Data Center Architect

This position will be assigned to work out of our Central Office in the Minneapolis, MN area (Arden Hills), or our Southern Office in the Atlanta, GA area (Alpharetta).

COUNTRY Financial is seeking a Data Center Solutions Architect to join our Data Center Operations team. This role will complement existing engineering, support, and developer roles to provide advanced technical data center (DC) solutions and strategies that meet evolving business requirements.

The Data Center Architect will partner with the Enterprise Architecture team and other solutions architects in ITS to ensure engineering best practices and key principles are followed and are consistent across all enterprise DCs. The Data Center Architect will help advance the design and architecture of DC platforms, crossing all product and discipline boundaries. The role requires a candidate who demonstrates the ability to bring in marketplace innovations that support new business initiatives, as well as improving robustness and scalability of existing DC systems.

To be successful in this role a candidate should demonstrate the ability to manage across complex environments, bring mature skills and broad experience, have strong domain knowledge across platforms, continually contribute to and lead process improvement activities, and excel at getting things done.

Responsibilities:

  • Drives complex DC transformation and modernization strategy efforts.
  • Gathers and understands business requirements for DC solutions, including short-term assessments and long-term strategies.
  • Collaborates with infrastructure engineers to plan, design, and execute storage, server, network, security, and virtualization reference architectures across DCs.
  • Produces and maintains DC documentation and reports that clearly articulate technical designs, issues and constraints, procedures, consumption and performance.
  • Develops and maintains the processes related to DC operations; such as entry auditing, vendor access, remote hands, video surveillance, cage design, and other activities.
  • Engages in senior level business and DC technology discussions; influence decision makers and peers in areas of datacenter architecture, design, and operations.
  • Maintains effective and beneficial relationships with colocation providers.
  • Manages quality of service from multiple providers in a co-location model.
  • Stays informed of industry trends and new DC technologies and services related to cooling, power, security, monitoring, and cage floor layout; proposes new standards based on new technology.
  • Establishes the validity of DC solutions; creates proofs of concept and formal proposals.

This position is part of an IT engineering job family and can be filled as a Solution Architect level or Specialist level depending upon the candidate's skill and experience level.

Required Qualifications (Solution Architect):

  • Bachelor's degree and at least 15 years of experience in information technology and 2 years lead experience

OR

  • Master's degree and at least 12 years of experience in information technology and 2 years lead experience

Required Qualifications (Specialist):

  • Bachelor's degree and at least 12 years of experience in information technology and 2 years lead experience

OR

  • Master's degree and at least 8 years of experience in information technology and 2 years lead experience

Additional Requirements:

  • High-level understanding and experience with:
  • DC management, support, optimization, availability and disaster recovery
  • Cloud services and impacts to DCs including SaaS, IaaS, DRaaS
  • Server platforms (x86 and pSeries) and virtualization (VMware)
  • Storage platforms and SANs(EMC)
  • Security platforms related to DCs; firewalls, proxy, load balancers
  • Power distribution and calculation of consumption
  • Cooling concepts
  • Network platforms (LAN, WAN, Internet) and software defined networking
  • Cable management
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to build consensus and strong partnerships across both business and technical teams.
  • Self-motivated and able to work well under pressure; persistent and resilient.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and presentation skills:
  • Clearly document and articulate technical strategies.
  • Comfortable explaining technical topics to both technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Easily transfer knowledge to team members and other work groups.
  • Experience performing operational duties in complex, multi-vendor IT environments.
  • Comfortable critically evaluating vendor presentations and solutions.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Multiple successful DC and applications migrations and/or consolidations.
  • Prior engineering experience implementing top-of-rack/aggregation/distribution switching, converged infrastructure, hyper-converged infrastructure, and software-defined DC services.
  • Advanced understanding and engineering experience with cloud solutions including AWS, Azure, and/or additional cloud solutions.
  • 7 years providing technical leadership and project management for DC technical projects.
  • 7 years of DC operations and workload management experience.

Physical Requirements:

  • Work may extend beyond normal business hours as business needs dictate.
  • Occasional travel between regional offices and DCs. #LI-AH1 #DICE

COUNTRY Financial does not generally sponsor individuals for employment-based visas for this position.

For more details about careers at COUNTRY Financial®, please visit us online at www.countryfinancial.com/careers


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