IT infrastructure refers to the elements that are needed to operate a business’ complete IT system. This includes software, networking components, the business’ operating system, and physical elements such as hardware and data storage. IT security is also classed as part of IT infrastructure. Taken together these components make up the complete foundation of an organisation’s IT services.
What is IT infrastructure?
While all organisations are different, there tend to be similar route infrastructure elements. The central components of IT infrastructure are:
Hardware These are the physical elements of an organisation’s IT infrastructure that the software runs off of. They can be thought of as the ‘bridging gap’ between the data and the user. There are several key pieces of hardware within an IT infrastructure.
- Data centres house computer systems, telecommunications and data storage.
- Servers are computers which provide (‘serve’) information to other computers.
- Network hubs are devices that connect many networks together via ethernet.
- Routers are networking devices that forward data between connected devices.
- Computers, laptops, tablets and mobiles also fall under the hardware umbrella. They are considered ‘network endpoints’ as they deliver data to the end-user.
Software This is what runs on the IT infrastructure hardware, and makes up the organisation’s interface. There are millions of softwares available, both bespoke, i.e. tailored to a specific organisation, or off-the-shelf, meaning a pre-built software designed for use by many different groups. CRM or Customer Relationship Management software is one of the most common business softwares, with Hubspot or Monday.com being popular examples of this.
Networking This is a fundamental part of any IT infrastructure, connecting machines within the organisation and providing external connectivity, such as to the internet or to the organisation’s applications.
What are IT infrastructure services?
A specialist software company can provide a wide range of IT infrastructure services, to suit the client’s individual needs. This can involve anything from initial consultation to supporting a fully built system.
IT infrastructure design is one of the most common examples of IT infrastructure services, often going hand in hand with consultancy. In this, the provider will build out an IT system based on best practice, bespoke to that organisation’s needs. Good design will involve an assessment of design and cost-effectiveness, taking into account needs for flexibility, scalability and security and compliance.
What are IT infrastructure solutions?
Like IT infrastructure services, IT infrastructure solutions refers to the many services a software company can provide to assist an organisation with their IT infrastructure. These include IT infrastructure consultancy, infrastructure design, infrastructure management, hosting and cloud services, security and compliance services, DevOps services, and infrastructure support.
What is IT infrastructure consultancy?
IT infrastructure consultancy can help organisations realise the best choices for their IT needs. This includes:
- Hosting How IT should be hosted – such as on public or private cloud, through a hybrid model or on premises. Each has different ramifications in terms of price, security, support and delivery.
- Capacity Looking at the number of people using your IT services, both within the business and outside the organisation. This includes assessment of data storage needs, bandwidth, software capacity considerations, universality of systems for global companies, and hardware limitations. Examining capacity for growth is also a key assessment, looking at whether projected scale can be met within the current systems.
- Server infrastructure This includes a deep dive into the hardware that makes up an IT system, including servers, storage systems, switches, routers and cabling.
- Security and compliance All IT systems need to be legally compliant, to secure and protect any personal data within the system to varying levels depending on the information type, and the laws of the country.
What is IT infrastructure management?
IT infrastructure management relates to the upkeep and maintenance of an organisation’s IT infrastructure. Within this role IT teams will support the current IT system, for example by maintaining systems, backing up data and solving issues as they arise, such as in the case of software crashes. They will also look at optimising performance of IT systems, for example by updating systems or implementing modern processes, and ensuring that systems – and the data within them – are kept both secure and legally compliant, in line with current legislation.
Management can be carried out in house by a company’s IT team, but frequently organisations choose to outsource this task to specialist experts, who have specialist knowledge as well as experience of best practice.
At Helastel, we provide a wide variety of IT infrastructure management services for enterprise businesses looking to outsource their support. If you have a need for IT infrastructure or support, get in touch today and we can set up a quick chat to discuss your requirements.