Technology powers nearly every aspect of today’s businesses, from an individual employee’s work to operations to goods and services. When properly networked, technology can be optimized to improve communication, create efficiencies and increase productivity.
If an IT infrastructure is flexible, reliable and secure, it can help an enterprise meet its goals and provide a competitive edge in the market. Alternatively, if an IT infrastructure isn’t properly implemented, businesses can face connectivity, productivity and security issues—like system disruptions and breaches. Overall, having a properly implemented infrastructure can be a factor in whether a business is profitable or not.
With an IT infrastructure, a company can:
The components of IT infrastructure are made up of interdependent elements, and the two core groups of components are hardware and software. Hardware uses software—like an operating system—to work. And likewise, an operating system manages system resources and hardware. Operating systems also make connections between software applications and physical resources using networking components.
Hardware components can include:
Software components can include:
Facilities or physical plants provide space for networking hardware, servers and data centers. It also includes the network cabling in office buildings to connect components of an IT infrastructure together.
Networks are comprised of switches, routers, hubs and servers. Switches connect network devices on local area networks (LAN) like routers, servers and other switches. Routers allow devices on different LANs to communicate and move packets between networks. Hubs connect multiple networking devices to act as a single component.
A core hardware component needed for an enterprise IT infrastructure is a server. Servers are essentially computers that allow multiple users to access and share resources.
Server room/data center
Organizations house multiple servers in rooms called server rooms or data centers. Data centers are the core of most networks.
A traditional IT infrastructure is made up of the usual hardware and software components: facilities, data centers, servers, networking hardware desktop computers and enterprise application software solutions. Typically, this infrastructure setup requires more power, physical space and money than other infrastructure types. A traditional infrastructure is typically installed on-premises for company-only, or private, use.
A cloud computing IT infrastructure is similar to traditional infrastructure. However, end users can access the infrastructure via the internet, with the ability to use computing resources without installing on-premises through virtualization. Virtualization connects physical servers maintained by a service provider at any or many geographical locations. Then, it divides and abstracts resources, like storage, to make them accessible to users almost anywhere an internet connection can be made. Because cloud infrastructure is often public, it’s usually referred to as a public cloud.
IT infrastructure setups vary by business needs and goals, but some goals are universal for every enterprise. The optimal infrastructure will provide a business high-performance storage, a low-latency network, security, an optimized wide area network (WAN), virtualization and zero downtime.
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