The Growing and Evolving Role of Today’s Networking Professional

As businesses evolve to meet customer needs and satisfy the demands of a remote workforce, cloud computing adoption has grown at a record pace. With forecasted market size growth in cloud computing rising from 545.8B in 2022 to a market size of 1,240.9B in 2027, the demand for networking expertise is growing. Today’s enterprise requires networking professionals who have the skills to adeptly provision, implement, process, analyze and secure the cloud infrastructure.

As cloud adoption soars, how has the role of the networking professional changed, and what are the required skill sets?

Cloud Service Provider Proprietary Deployment Models

As cloud adoption grows and enterprises move more and more applications to the public cloud, network engineers and practitioners must have an understanding of Cloud Service Provider (CSP) proprietary deployment models, challenging for even the most seasoned network engineer. These proprietary deployment models offer various benefits such as ease of use, scalability, and reduced infrastructure management overhead, but in addition to being challenging, each CSP has more than one model.

To add to the complexity, AWS and Microsoft Azure offer three proprietary deployment models while Google Cloud Platform (GCP) offers two. This complexity will increase as companies diversify their workloads between numerous CSPs.

Cloud Computing Nomenclature

Beyond the challenge of CSP deployment models, even the technical language and nomenclature for cloud computing can be somewhat foreign to the traditional network engineer that has historically deployed routers, switches, firewalls and load balancers.  

Network Virtualization

In today’s cloud computing environments, network infrastructure is typically virtualized, meaning that network engineers must be familiar with virtualization technologies such as hypervisors, virtual switches and virtual routers. With virtualization come the complexities around security, management and admin, interoperability, overhead to the network and other challenges.

Security as a Shared Responsibility

In cloud computing environments, security is a shared responsibility between the cloud provider and the customer. Network engineers need to understand how to secure network traffic within the cloud environment, as well as how to secure traffic between the cloud and on-premises infrastructure.


As cloud adoption grows, automation becomes more important. Cloud environments require a high level of automation to manage infrastructure at scale. Networking pros need to understand how to use the latest tools and technologies to manage and configure network infrastructure to the cloud.

As networks evolve alongside the needs of today’s organizations, the network engineer’s role has changed and taken on even more significance. Supporting networking professionals and providing them with the skills needed to succeed in managing cloud infrastructure is critically important to the success of your organization.

At ONUG Spring in Dallas, May 17-18, we will be providing networking teams with the education, tools, and best practices they need to succeed on this journey. Check out the agenda and register with code NETWORK to receive a 10% discount.

Author's Bio

Joann Varello