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Meeting the IT Demands of Modern Tech Jobs with Oracle MiniCluster

Linda Tsan
Senior Manager

Modern enterprises have rapidly expanded their use of applications from day-to-day operations like customer-facing e-commerce applications and management of supply chains to more complex IT tasks like remote assets monitoring, interaction with internet-connected thing, and integration with social media platforms. Like Claude Robinson, Senior Director at Oracle, detailed in his top 5 IT predictions for 2017, the sheer volume of data available to enterprises has increased dramatically, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Real-time analytics has become an essential tool for business decision makers who now have massive amounts of information at their fingertips but require new technology in order to understand that information and use it to make better, faster decisions.

The term "modernization" can mean apply to a myriad of situations, but in the tech world it typically refers to the most common issues that enterprise IT teams deal with on a daily basis: performance and security. As more enterprises begin to transition to the cloud, there’s a growing need for someone to focus on the reliability, scalability, and development of the cloud computing infrastructure. Here are three new tech jobs that have emerged in the last few years to support those new needs:

Site Reliability Engineer

Delivering "ALWAYS-ON" reliability of your mission-critical applications will fall on a new IT title we've seen emerge within the last decade: the Site Reliability Engineer (SRE). You’ll also see this job referred to as a Site Performance and Reliability Engineer because reliability problems often turn out to be performance and latency problems. Issues that can can significantly impact the performance of your application or website, like memory leak where memory allocated to a program that is no longer being used is still not available for new programs, becomes the responsibility of an SRE.

Site Reliability Engineers maintain and operate software that automates traditional sysadmin tasks at large scale like configuration and cluster management. They also support container virtualization and the systems architecture of micro-services. Google coined the term Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) over a decade ago to create and maintain a stable and fully available production IT environment for their search engine platform. To keep pace with more nimble startup tech companies, which leapfrogged traditional IT processes to dive right into building a full SRE practice, application developers at larger enterprises are now racing to support the business with groundbreaking code. But the IT operations teams, dedicated to identifying risks, typically toss up barriers and hinder innovation. 

In comes DevOps, a model that encourages the shared responsibility of innovation speed and maintaining a stable production environment between both teams. The results? A less contentious working relationship, greater organizational collaboration, and the automation of rote tasks that take up a significant amount of time from IT resources. Oracle MiniCluster's virtual assistant is a perfect example of time saving technology that enables modern enterprises to take advantage of the startup-driven DevOps model. The virtual assistant built-into this integrated system automates the deployment highly available Oracle Databases, compliance, resource management, and monitoring so you can get insights on applications, servers, or databases that are misbehaving so they can be addressed before they cause problems. Designed as a complete engineered system, it is optimized for Oracle Database workloads and applications, providing the stability, predictability, and performance Site Reliability Engineers need to support new code.

The hard dollar cost savings that a Site Reliability Engineer can also generate for their organization can be quite significant. In addition to reducing unplanned downtime from cloud infrastructure system outages, Site Reliability Engineers can also help to reduce organizational arguments that can delay the release of necessary applications or innovations the business needs to stay current and competitive. This is only the beginning for SRE.

DevOps Engineer

Speaking of the DevOps model, the DevOps Engineer role emerged just a few years ago as a direct result of the sheer amount of servers and systems organizations have to manage these days in order to properly support applications. More organizations are starting to realize the benefits of adopting an agile DevOps model, namely the ability to ship more reliable code more often, so the demand for a DevOps Engineer to liaise seamlessly between both teams is rapidly expanding. Do a simple search on Glassdoor and you’ll see that the teams DevOps Engineers are most likely to join will have names like: 

  • Performance and Scalability Engineering team
  • Code Asset Management Services (CAMs) team
  • Product Innovation team
  • Platform Automation team
  • Build Automation team
  • Infrastructure Engineering team

