Cloud Roles

At Eucalyptus, we have been involved in discussions regarding the impact of cloud computing on IT roles — both in terms of the evolution of traditional roles (e.g. System Administrator, Network Administrator, etc.) and new roles likely to emerge with the adoption of cloud computing.

Cloud Roles

Cloud Administrator

A Cloud Administrator is responsible for the implementation, monitoring and maintenance of the cloud within the organization. Typically this role also involves the implementation of service level agreements (SLA) for permissions, access, quotas, etc. as required by an organization's policies. The Cloud Administrator works directly with System, Network and Cloud Storage Administrators.

Cloud Application Architect

The Cloud Application Architect is responsible for adapting, porting or deploying an application to a target cloud. They work closely with end users to ensure that an application's performance, reliability and security are all maintained throughout the life-cycle of the application. The architect's skills draw from both system administration experience (to tune the underlying OS and to act as System Administrator on instances) and from domain specific expertise (to tune the application and understand end user needs). Typically there is one architect per application domain who works closely with the Cloud Data Architect and the Cloud Administrators.

Cloud Architect

The Cloud Architect will determine when and how a private cloud meets the policies and needs of an organization's strategic goals. The Cloud Architect is also responsible for designing the private cloud, understanding and evaluating the technologies and vendors needed to deploy the private cloud.

Cloud Data Architect

The cloud offers many different types of storage with possibly different SLAs associated with each of them. The Cloud Data Architect makes sure that an application in the cloud is using these different storage types appropriately, and that the application is taking full advantage of the properties of each type of cloud storage.

Cloud Developer

Cloud Developers develop for the cloud infrastructure itself. This can be a developer working on a client tool (such as the euca2ools suite) or a system component such as the Eucalyptus Cloud Controller. Typically Cloud Developer's work independently, though they may interact with the Cloud Administrator during debugging sessions.

Cloud Operator

The duties of a Cloud Operator tend to relate to day-to-day cloud maintenance and monitoring activities and are considered by most as a junior Cloud Administrator.

Cloud Service Manager

The Cloud Service Manager design the policies, rules and pricing model (SLA) for every cloud resource available within the organization. The SLA will need to stay current with the organization's policies, rules and priorities, thus the Cloud Service Manager works with the management to receive directions and with the Cloud Administrator to implement the SLAs.

Cloud Storage Administrator

The Cloud Storage Administrator writes SLAs for the various groups and users (maps space, bandwidth, and reliability of the various cloud storage to the various groups/users), to ensure SLAs stay in compliance with current policies and that SLAs are met and respected. The Cloud Storage Administrator works directly with the Storage, Network and Cloud Administrators.

Cloud User

A Cloud User has access to compute resources (pre-packaged images, instances, volumes, buckets etc.) within a cloud, and are generally granted System Administrator privileges to the instances they start. Cloud Users may work with a Cloud Architect to tune specific applications, but often use the images provide to them independently.

Traditional IT Roles

Code Developer

A Code Developer (not to be confused with a 'cloud developer') may be either a Cloud User (when they want to fully control the environment they want to use) or the End User (when they use instances created for them by the Cloud Application Architect).

Computer Operator

The duties of a Computer Operator relate to day-to-day maintenance activities, and are viewed by some as a junior System Administrator. See

Data Base Administrator

A Data Base Administrator is responsible for the design, implementation, and maintenance of a database. Within the realm of database systems, this role is akin to a system administrator. See

End User

An End User uses applications running on instances created by the Cloud Application Architect in the cloud. Thus an End User may actually be unaware that the application they are using is located in the cloud


Managers influence the direction of the enterprise, including deciding if and when to move IT into the cloud. They directly or indirectly work with all other IT roles.

Network Administrator

The skill set of the Network Administrator tends to be specific to the managing of the network fabric to ensure proper and reliable communication between computing resources and users. There can be wide variation in the responsibilities of Network Administrators, as individuals can specialize in authentication, intrusion detection, performance, network based services (e.g., file servers), or drivers on desktop computers — to name a few specialized responsibilities. See

Storage Administrator

The responsiblities of a Storage Administrator is more loosely defined. In general, they are responsible for the design, implementation and maintenance of the storage infrastructure with an organization. Based upon the organizations choice of storage (DAS, NAS, SAN, etc), their skill sets tend to be specialized. This role is mentioned, but not defined, in a wikipedia article on File area network.

System Administrator

The skills and duties of a System Administrator are wide ranging and typically a "sysadmin"is called upon to perform a range of duties within a small group setting. These duties involve the planning, implementation and maintenance of servers/hosts, along with the services hosted on these servers. See