IT Infrastructure Components

What Is IT Infrastructure And What Are Its Components?

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IT infrastructure, as defined in Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), is the placement of hardware, software, network, resources, and services required for the existence, operation, and management of a business IT environment. These components play a role in the overall IT system of an organization to deliver IT support solutions and solutions to its employees, partners, and customers. It’s also usually used for internal business operations and deployed within the facilities. Typically, a standard IT infrastructure consists of the following components.

  1. Computers

A computer is a machine that performs processes, calculations, and operations based on the instruction provided by a software or hardware program. It is designed to execute applications and provides solutions by combining integrated hardware and software components. It has two primary categories: hardware and software.

A computer coordinates and works with software programs that are sent to its underlying hardware architecture for reading, interpretation, and execution. Computers come in different kinds: personal computers, desktop computers, laptop computers, minicomputers, handheld computers and devices, mainframes or supercomputers. According to managed IT services in the Philippines, they are classified according to their power, capacity, size, mobility, and other factors.

  1. Switching

A network switch is a device that provides connectivity between network devices on a Local Area Network (LAN). A switch contains several ports that physically connects to other network devices—including other switches, routers, and servers. Switches allow two devices on the network to interact with each other without having to forward the traffic to all devices on the network. Switching—when applied to the network—is the practice of directing a signal or data element toward a particular hardware destination. Switching may be applied in many formats and can function in diverse ways when it’s with a greater network infrastructure.

  1. Routers

Routers move packets between networks analyzing the contents of data packets transmitted within a network or to another network. Routers allow devices separated on different LANs to talk to each other to determine whether the source and destination are on the same network or whether data must be transferred from one network type to another which requires encapsulating the data packet with routing protocol header information the new network type.

If you have experienced manual configuration on your IP address on a workstation, you will know that the default gateway value that you keyed in was the IP address of your router.

 

“It also allows an organization to design, execute, operate, and maintain an enterprise information system.”

 

  1. Enterprise Resource Planning System

Enterprise Resource Planning system is an information system that combines two information systems into a unified solution, the wide internal and external information system. Generally, it integrates the software, hardware, and network resources that are essential for building an ERP information system solution aiming to streamline business processes.

An ERP system includes all the IT systems that enable ERP software to execute and operate efficiently. It also allows an organization to design, execute, operate, and maintain an enterprise information system. This system includes the software that could provide business functions and processes, computing hardware for hosting, and executing software applications, back-end network architecture for data communication across and within information systems.

  1. Customer Relationship Management

Customer Relationship Management is software used by many organizations to manage their customers’ information and data to check if they are properly served. Such software is utilized by many as it gives valuable customer insights to sales, marketing, or IT helpdesk support. The CRM records and analyzes customer interaction so companies can come up with a strategic plan for this business growth.

  1. Firewalls

Firewalls are software used to maintain the security of a private network. Firewalls can be thought of as the defense wall because it blocks unauthorized access from unknown networks. Firewalls are often put in place to prevent unauthorized web users from accessing private networks that are connected to the internet. Firewalls are recognized as the first line of defense in securing sensitive information by encrypting the data to make it safer. Firewalls can be implemented using hardware, software, or a combination of both.

Firewall devices can get complicated quickly. There are many different types of firewalls with different approaches to managing traffic in different ways. Here’s the brief overview of the types of firewalls.

  • Packet Filtering

This firewall has a predefined set of filter rules and it filters packets that attempt to enter or leave a network and it decides if either accept or reject the packets according to its rules.

  • Application Gateway

This firewall has a technique of employing security methods applied to certain applications such as Telnet and File Transfer Protocol servers to prevent unauthorized access.

  • Circuit-Level Gateway

This firewall works at the session layer of the OSI model between the application layer and the transport layer of the TCP/IP stack and monitor handshaking between packets to verify if the requested session is legitimate.

  • Proxy Servers

This firewall serves as an intermediary between in-house clients and servers on the internet. It can also mask real network addresses and intercept every message that enters or leaves a network while monitoring incoming traffic for layer 7 protocols, such as HTTP and FTP.

  • Stateful Inspection

This is a firewall technology that monitors the state of active connections and uses this information to determine which network packets to allow through the firewall. This firewall is also known as Dynamic Packet Filtering.

  1. Data Center

The data center is also known as the server room can be thought of as the central core of your network. It is respiratory that houses computing facilities like servers, routers, switches, and firewalls. Data center components often make up the core of an organization’s information system (IS). Hence, these critical data center facilities normally require a significant investment of supporting systems such as air conditioning, fire suppression, secure entry, and identification and raised floors for easy cabling and water damage prevention. A data center may be a complex or simple room and it may be private or shared.

When data centers are shared, virtual data center access often makes more sense than granting total physical access to organizations and personnel. Shared data centers are usually owned and maintained by a single organization that leases center partitions to other client organizations. Often, client organizations are small companies without the financial and technical resources required for dedicated data center maintenance.

  1. Server

A server is simply another computer, a device or a program that allows multiple users to access and is dedicated to managing network resources. Servers are often referred to as dedicated because they perform no other tasks aside from their server tasks. Different servers have different purposes from providing centralized storage files to protecting internal networks and hosting websites. There are several types of servers. Check the list below.

  • File Server

A server that provides end-users with a centralized location to store files. With proper configuration, file servers can prevent specific users to access files.

  • Directory Server

A server that provides a central database of user accounts to be used on several computers. This allows centralized management of user accounts which are used to access server resources.

  • Web Server

A server that serves static content to a web browser by loading a file from a disk and serving it across the network to a user’s web browser. This entire exchange made possible by the Hypertext Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

  • Application Server

This server is sometimes referred to as a type of middleware. A server that occupies a large chunk of computing territory between database servers and the end-user.

  • Data Server

This server delivers database services which is why it is also called a database server. It performs tasks such as data analysis, storage, data manipulation, archiving, and other tasks using server architecture.

In theory, whenever a computer shares resources with client machines they are considered servers.

  1. Physical Plant

The physical plant is all of the network cablings in an office building and data center. This is all too often a neglected part of your infrastructure and usually is the weakest link. In case you didn’t know, the physical plant is the cause of most system outages when not managed properly. There are two main types of cabling in the infrastructure: CAT 5/6/7 and fiber optic. Each type of cabling has different subtypes depending on the speed and distance required to connect devices.

  1. Network Security

This security is an over-arching term that describes the policies and procedures implemented by a network administrator to avoid and keep track of unauthorized access, exploitation, modification, or denial of the network and network resources. A well-implemented network security blocks viruses, malware, hackers from accessing or altering secure information. However, network security is sometimes confused with its IT security services, which has a different scope and relates to the data integrity of all forms. Nonetheless, you need to ensure that your IT helpdesk support will implement network security thoroughly to secure your data and safeguard your business.

  1. People

By the strict definition of ITIL, people are actually not considered part of the network infrastructure. However, we include it here because competent, well-qualified people are the one that is in charge of running and maintaining your infrastructure and managed IT services. Without these people, the capability of your organization is maimed.

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