. They manage many things that once were organizational solutions that are offered as part and parcel of what the organization needs to deliver value to its consumers or customers.

They, infrastructure architects, watch for the next big thing. Not because they are afraid their jobs are going to be consumed, but because they know their jobs are going to be evolved by this horizon system that is coming.

Today the big things are:

· Internet of Things

· Server “less” architectures

Simple, easy. We can do that. Go over to that office that is filled with old hardware and paper, and ask the infrastructure architect to evolve our infrastructure to support these new metaphors and technologies. Yea!

So first off the Internet of Things. Billions of chattering devices deployed, billions more waiting in boxes and under desks and cube spaces in offices. Waiting to chatter and fill the network of the company with talk of temperature and humidity. To fill the network with pictures of the outside of company or organization buildings. To freely share images of outside walkways and surveillance video of locations. All that data pushed into the network and what happens when the network can’t handle it? We go get the evolution architect and ask him or her why they didn’t evolve before the problem existed.

Server “less” changes operations and impacts as well the overall concept of mission and organization delivery. You see the funny thing that evolution architects deal with is the reality of down time. As in no organization ever likes down time. Down time costs money. Down time causes mission to fail.

So infrastructure (evolution) architects look ahead. They consider and plan for tomorrow. Even though the budget they have for today was just cut 10%. Now we have to do more with less. Its easy right, simple to consider in the end. Do more with less.

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Offering less for free