Data centers refer to the place where a company’s data are stored. This could be applied to various kinds of companies, regardless of how small or huge the corporations, or even retailers. Data Center Management is one of the vital roles or tasks needed to ensure the functions of technical and IT in any organization or company. The more specific roles of this task are managing computers, servers, data, applications, handling issues related to technical, as well as upholding the security and protection of data in an organization. Since managing data is very crucial to ensure the smooth operations of an organization, it is important to have a good data center manager around. Let’s have a closer look at what the role of data center manager entails.
What is a Data Center Manager?
In the simplest words, the main role of a data center manager is to manage and handle all kind of data existing in an organization, either internal information or from stakeholders involved. A data center manager would be the person responsible to maintain the integrity in handling data, either for the company’s protection to even the privacy of the customers’ information. Without good care and alertness from the manager’s behalf, a breach of data is prone to happen, thus damaging the operations and trust of the organizations involved.
The data center manager is the person in charge of supervising employees in facilities loaded with various computer hardware, networking appliances, and servers. To become a data center manager, one has to be well informed and skilful in handling computer hardware and databases with management skills as an additional bonus point. They are the key figure in monitoring the maintenance and inventory of equipment, customer service, and even employee management.
An efficient data center manager should possess high analytical skills since they are in charge of monitoring system-generated reports of the organization’s databases. These could either be in a physical form or in the cloud environment, hence the data center manager must ensure real-time automation and accessibility of data for both the company and the customer’s behalves.
Aside from ensuring the hardware utilized are functioning properly and are up-to-date, a good data center manager needs to be well updated with new emerging technologies since they are the person who will introduce and upgrade the existing systems in an organization. This job is vital to improve the efficiency of the organizations’ operations.
While most data center managers work during business hours, in some cases, this field requires the title to be available to work on-calls during irregular hours to tend to unforeseen technical issues or upgrading software.
Data Center Manager Job Description
Data center managers are responsible for several tasks. While some of the tasks require direct or manual management, some of the other jobs could be automated using technology to smoothen the tasks as well as cutting costs in many aspects.
The following are some of the common responsibilities for a data center manager:
- Supervising maintenance, installation, and updates of data center systems, for both physical and software
- Establishing the rules related to data accessibility and distribution
- Establishing the parameters for data entry or storage of customers’ data
- Ensuring the safety and protection of customers’ data
- Managing the storage and distribution of data
- Backing up data
- Maintenance of equipment
- Entertaining customers’ inquiries and issues
- Recording the installations, upgrades, and maintenance of systems or software
- Creating planning for capacity changes
- Upgrading hardware or software used by the organization
- Researching new technologies to be utilized in the organizations
- Presenting new tools that could be used to improve efficiency or cutting costs
- Ensuring a safe and secure facility to protect the systems and power configuration
- Planning for any probable disruptions, problems, and emergency
- Providing support for technical teams
- Troubleshooting technical or IT related issues
- Configuring, managing, and analysing automated system utilized in the organization
- Ensuring precautions are set in place whenever power outages or malicious attacks occurred
- Customizing database to fit with the requirements of the company
- Ensuring the operations are in compliance with the regulations and laws
While these are some of the most common jobs for data center manager in general, some other tasks may be listed in the job description posted by companies depending on the requirements they particularly seek.
Data Center Manager Skills
A data center manager will not only tasked to deal with computers but also with several parties involved and related to an organization. This includes dealing with the employers, staff, technical teams, and even the customers. Hence, aside from fundamental technical skills, the data center managers need to possess other complementary skills to ensure high performance.
The following are some examples of skills needed to become a great data center manager, followed by several explanations why it is necessary to have it:
- High commitment and availability
- Organizational skills
- Analytical skills
- Communication skills
- Customer service skills
- Leadership skills
- Project management skills
- Self-motivational skills
- Work experience
Infrastructure and hardware are two of the most needed technical skills for people specializing in the IT field. The examples of the more narrowed-down things involving in infrastructure are cloud computing, software-defined networking, application platforms, content platforms, network equipment, telecommunication services, and many more. As for hardware skills, some of the skills entail are hardware development, testing and analysis, technical support, troubleshooting, network security, desktop and cloud management, and so forth.
