Tell me about your Data Center job.

Shoe BoxShoe Box Banned Posts: 118
I have been doing Desktop Support for over 3 years, recently got my CCT, and am currently studying the VMware VCA materials to get my VCA6-DCV. My goal is to move more into networking, and preferably into data center maintenance and operations.

I would like to hear from people who work in data centers or have worked in them previously. How big was it (square feet of raised floor space), what was your job title, what certifications did you have or were required to get for your job, what did you do on a daily basis, what did you need to learn more of on the job, etc.

I'm trying to learn all I can, there's a limited number of data centers around here and I don't want to go applying to them all with not enough qualifications or training or certifications to be taken seriously.


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    kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    So my previous job I helped build our cloud department.
    I had no VMWare training, Had my CCNP, and a few other certs.

    Day to day I did everything from rack and stacks to NetAPP administration, spin up new vm environments in VMware or Hyper-V, new customer environments, do data backups with EMC, Veeam, and more.
    Build customer VRFs to access their data, storage space, etc.
    Give them analytics by building them a custom solarwinds profile on our enterprise profile, etc.

    It was a lot of fun but I got to interact with a lot of people which helps keep me going.
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    lsud00dlsud00d Member Posts: 1,571
    I worked in a data center as an Infrastructure Engineer consultant to a SMB in the public sector. It wasn't "big big", but I was still in charge of a decent bit of infrastructure as they had a good IT budget. It was a good learning experience working with multi-tiered SAN storage, multiple hypervisors & migrations, reduction in servers, domain/Exchange migration, multi-site DR implementation, firewall management, multi-homed ISP's, load balancers, reverse/forward proxies, web/mail filters, routers, switches, etc. Add on the physical side racking, cabling, airflow/HVAC/power planning & management, decom'ing, etc and you get the whole data center experience.

    I had everything under my name but that was largely circumstance and not a pre-req to being assigned the contract. I had done a lot with Linux & Windows Systems Engineering, some applications/systems/hardware appliance security, so honestly being a JOAT helped because I could jump onto any device and do what needed to be done. The customer was very happy with that because they didn't have to call the vendors to get stuff done, even with products that they had customized before I entered the picture.

    Most data centers will have you silo'd and focused on just a few technologies because most data centers are for servicing other customers. I was fortunate enough to work in a data center that the customer owned so it was like my own playground icon_cool.gif
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    slee335slee335 Member Posts: 124
    my data center job as a NOC suck just answer phone and pass everything on to the network engineer and you work all crazy hours. the only good thing is i have time to study for and passed my ITIL comptia secuirty+ and now my VMware class. i can't wait to leave here in opinion data center jobs are for people that are non social the building is empty and lonely.
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    scaredoftestsscaredoftests Mod Posts: 2,780 Mod
    I am learning more about VMware at work. It is fascinating..tempted to go for a certificate for it...
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
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    kenrinkenrin Member Posts: 51 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I like mine except for the pay and hours. Team of four techs x 12 hour shifts. Two engineers to handle escalations and DNS. The company mainly hires people that are underemployed or in school currently. I have no idea why it is so hard to find people that know *basic* Linux.

    A typical day consists of monitoring the ticketing system and e-mails until something happens. Usually it is just server reboots or building out servers for orders. The good thing about being so small is the amount of information we are required to know and time to study or do projects. The bad thing is i'm usually the only one in the building and have to handle everything(that i have access to) or call someone that is asleep. When something goes down you have to be on your game and know the plan. It is not fun getting calls from high profile clients when you don't know what has happened or you are in-route to take a look.

    We have four centers (2000, 2000, 8000, 3000) sq ft. There is room for probably another 10000 if needed one day, we have been downsizing slightly due to clients opting for VMware Cloud and ISCSI SAN.

    I'll try to answer all OP's questions so... I was not required to get or have any certifications or degrees and I'm still not required. Anyone that does not pass the basic Linux test is not considered qualified. I would recommend at LEAST having network+ or CCENT | CCNA knowledge because most of our hires get their butts kicked understanding VLANS and how topology's work etc. We use GUI-based scripts to log into the routers and switches as i'm sure most DC's use.

    I think my biggest obstacle is not being able to install additional tools on customers servers (without permission anyway). I had to learn VIM when I only knew Nano. Then I had to learn VI when I had work with debian servers. I had to learn to partition using only fdisk and LVM (gparted gets no love on Vcloud servers). Had to learn how to spot issues with our AC and UPS units to notify maintenance. Had to learn VMware's stupid P2V and V2P tool thing that seems to take forever.

    Last note: take all my post with a grain of salt as I definitely don't work in a typical NOC. Most would be like slee335 and just watch the tickets and escalate to the correct department.
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    networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I work for a data center company as a network architect. We have numerous DCs around the world and adding more every month. I mostly work on the DC design, global backbone design, new product development, new platform testing etc.

    If you are looking to get in from the ground up on the network side then you'd be good to add things like firewalls, switches and load balancers to your resume. These are the things that we hire people to come in and support from the access layer. Cisco Nexus, ASA, Palo Alto, F5, Netscaler etc. Knowledge of cloud, virtulization, etc. certainly helps as well.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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