What is an Infrastructure Architect?

An infrastructure architect will work across broad business units to expand capabilities, improve efficiency and streamline operations. They will enhance design specs, create technical documentation, implement control concepts and deliver expected outcomes. This job requires impeccable communication skills that bridge gaps between technical groups and business leaders.

General Duties

Infrastructure architects manage the configuration and deployment of technical projects and core infrastructure. They determine the technical requirements for infrastructure delivery and maintenance. They contribute to this through forums, training, workshops and documentation. Infrastructure architects often participate in project reviews and program audits to redefine technology standards, processes and policies related to core infrastructure. Senior infrastructure architects may create plans and strategies for infrastructure implementation and service sustainability. They may review various migration road maps to drive buy-in across organizational divisions.

Design Duties

Infrastructure architects must continually create and redesign technical infrastructure. For example, they must document current state architecture, integrate new solutions into existing systems and deploy experimental solutions that meet emerging business needs. During the design phase, infrastructure architects will ensure scalability and anticipate capacity growth through careful planning and awareness of industry trends. Design activities rely on accurate data, sensible KPIs and performance metrics to improve processes and bridge gaps. In order to be successful, they must possess an infrastructure design and services management background.

Research Duties

Multimillion dollar technical projects will begin with the infrastructure architects and other IT experts conducting research on emerging and existing technologies. They will recommend system technologies and infrastructure development efforts that increase infrastructure flexibility, reliability, scalability, resilience, availability, performance and cost effectiveness. All collective research efforts will contribute to the creation of architectural road maps that leverage both mobile, software and cloud technologies. They may research customer interaction, policy adherence, enterprise processes, IT department coordination and hybrid design considerations.

Project Phases

IT infrastructure and architecture projects begin with the conceptualization of how servers, networks, storage systems, security needs, business operations and life cycle management need to work together. The infrastructure architect will build consensus among computer and software engineering teams by prioritizing current goals and needs. This could include stability, scalability and simplicity. Planning meetings will help them to understand and guide improvements across the infrastructure landscape and operating systems. They may act as the subject matter expert of architectural virtualization.

Education and Experience

Infrastructure architects will be expected to have hands-on experience with enterprise applications, platform services, cloud technology and infrastructure architecture. Their background of multiple industries and technology should extend back at least 10 years. Experience with network software, such as Microsoft Windows Server Platforms and Hands-on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, as well as cloud methodologies, such as IaaS and SaaS, is highly recommended. Their experience should cover system automation, orchestration, frameworks and interoperability. Profession certification, such as the PMP credential, is strongly preferred, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Related Resource: What is an IT Consultant?

Infrastructure architects will have a master’s or doctoral degree in computer science, engineering or software development. They should have advanced training in database administration, system maintenance and information system development.