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IT Infrastructure. Definition, Components and Types

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15/02/2022 |

5 min read

Dominika Reszke

There’s no doubt that IT infrastructure is vital for every modern company. This applies to both well and poorly-run businesses as IT infrastructure solutions can make it or break it, depending on if they are well-fitted to the entity’s needs and requirements of modernity, or not. System disruption or breaches are something nobody wants but an uninterrupted operation of an online store or website doesn’t come out of nowhere. Instead, the hard work and cooperation of many people and components are needed.

That’s why, it is crucial to keep an eye on the most cutting-edge IT infrastructure services and solutions, to be able to pick up the most appropriate one for a given case. Obsolete legacy systems, old-fashioned server rooms, or poor systems management are a huge burden to many companies who fail to follow the latest trends and solutions in the IT world. And IT infrastructure may concern or relate to outdated technologies, systems, methods, or programs, too.

But what are the inner workings of IT infrastructure, solutions, and services related to it? And, first and foremost, what IT infrastructure actually is? Let’s see.

 

Table of contents:

  1. Ins and outs of IT infrastructure
  2. IT infrastructure, deconstructed
  3. IT infrastructure – what you should know

Ins and outs of IT infrastructure

In short, we may define IT infrastructure as a framework comprising the mix of infrastructure components that support such crucial activities and processes as data storage, flow, processing, and analysis. Usually, it is internal to an entity it concerns.

This simple definition highlights the huge importance of IT infrastructure for every modern business. ITIL Foundation Course Glossary even indicates IT infrastructure elements as those which are „required to develop, test, deliver, monitor, control or support IT services”.

IT infrastructure may have a great influence on the enterprise’s daily operations, enabling smooth access to the entity’s website resources and enhancing communication in general, including letting exchange information internally, across the whole organization.

Increased company efficiency and employee productivity are also in the cards, as well as cost per user reduction. With such assets, the company can be more adapted to the challenges of modernity and act faster, thus gaining a competitive edge over similar businesses.

Because IT infrastructure can definitely make it or break it, it’s vital to pay enough attention to choosing its components carefully. It’s also important to make them properly networked to ensure uninterrupted operations; IT infrastructure management services may be necessary. But which components of IT infrastructure are absolutely crucial?

IT infrastructure, deconstructed

These days, it’s sufficient reliability and security that are the basic conditions to regard IT infrastructure as progressive. Undoubtedly, the right components add up to the quality of IT service delivery.

IT infrastructure may gather physical and virtual resources and this division, in a way, overlaps with the two main types we can distinguish: 

The former covers hardware and software components that are usually installed on-premises, and the latter – gives access to them through virtualization and the internet.

In short, IT infrastructure components cover such major areas as hardware, software, and networks. On top of that, services needed to make the existence, operation, and management of a corporate IT environment possible are also in the mix. It’s important that all components create one coherent system – a well-oiled machine that lets employees, clients, and partners make use of IT services smoothly in every moment.

1. Hardware

Server rooms and servers, storage and data centers, and the building itself, power, cooling, and network cabling, hubs, routers, switches, as well as personal computers and mobile devices can all be in the mix here. What they have in common is their physical form.

2. Software

Operating systems (that manage hardware and system resources) and web servers are crucial software components. Others that may also be placed within this category, embrace productivity applications as well as CMS (content management) or CMR (customer relationship management) systems.

3. Network resources

But some software and hardware elements constitute a separate category within IT infrastructure. Together, they are responsible for features such as network enablement, internet connectivity, firewall and security. Servers, routers, hubs, switches, load balancers, and data centers (e.g. building, power, and cooling elements) are all components that belong here.

Also, there is another division of IT infrastructure that distinguishes particular layers its elements create. These layers include:

  • applications,
  • infrastructure management tools and services,
  • servers,
  • storage,
  • network,
  • facilities.

IT infrastructure – what you should know

The quality of IT infrastructure enterprises and institutions decide to make use of is one of the crucial factors that may influence an organization’s performance, customer experience, or time to market. The company’s efficiency grows e.g. thanks to accessible applications and the possibility to collect relevant data fast.

But to choose the right IT elements or components, and to provide the proper infrastructure management, you simply need to know about its interconnectedness and be aware of ins and outs of particular elements. It’s not easy to comprehend nor simple, but, luckily, services such as IT infrastructure support, IT infrastructure outsourcing, or IT infrastructure management are offered by some companies.

IT infrastructure simply needs to be run and maintained properly in order to make it go into overdrive. For this reason, one of the crucial components of it is just the right staff – a team of highly-skilled, full-fledged, responsible people. In fact, oftentimes it’s just one person, like a system administrator, who’s in charge of the whole IT infrastructure ecosystem in a particular organization, so such people should be picked out very carefully.

And do you have any experience with maintaining IT infrastructure? To you, which components of it are crucial? And what truly makes IT infrastructure up-to-date and progressive?

If you need a hand in seeting up the optimal IT infrastructure for your company, don't hesitate to reach out to Codete.

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Dominika Reszke

IT Content Writer with 12 years of professional writing experience. Prefers facts and figures to any kind of fiction.

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