IT Infrastructure Services
To completely understand the concept of IT infrastructure, one must become familiar with its definition and its components therein. For businesses, IT infrastructure is the enigma that is necessary for smooth business operation but has a layer of complexity that confounds many. To put IT Infrastructure in the right frame for conversation, think of infrastructure as everything from wall jack to wall jack. Thinking of infrastructure in this fashion will enable everyone to effectively understand and put everyone on the same page. Hence, the term IT infrastructure is simply defined as a collective set of hardware, software, networks, facilities, etc., which includes all information technology related equipment, used to develop, test, deliver, monitor, control, or support IT services. In contrast, personnel, processes and documentation are not considered part of IT Infrastructure.
The Components of IT infrastructure:
- Network Switch – A network switch is the mechanism that provides essential connectivity between network devices on a Local Area Network (LAN). Physically, a network switch contains several ports allowing network devices to connect. This may include other switches, routers and servers. Switches allow two devices on the network to talk to each other without having to forward that traffic to all devices on the network.
- Routers – Routers move packets between networks. Routing allows devices separated on different LAN’s to talk to each other. This is determined by a “hop” that will allow the network packet to ultimately arrive at its destination.
- Firewall(s) – A Firewall or Firewalls are security devices operating at the edges of a network. The idea behind a firewall is to be the guardian or gatekeeper. IT staff configure the firewall with a set of rules defined around the types of network traffic that will be allowed through the firewall and what will be blocked. Firewall devices and configuration can become complicated quickly.
- Servers – A network server can be considered another computer but on a larger scale. A server allows multiple users to access and share its resources. There are numerous types of servers.
- File Server – The most common server type is the file server, which provides end users with a centralized location to store files. Proper security conscious configuration, of file servers, can allow or prevent specific users to access files.
- Directory Server – As a central database, a directory server provides a location for user accounts to be used by several computers. This allows businesses to have centralized management of user accounts, which are used to access server resources.
- Web Server – Web servers use HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) to provide files to users through a web browser.
- Other Types of Servers – Application Servers, Database Servers, Print Servers, etc.
- Physical Plant – the network of cables throughout your office building connecting to the server room or datacenter is known as the Physical Plant. Due to its hidden nature, the physical plant is often the most neglected part of IT infrastructure resulting in the cause of most system outages when not managed properly making it the weakest link. Types of cabling: CAT 5/6/7 and fiber optic.
- Server Rooms / Data Center – As mentioned, the network cables connect to the server room, or data center. Data Centers are usually associated with large organizations. The server room is a centralized location in which all servers are installed and housed.
- Infrastructure Software – Infrastructure software consists of server operating systems and multi-user operating systems. For most, this is considered a gray area in IT infrastructure but is a vital part in operations.
These components all working in unison are designed to help your business operate at an optimal level. However, like anything man-made, it can and will malfunction. People are not considered part of the IT infrastructure. However, the lack of competent well-qualified people assigned the task of operating and maintaining your infrastructure, you will artificially limit the capabilities of your organization.
Does your organization have:
- An IT infrastructure designed to diagnose and remediate problems quickly and efficiently?
- An IT infrastructure designed for reliability with the ability to quickly scale?
- An optimized IT infrastructure continuously measured against specified service levels?
- An experienced IT team to seamlessly integrate new IT infrastructure with legacy systems?
- A “core focus” of improving IT operations processes and IT staff training?
- Established practices in using infrastructure security management services?
- A team experienced in IT infrastructure patching, upgrades and migrations?
- An advanced IT Service Management (ITSM) framework specifically designed to manage a diverse IT infrastructure environment?
- A team continually improving IT infrastructure design and increasing IT “value”?
If the any of the above questions is no, call CII Today and let our team of experts help. (919)676-8300