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[Expert voice] Paulo, Data Center Management expert

10 September 2021

Today, we introduce you to Paulo, our Data Center Management Expert working within the Finance Banking Sector. Paulo joined ITS Services, part of ITS Group, in 2017 and now works for one of our clients in the Banking and Finance sector. Everyone hears about data centres, but in the end, few know what they are in concrete terms. There is no training in this field, everything is learned on the job. As a result, his profile and experience are rare, which is why we want to know more!

Paulo, let's look back at your career...

I started working in the data centre field more than ten years ago with significant experience in the telecoms sector. When I arrived at ITS Services, I joined the data centre management team of our client for which I managed teams and complex projects. Today I am a Room Manager for data centre migration projects, which requires a high level of analysis, optimisation and security.

First of all, can you explain what a data centre is?

Typically, a business operates with applications, services and data hosted in one or more data centres. A data centre consists of servers, storage systems, network switches, routers, firewalls, and of course cables and racks to organise and interconnect all this IT equipment.

A data centre is also an adequate infrastructure to run all the IT equipment: power grid connections, power distribution system, power switches, power storage systems, backup power generators, ventilation and cooling system, powerful internet connections, separate high and low voltage cabling systems, fire and water safety devices and finally a physical and perimeter access device. Such an infrastructure covers a large physical space.

What is your current assignment for our client?

I am working on highly critical projects on nearly 10,000 m² of computer rooms spread over several data centres. As part of the programme to manage the obsolescence of the retail bank's production infrastructure for the data part, my teams and I have to set up a network base parallel to the existing one, consisting of Cisco Nexus routers and switches. The objective is to migrate all the connections attached to the obsolete Cisco Catalyst network base on 3 major national sites. I am coordinating and leading the people involved to ensure that the teams are perfectly coordinated and that the infrastructure is resilient on the ground.

For this mission, dozens of operations in HNO and HO are necessary, hundreds of obsolete equipments have been removed from the park and several thousands of connections have been switched to the new infrastructure without the slightest impact on customers/users. This imperative transformation following the ECB's recommendation made it possible to perpetuate and secure the network of all the branches and thus contributed to the continuous improvement of the tools making up its infrastructures.

What do you like about managing teams?

The transmission of skills and knowledge is very important to me. I really enjoy training, teamwork and sharing.

What is your view on the challenges facing companies with regard to data centres?

Digital transformation is accelerating and is essential to capture and retain customers. We must guarantee the reliability and resilience of systems. For me, companies are now faced with 3 major challenges with their data centres:

  • economic issues for cost optimisation,
  • environmental issues for the carbon footprint,
  • the safety issues for the end customers.

Your greatest professional achievement?

My greatest professional success is my career path, which is made up of a series of high value-added assignments.
My job does not exist from a training point of view, it is learned on the job.

Any advice for juniors looking to move into the IT world?

The important thing is to believe in yourself and your potential. I didn't have a long education but the passion for the job and the sharing of knowledge allowed me to gradually acquire many skills.

You have to be able to bounce back, question yourself, and learn on a daily basis, especially when you work in a sector that is constantly changing. You also have to listen to company managers and keep abreast of new technologies.

Finally, fluency in English is no longer a plus, it is a prerequisite. Our clients now work with international teams (Bulgaria, Romania, India) and we must be able to communicate and work together.

What are your main sources of information/communities related to your business expertise?

Without hesitation, the field and my personal network. Otherwise, I consult Linkedin, the Journal du Net, and the DevOps Data Center Expert Communities.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I am sporty, I like football, running and participating in marathons.

What has ITS Services done for you since you joined in 2017?

ITS Services provided me with additional expertise and training to reinforce my field experience (Manager and Prince 2 training). I was given new responsibilities with the status of Delegated Technical Manager, a responsibility that is close to my heart. I am very satisfied with the managerial proximity which is a strong driving force in carrying out our missions. This proximity gives me a great deal of autonomy in my work with customers and guarantees me real support in my career.

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