Which of these things is not like the other?
Dodo, Network Administrator, Sabretooth Tiger or Wooly Mammoth
Over the last two years I have seen lists appear on news feeds and social media about jobs or careers the were going away. One of the careers that showed up on those lists was “network administrator”. I have one word for the individuals who write those lists; baloney.
The main reason folks think network or system administrators are going extinct is the movement to cloud based services. I do agree that some aspects of network administration do go away with a migration to cloud based services. It has been quite some time since I built up and loaded a physical server. That job has moved to someone in a data center somewhere else. There is still software, there is still data, there are still updates, there are still switches, there is still Wi-Fi and a host of other things that still exist to manage; including USERS.
Network administration is like energy and therefore subject to the First Law of Thermodynamics or the law of conservation of energy. Meaning energy cannot be created or destroyed only transformed or changed. Network administration is NEVER going away, but it will always be changing. It might be said that the only network administrator that goes away is the one that is not changing.
Today network administrators do not spend much time loading servers or installing server updates as much of that now lives in AWS, Azure, Google, or another cloud ecosystem. Each organization’s corner of those ecosystems needs to be managed though. When the idea of moving data to a cloud service came up the idea was that every individual had their own little piece of the cloud with their data.
That was a nice idea until someone needed to share a file with someone else in the organization. The file was sent by email and modified. Now there were two copies of the original file in two places and a modified one that was sent back to the originator and on to another person for approval. Now there are two original copies of the file and three modified versions of the file. The person reviewing the file now makes a change and sends it back to the originator and the second person. There are now eight copies of the file: the two original copies, the three modified copies and the three final copies. If our organization has a limited amount of space in their corner of the cloud this type of behavior could be a problem. Keeping track of versions could be a problem after this behavior is replicated a few hundred times.
How is this fixed? Well rather than send a file around by email why not have the file in a centralized location with security so that only the correct folks have access. Who is responsible for setting that up and maintaining that structure? The extinct network administrator is of course.
This is one example and there are many others. The point is if there is a need for a network; the need to manage it is there also.