SADA SAs Make Anthos (and the Rest of Cloud) Happen in the Real World

By SADA Says | Cloud Computing Blog

Seth Moffitt loves his job as a Solutions Architect for SADA’s Google Cloud Platform practice. In some ways, he was born for the role. Seth’s grandparents ran a company that sold tape back-up drives where his mom was the VP of Sales and his uncle was the Head of Engineering. Seth literally grew up hanging out in a warehouse surrounded by hard drives and parts. This native IT-environment led to setting up his first Windows network when he was eight-years-old so he could play games with his siblings and friends, and he never looked back.

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Seth Moffitt building his first network

Miles Ward, SADA’s CTO, started his career in cloud as a solutions architect at AWS before starting the SA practice at Google Cloud. When Miles was in grade school, his mom would set him up on “play dates” to fix friend’s computers, and he’d coordinate mass NES multi-screen competitions (proto-LAN parties), soon he’d added RAM to the middle school’s Amiga “Video Toaster” setup, rewired the high school’s PA system (bass yo) and got it’s library online (dial-up!), built over a hundred computers for undergrad friends, ran a Napster node with 6.5x the bandwidth of his entire college campus… you get the idea.  

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Computer Miles built, and speaker Miles built, on a desk Miles built; Star Trek poster, StarCraft on the CRT, wires everywhere, Magic cards box, bike gloves, root beer: yup, nerd.

If this kind of innate inquisitiveness and hands-on approach to technology describes you, then perhaps a career in cloud solutions architecture is a good path for you.

At SADA, Cloud Solutions Architects engage customers to understand the business, technology and personnel context for the opportunity at hand, and use that information to generate a proposal for both a technology approach and a joint work effort to make that approach happen. 

On a daily basis, SADA Solution Architects (SAs) help our clients consider all of the technology options available to help them solve a particular business problem. Once the solution is selected, SAs build experiments with customers to validate it. Other activities include digesting complex architecture artifacts and turning that into a cloud-based solution.

“It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of pressure. It’s hard. It’s not always going to be your 9 to 5, eight-hour day,” said Moffitt. “But, if you’re looking for the opportunity to meet a lot of great people and work with a lot of cool companies out there doing truly cutting edge technologies and wanting to use GCP, then this is really the position to go do it.”

Before getting into solutions architecture, Seth cut his teeth as an inside sales rep at a systems integrator for Dell, where he would help sell and design highly redundant virtualized environments. This meant understanding servers, networking, storage capacity and performance and helping to deploy those services for corporate and enterprise-level customers. 

Having an understanding of engineering implementation and management was an important component leading to his success as a cloud solutions architect. Now that he’s here at SADA, it’s really helped him understand the value of the public cloud, and especially the value of the application layer that SADA’s customers have built on top of cloud platforms. 

“There’s always something to be learning, always something to be challenging you,” Moffit offers. “Before it was just hardware, it was just ‘what is a computer and how does it work?’ And now there’s this virtualized plane, so there’s this level of abstraction. But then coming into the cloud world, we live in this world of abstracted or containerized applications. What I found out with the cloud is that it’s a whole paradigm shift, this mental shift, where it’s not just hardware, it’s where you’re doing application development without changes.”

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Seth now.

One of the most exciting projects Seth has been able to work on recently was the creation of a customized Anthos instance that combined his hardware and cloud experience. “It was like, oh, we get to go buy hardware again?!” Seth loves how Anthos combines the next level of cloud platform with Kubernetes on-prem. Setting it up involved figuring out how it best runs on the hardware and then deploying an application on it for a demo. 

Simon Margolis, who runs the SA practice at SADA, says the growing demand for cloud has him actively recruiting and hiring to keep up with all the market demand. “I’ve been lucky to hire some great SAs like Seth, and as we grow the team, we need technologists who love building creative solutions with cutting-edge tech which help our clients achieve their business goals.” 

One of the customer solutions that Simon’s team developed, which he is most proud of, is the work done with MadHive to help them not only take advantage of Google-specific tools, but to configure those tools to meet MadHive’s extreme (this ain’t yer daddy’s kilobytes) volume of streaming data. The solution encompasses GKE, BigQuery, BigTable, and other products which really showcase the power and compatibility of GCP. “I can’t think of anything more rewarding than using the newest, most sophisticated tech to solve previously unsolvable technical challenges. Seeing those solutions drive tangible business outcomes for our clients is as good as it gets,” emphasizes Margolis.

Miles Ward is super excited to take his learnings from growing the SA practice at AWS and Google to helping Simon continue to build the practice here at SADA. “The only thing better than Solutions Architects is… well, nope, there’s just nothing better. If you wanna have a great time at work, make a huge impact with customers, and learn heaps, this is exactly the gig you want.”

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