Communication skills are crucial since a data center manager has to be the one introducing new technologies as well as implementing them. Aside from dealing with people inside of the company, they have to attend to customers’ needs as well. A data center manager should also act professionally with all people they are working with, be it employees and even customers. This skill is highly correlated to having leadership skills and customer service skills. They need to be able to attend to other people professionally and provide the best service to customers receiving service from the company. They should be clear of all the rules regulating in the sector and making sure that the teams working under them are alert of the importance of abiding by the rules as well. This is related to having strong leadership skills.
A great data center manager should also be equipped with strong analytical skills since they are the ones responsible to monitor and assess the data distribution. With poor analysis, issues related to a data breach may occur which will be problematic to the company. Besides analysing existing operating systems in the company, they should also review and analyze other new technologies that could be utilized in the company hence this skill is highly needed. Another fundamental skill that must be possessed by a data center manager is management skills, especially in terms of project management. This is because, they are the head of one of the computer department in an organization, hence they will be the one in charge of managing, planning, and organizing the technology as well as the teams involved.
Data Center Manager Salary
The following are the salaries for the title data center manager based on the locations in US and from the experiences.
- Average base salary in US
Based on the data retrieved from PayScale, the average salary of a data center manager is $98,635 per year. The base salary may range from $65k to $139k while the bonus a data center manager may earn is from $995 to $20k. The total pay, on the other hand, which is the combination of the base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, commissions, and any other case earnings range from $59k to $148k.
Data center managers based in Dallas, Texas earn an average of 7.9% higher than the national average. The other places with higher average salaries are Atlanta, Georgia (6.4% higher) and New York, New York (6.2% higher). As for the lower average pay, the places are Chicago, Illinois (13.8% lower), Nashville, Tennessee (9.3% lower), and Ashburn, Virginia (5.8% lower).
- Pay by Experience level
Data center manager with 1-4 years of experience normally earns approximately $73k, including tips, overtime pay, and bonuses. As for data center managers with 5-9 years of experience, mid-career category, the average total compensation is $98k. Experienced data center manager (experiences of 10-19 years) earns an average of $102k while data center manager with more than 20 years of experience could earn an average of $106k.
Data retrieved from Payscale (www.payscale.com)
Certifications for Data Center Manager
To become a successful data center manager, you need to be equipped with fundamental supplementary skills such as computing, cloud technologies, and virtualization. There are several organizations offering certifications relevant to the title of data center manager. Some names mentioned below are ones commonly sought by employers. The following are some examples of certifications you may want to review:
- Certified Data Centre Facilities Operations Manager (CDFOMM)
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Data Center
- Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Data Center
- Juniper Networks Certified Professional Data Center (JNCIP-DC)
- VCE Converged Infrastructure Administration Engineer (VCE-CIAE)
- VMware Certified Professional 6- Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV)
Tools and Software for Data Center Manager
Some of the common tools and software used in data center management are Sunbird, Drawbase, Runecast Analyzer, DataDeck, and many more.
The tools and software are primarily used in monitoring, operations, backing up, recovery, and so forth. Managing assets as well as handling change and capacity are other purposes of employing tools in data center management. That aside, it is crucial for the tools to be able to save storage and energy in maximising the functions of the equipment used. Nowadays, data center managers are looking for tools and software equipped with automation features. This feature helps a lot in minimizing physical and manual tasks hence could lower the costs involved and easing the roles of the managers.
Data Center Manager Education and Career Requirements
Most of the companies seek candidates with strong educational backgrounds normally with at least an undergraduate degree or extensive practical experience relating to working with data center teams.
Some of the most common majors needed to become a data center managers are Internet technology, business, computer science, electrical engineering, management, information technology, project management, and so forth. The degrees with the highest rate in becoming a data center manager are bachelors, followed with Masters and Associate. Some data center managers could even eligibly apply with high school diploma or certificate.
Several of the colleges offering courses for data center managers are University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University, University of Southern California, University of Louisville, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, and many more.
In terms of career requirements, most employers seek candidates who are experienced with computing or networking hardware and software. Some of the trainings useful for data center managers include Microsoft applications, Linux, or Unix. Another key point sought by companies is the candidates’ familiarity with physical infrastructure and systems. In most cases, employers prefer to hire data center managers with years of experience working in data centers’ related field.