See a common theme here? DevOps Engineers own the IT infrastructure of production-level environments and are responsible for its availability, performance and security for everything it supports. It’s a complex job. With code being shipped at unprecedented rates, this is disrupting enterprises that are used to taking a slower, more methodical approach to development. How can you keep up?
MiniCluster was built for modern DBAs and sysadmins who demand high availability, high performance, and advanced security features to support a fast, continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) model within their organization. MiniCluster boasts automated IT infrastructure features like:

  • Automated Oracle Database and Oracle RAC deployment 
  • Automated application VM provisioning
  • Automated patching using unified full-system update bundle
  • Automated compliance 

These features cut down on rote IT tasks that lean teams need to do in order to fully support the myriad of servers within their application architecture. Unlike 3rd party configuration management and orchestration tools that promise to “automate your IT infrastructure, cloud management, security, and DevOps,” only Oracle engineered systems is optimized for Oracle Database workloads and Oracle applications. With Solaris moving into a continuous delivery model and Oracle Database moving into continuous integration for developers, Oracle, the industry’s IT heavyweight that is delivering some of the fastest and highest performing systems on the market today, is now cloudy-ready and better aligned with modern delivery requirements. Oracle MiniCluster is a push-button modernization dream for organizations of all sizes.

Computer Security Incident Responder

System security is a top priority for enterprises transitioning to the cloud. The financial impact of the data breach at Yahoo should be enough to make every enterprise a little nervous about the integrity of their digital systems. So too should data pointing to the financial impact of cybercrime. As Jim Gargan, SVP of Marketing Converged Infrastructure Systems at Oracle, reminded us in a blog post here last year, cybercrime accounts for an average annual loss of more than $7.7 million per company. Because many companies don’t believe you can ever be too cautious, they’re building out computer security incident responders teams (CSIRT) to help them identify real threats from false alarms. The security incident responders are known by a number of names:

  • CSIRT engineers
  • Cyber Security Incident Responders
  • Computer Network Defense Responder
  • Intrusion Detection Specialist
  • Network Intrusion Analyst
  • Forensics Intrusion Analyst

Regardless of the name, the responsibilities are virtually the same: security incident responders will review all available data related to an event and perform a preliminary analysis. This fairly new role will analyze alerts from various sources within the enterprise and determine possible causes, provide timely detection, identification, and distinguish these incidents and events from benign activities and identify false positives. This will ensure an appropriate and swift response to the event.

Oracle has been at the forefront of building tightly secured systems that meet the continually evolving needs for modern enterprises. Michael Palmeter, the Senior Director of Engineered Systems Product Management and SPARC Cloud Services, knows that information security the responsibility of the entire business so when IT professionals are asked what they did to prevent a cyber attack on their systems, they better have a good answer. Incident responders will appreciate that Oracle MiniCluster makes it possible for organizations to quickly and easily secure their applications and databases against the widest range of attack vectors as a precautionary measure. Even better, incident responder can take advantage of MiniCluster's full-visibility monitoring and auditing of user and system activities will give them insight into where potential breeches can occur. And because security is built-in, from the SPARC chip to the Oracle cloud, MiniCluster S7-2 makes it easy to automatically verify compliance of your systems against key security standards like PCI-DSS, CIS, DISA STIG, HIPAA, SOX, FIPS 140, FISMA, SOC 2 and NIST on demand or automatically on a pre-determined schedule. 

Plan for the Future

These jobs are coming whether you're ready for them or not. On the business side, this may seem like adding more more glut to what they think is an already bloated IT team. And as an IT professional, you know that you need all the help you can get. Oracle MiniCluster quells those arguments by adding more value to the business by adding more advanced technological capabilities while automating tedious IT tasks to free up resources. Learn more about how Oracle engineered systems can help you build an enterprise cloud strategy with our recent paper, "IT Executive’s Guide To Developing An Enterprise Cloud Strategy," and help you support the new workforce in your modern digital enterprises. 

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