IT infrastructure is made up of several elements that should be coordinated so that your company can have a coherent and working infrastructure. These components work together to ensure your systems and the entire company is running seamlessly.
If one breaks down, the others are likely to be affected and this would result in downtime, data breach, or even massive losses. Therefore you should employ robust IT infrastructure management that will see to it that all the infrastructure’s working is optimal and detect and provide fast solutions to any problems.
This article will focus on the different components and how they work together for the good of the business.
Components of IT Infrastructure
Computer Hardware Platforms
These are computers and server machines in your network. Servers allow users to share information and the necessary files required to keep the company running.
Machine hardware is made up of:
The processor or for systems with high-performance, several processors. Some processors allow limited programmability like most video accelerators while in others, you can program them fully.
Software development environment
I/O devices that are provided by the platform.
Some manufacturers of quality computer hardware and servers include IBM, Apple, HP, DELL, among others.
Enterprise and Software Applications
Enterprise application is a large-scale software that helps solve the problems of the entire organization. They include software such as middleware, Oracle, and Peoplesoft. Other applications in the companys used to link all the other applications also fall into this category.
They offer computer-based, essential business tools such as:
Email Marketing System
Automatic Billing System
Human Resource Management
Business Intelligence (BI)
Online Payment Processing
Customer Relationship Management
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Call Center Support System
Internet Service Management
Enterprise Content Management
Operating System Platforms
An Operating System is a software that manages the functioning of all the other applications after being loaded on a computer. It also acts as an interface for the user. Every computer must have at least one OS in order to function.
OS platforms such as Windows, macOS, and servers like Linux are used by the employees and other personnel in the company for communication, storage, and access of data.
Data Storage and Management
Data management is handled by software and stores in storage devices. Nowadays, data storage has evolved as the need to access it easily, backing up, and restoring data grows.
Traditional Storage: In this type of storage, data is stored in computers or servers and you can access it through LAN/WAN. Information is stored on disks which are easy to reformat when needed. The number of disks is added as information increases. Additionally, data is stored in different locations to avoid total loss in case of a break-down or disaster.
Cloud Storage: In this type, data is stored in third-party servers on the cloud. It can be accessed anytime from anywhere by even multiple users at the same time. However, in case the system is down and the back-up provided also fails, there’s no other way to access it. Additionally, It’s more insecure compared to traditional storage.
Network and Telecommunication Platforms
Networking platforms include Windows server OS, Linux, Unix, among others. Telecommunication platforms are provided by telecommunication service companies which provide data connectivity, internet access, voice, and wired area network.
Leading companies in this industry include Telastra and others. However, other companies are rising rapidly offering Wi-Fi, cellular wireless, and internet services.
In the company, these infrastructures include telephones, cables, mobile technology such as 5G, and networking infrastructure like networking hardware, software, facilities, and services.
These relate to and sometimes overlap with network infrastructure and hardware and software platforms. In a company, infrastructure related to the internet include the hardware, software, and facilities that support web hosting, maintenance of websites, web application tools together with intranets and extranets.
Companies that offer web hosting services usually maintain large servers or several servers and also offer their subscribers a space to host their websites at a fee.
Web software application development tools are mainly supplied by Microsoft (Microsoft.NET and Frontpage for the creation of websites using active server pages), Sun (Java), text tools (Adobe Acrobat), and media software (Real Media).
Consulting and System Integration Services
These are used to integrate the legacy system with modern infrastructure. Software integration is ensuring that new technology works with the old one also called legacy system.
Companies continue using their old system since replacing them is very expensive. If they can work perfectly with the new infrastructure then there’s no need to replace them. They hire consulting and system integration services so that they can find the best way to match the two infrastructures according to the business process.
The business of consulting and system integration is lucrative for enterprise software companys like IBM who apart from providing hardware, also offer the services.
How Components of IT Infrastructure Work Together
Without any of the components above, the IT infrastructure is not complete and cannot work as expected. The most basic and obvious is hardware. A company requires computers, routers, switches, among others to function.
Without software, the hardware is useless. You’ll need applications and software like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Business Intelligence (BI) among others. Some are bought from providers while others can be developed by the IT department depending on your business needs.
Additionally, the internet is an essential part of conducting business in this age. Your employees will depend on network connectivity to send and receive emails, web access and even keeping the corporate website running. Routers, switches, networking hubs, and computers have to be connected in a network.
Also, your business data will be stored in hardware like servers or more modern methods where you can access it through a network.
However, all of this is not possible without operating systems that function as a user interface.
All the components of IT infrastructure depend on each other to keep your business running. The software cannot function without hardware which is also almost useless without a network and internet connection. Also important are the people who operate these infrastructures to keep them working.