System architects

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by trouphaz, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. trouphaz

    trouphaz New Member

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    So, are there any system architects in this forum? I've been a UNIX admin/architect for about 10 years now and a storage admin/architect for about 4. Are there any others of you who work in an enterprise environment? It doesn't necessarily have to be UNIX.
     
  2. sonicsuby

    sonicsuby New Member

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    I've been in UNIX engineering for about two years now. Admin for two years prior.
     
  3. crontab

    crontab (uid = 0)

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    i was titled system architect (UNIX/SAN) back at my old employer, Dow Jones. Now I am just a Sr. unix admin, although those types of roles don't really seem to apply to this environment or this employers method of workflow...
     
  4. trouphaz

    trouphaz New Member

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    so, what do you guys generally call yourselves? i've been called a sys admin, a system engineer and a system architect. whenever i've said engineer, someone starts arguing with me over the semantics of the title. they keep saying, "you aren't really engineering anything new. you are architecting solutions using readily available tools and systems."

    either way, what are your day to day roles and responsibilities? i guess the 3 separate roles that i see (if you go fairly high level) are support, deployment/implementation and design. i usually think SA when i'm talking support and deployment while i think system engineer/architect more with design and implementation. then, the distinction between deployment and implementation is really the level of effort involved. for deployment i just think of someone handling the racking, powering, cabling and OS install. then, implementation is more of an integrated solution where you are expected to build an HA environment with databases and application integration.


    by the by, crontab, i love your AV and your username. :)
     
  5. mrj

    mrj New Member

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    I'm a Sys Admin, and I just consider Engineers to be Architects. But, yeah, I assume that someone who is in Engineering has some level of lower level customization going on, performed by them.

    If you're just installing stuff and configuring it, you might as well be an Admin. The Engineers on my team are typically the guys who I call for programming/development issues.

    They design and test the systems, roll out proprietary things such as internal ticketing systems, things of that nature, hopefully QA them, then they pass them to me for actual deployment and management.

    edit:


    Your "deployment" guy sounds like a tech to me. I've probably made 3 cables in 4 years of IT. We have the entry level guys do that unless none are around.

    SA's handle the overall operating systems, meaning that they monitor security, networking issues, things of that nature. It might not sound like much, but if a company is employing SAs and SEs, they most likely are using a NOC or several, and have thousands of servers that the SA's have to monitor.

    Semantics in IT is stupid, honestly, we all work in different businesses, and we all do different things. It's really not worth caring about your title, unless they consider you a "tech" - I worked at a company that called me a "tech" after being an Admin for years, and that seriously pissed me off. I see "techs" as an 18 year old neckbeard who carries servers between buildings. Work on what you're told to work on, and hope that the other guys work on their end of things.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2008
  6. sonicsuby

    sonicsuby New Member

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    Even though my title says I'm an "engineer", I usually just tell people I'm an SA. I don't feel like my experience with *NIX is great enough to really say "Yeah, I'm a UNIX engineer". I will, however, use the engineer title when at a table of people we're just meeting and the inevitable "what do you do for work" question is asked. Then I throw in something jargony like "yeah we engineer and deploy the UNIX systems environments for our major customer facing applications." Eyes usually sort of gloss at that point and they don't ask anymore questions ;).

    Anyway, our tasks are:

    sizing - we get a request from our customer (99% of the time they are internal business units) to size an environment to run x application. They give us their requirements, based on what the app developer has told them, then we pick the system hardware that accurately matches what they need, the software they need, quote it all up and write up a basic doc that says why we chose what we did, accounting for growth, how it will all go together.

    engineering - we take the sizing doc and write up a much more detailed document that is then used by the network and storage engineers to build out their plans, give us the cabling, network space and storage we need. The document spells out the adapter placement (when applicable, like in p-series stuff), the racking strategy, how the clustering will work (if applicable), etc. Then we get fresh quotes and turn them over for ordering.

    deployment - we build out and configure the environment, supporting the developers/application teams throughout the process, by responding to their scope changes, answering questions, making changes to the OS configuration they didn't know they'd need, etc.

    support - we're second level support for the admin team.
     

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