A data center is a physical or virtual repository that houses groups of networked computers. These networks are often dedicated to a particular business purpose. Some notorious large data centers in the US include the NSA’s Utah Data Center, National Climatic Data Center and the infamous Google Data Center.
Working in a Data Center
For our purposes, we assume the data center a physical location that requires employees with varying skill sets to manage and maintain data servers. Traditionally, data center IT workers dealt exclusively with technical issues. In today’s business environment, however, roles are changing and now require that employees possess skills beyond traditional network maintenance and troubleshooting. Individuals who work in data centers should be customer-centric and able to handle various client support situations. IT managers employed at data centers must be technically proficient and skilled in facilities management, as well as able to manage teams of IT employees because a great deal of this work involves solving hardware power and cooling issues.
Data Center Jobs
Below is a list of just a few of the positions required for large data center operation. Though the job titles may differ, the job requirements and functions are fairly standard, according to Kforce.
Data Center Technician
Generally, the position of data center technician is an entry level job. The minimum educational requirement for the position is a high school diploma, though individuals with an Associates or bachelor’s degree may be preferred. Experience with computer systems and networking is required, as well as experience with specialized platforms such as ticketing systems, interactive voice response systems and remote desktop support technology. Candidates should expect some degree of heavy lifting and hardware installation with this job.
Support Center Analyst
The support center analyst interacts directly with customers, and these interactions can sometimes become tense. This position usually requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, with two or more years of experience. The candidate is also expected to have experience with bug tracking and support desk platforms. Some heavy lifting and hardware configuration may be required.
The network architect is responsible for designing and building the LANs, WANs and intranets supported by the data center. This position usually includes a significant amount of customer contact to determine client requirements. Network architects are expected to have a bachelor’s degree or above and several experience with enterprise-level network design.
Disaster Recovery Specialist
The Disaster Recovery Specialist is a skills-based position, though a bachelors degree is usually desired. The candidate is expected to know how to restore backups and recover data when hard drives crash. Proof of expertise in the way of work experience, education and/or certification is generally required for this high valuable job.
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The business analyst gathers requirements from businesses, and then analyzes these requirements to determine the best way to meet the needs of the business. The business analyst may also be involved with implementing the requirements once all stakeholders have signed off. A bachelors degree is generally required, along with pertinent business experience. An MBA is often beneficial for obtaining this type of job.