A data center architect is an expert responsible for designing and implementing the data center infrastructure that maintains virtual environments. These senior-level employees play an active role in the operations and managing of a data center.
In this article, we discuss the data center architect position: their responsibilities and role, how much they are paid, the education and certification requirements, the market outlook for data centers, and some similar jobs.
What Is a Data Center Architect?
Data center architects help design the physical environments that maintain virtual environments. A data center is a dedicated space of networked computer systems, storage systems, computing infrastructure, and associated components that store, manage, process, organize, and distribute a large amount of data. Data center architects are responsible for adequately securing and examining factors that contribute to facility design and architecture.
The role and responsibilities of a data center architect may include:
- Performing infrastructure design, strategy, and services and participating in the implementation of computer system, network, storage, and security infrastructure
- Researching and analyzing new technologies, materials, construction methods, and environmental impact
- Providing technical analysis, integration expertise, and critical data analysis related to system architecture in alignment with overall data center strategy
- Maintaining a functional relationship with multi-disciplinary teams to support overall resource efficiency
- Leading and supporting data center virtualization, service delivery, automation, and implementation
Read more on TechRepublic: Behind the Scenes: A Day in the Life of a CloudOps Director
Data Center Architect Salary
A data center architect is a senior-level job position. Due to its importance, many organizations offer an attractive salary when filling this role.
According to ZipRecruiter the annual salary for data center architects varies between $140,000 to $166,500, with an average salary of almost $152,000 per year. According to another source, Salary.com, the average annual salary of data center architects was $121,450 as of December 2021.
However, salary depends on several important factors, including education, professional certifications, additional skills, and number of years of experience.
How Do You Become a Data Center Architect?
Data center architect is an important position, especially as cloud and IT infrastructures expand. It is not an entry-level position, and experience plays an important role when choosing a candidate.
To become a data center architect, it is required to have a bachelor’s degree in the field of computer science, computer engineering, IT, or other closely related fields. Many candidates attain master’s degrees in technical fields, management, business, or other related fields to gain a competitive advantage.
Read more on CIO Insight: IT Certifications vs Degree — What Should You Do?
Data Center Architect Certifications
Sometimes employers prefer candidates to be certified in specific technologies to ensure newly hired data center architects are familiar with their environments. There are some popular certifications provided by reputed organizations that can help would-be applicants achieve the position.
The top certifications for data center architects may include:
- Cisco Certified Network Professional Data Center
- VMware Certified Professional 6-Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV)
- Certified Data Center Management Professional (CDCMP)
- Data Center Design Consultant (DCDC)
What Is the Market Outlook for Data Centers?
The market value for data centers is increasing rapidly, especially as companies pursue edge computing networks. According to Allied Market Research, the global data center market value was $187.35 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $517.17 billion by 2030, growing at a rate of 10.5% between 2021 and 2030.
Verified Market Research projects the data center market size will reach $112.47 billion by 2028, growing at a rate of 11% between 2021 and 2028. And according to Arizton Advisory & Intelligence, investment in the data center market will reach $251 billion by 2026.
Similar Careers to Consider
The best-paying jobs related to the data center architect position may include:
- Cloud Data Architect
- Principal Solutions Architect
- Remote Solutions Architect
- IT Data Architect
- Network Solutions Architect
Data center architect is a senior-level position. To attain it, you’ll want to obtain work experience in planning, designing, and installing virtual environments. Ideally, you’ll want to spend several years working directly in a data center, and obtain one or more data center-related certifications.