Information Technology Infrastructure

Seven major components of IT infrastructure

IT infrastructure is a combination of physical devices and software necessary to interconnect computers. The IT infrastructure is composed of seven major components, namely: first, computer hardware, which includes desktop personal computers and mobile devices, mainframes chip producer, and top firms such as Dell. Secondly, there are operating systems, both at the server level and client level. Thirdly, there are Enterprise Software Applications, which include providers such as oracle, and middleware providers such as BEA.

Fourthly, there is data management and storage, which includes database software, physical data storage, and storage area networks that connect multiple storage devices to a dedicated network. Fifthly, there is networking, which includes telecommunication services, network operating systems, and Network hardware providers. Sixth, there is the internet, which is made up of hardware-software management services to support company websites, intranet and extranet, internet server markets, web development tools, and independent software developers. Lastly, there are consulting and system integration services, which are needed to support new and complex infrastructure and ensuring that the new infrastructure works with legacy systems.

Distinguish between grid computing, cloud computing, and utility computing

Grid computing is a platform that allows a centralized server or computer to perform information processing through input from remote computers spread over a large geographical area, thus enhancing the speed and reducing computing cost.1

Cloud computing, on the other hand, refers to a process of performing computing applications using software derived from networking sources such as the internet.2 Here, software and computing resources are put in a cloud and shared through a network, thus allowing companies to minimize investment in IT, as they are only allowed to source computing resources from the cloud or network.

In comparison, utility computing involves structuring computing resources in such a way that users are pay for the services based on the amount of time or power consumed in accessing the service.

Current trends in contemporary software platforms

Among the current trends are the increased software outsourcing and use of external sources for software. These include cloud-based software services. In addition, there are web services, including software components that exchange information using Web standards and languages. Thirdly, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) has become common. This is a setup of several programs or applications that have the capacity to operate on their own coming together to form a complex application with unique capabilities. Here, each unit of SOA provides certain data or information that is combined with other data to complete a certain application, for instance, an accounting package.

Fourth, there is an increasing demand for software for the Web such as Java and Ajax, both of which provide user-friendly information processing platform that is compatible with modern technologically advanced machines or devices such as smartphones3. Finally, Linux and Open-source software are gaining popularity. Linux is open-source software that provides computing services without requirements for registration or subscription. Open-source software platforms provide users with the flexibility of usage and are modifiable or customizable by users.

Purchasing a web server

Before a firm purchases a web server, it is important to exploit other options such as renting or outsourcing the web services, and making an informed decision that purchasing the webserver is more viable. If a company has seasonal employees or semi-annual workloads, then it is wise to rent as opposed to buying the software. It is also important to do an analysis of direct and indirect costs of the investment through the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) model.4. It is therefore important to understand that the software and hardware account for only 20% of the total costs and the other 80% of the cost is reflected in installation, training, support, maintenance, infrastructure, downtime, space, and energy. This analysis will allow the firm to get a clear future picture of the software’s pros and cons, hence making an informed decision. Alternatives such as cloud services should also be considered.

Bibliography

Laudon, K & J Laudon, Management Information Systems, Prentice Hall PTR, NY, 2011.

Footnotes

  1. K Laudon & J Laudon, Management Information Systems, Prentice Hall PTR, NY, 2011.
  2. K Laudon & J Laudon, Management Information Systems, Prentice Hall PTR, NY, 2011.
  3. K Laudon & J Laudon, Management Information Systems, Prentice Hall PTR, NY, 2011
  4. K Laudon & J Laudon, Management Information Systems, Prentice Hall PTR, NY, 2011.