What is IT Infrastructure?
IT infrastructure is everything you need to build and run software applications in an organization. It includes hardware, networking components, your operating system, data storage, and various software that an organization uses to deliver IT services and run internal software solutions. Traditionally, IT infrastructure management was complex thanks to self-purchase requirements and heavy upfront investment. It also had the complexities of maintenance and upgrades that had to be done internally. However, we now have cloud computing, and third-party cloud providers can fully manage most IT infrastructure requirements. Organizations have the flexibility to choose the infrastructure components they want to purchase and the ones they want to use as a service.
What are the components of IT infrastructure?
IT infrastructure is the collection of all software, hardware, networks, and connected services that make up an organization’s IT environment. Each component of IT infrastructure provides distinct services and adds to the overall system's efficiency. There’s a wide range of components that make up the entire IT infrastructure system.
IT hardware refers to all the physical machines and devices an organization uses in its IT environment. Storage devices and the servers that provide a business with network resources are parts of IT hardware. Endpoint devices like computers, phones, and tablets all fall into this category.
Software IT infrastructure includes these:
- Operating systems
- Application servers
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Enterprise resource planning software
- Content management systems
- Virtualization software
It also includes other types of system resources that facilitate data exchange, host applications, and are otherwise critical to an organization’s IT systems.
Network infrastructure allows organizations to connect to the internet and establish connections between different offices or data centers. You use network infrastructure to transmit and receive information using the internet, local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), load balancers, and network protocols.
Data centers are physical locations that store a range of hardware devices in a single place. They require additional physical components like cooling equipment and security systems. On-premises data centers are expensive to set up and maintain.
Cloud services infrastructure refers to platforms, software, and infrastructure that a third-party business provides to your organization. You can use software as a service (SaaS) applications to eliminate the need for local applications. Similarly, you could use infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to access IT infrastructure from the cloud, outsourcing the need for servers.
You can find security IT infrastructure at every location within IT architecture. You use it to protect, encrypt, and safeguard your data. Authentication and authorization systems, detection and prevention systems, and encryption protocols are all in the infrastructure security category.
What are the types of IT infrastructure?
Thanks to evolution in the IT field, there are several different types of IT infrastructure you can use and engage with.
In traditional IT infrastructure, an organization owns all the IT architecture they use. That means they store all data within servers inside their own facilities or on-premises data centers. This method doesn’t use any services or infrastructure from other companies.
While traditional infrastructure has some security benefits, it’s costly to set up and requires lots of upkeep and physical space.
Cloud infrastructure refers to resources and systems that you get from cloud computing. Companies can rent or lease computing resources instead of buying and maintaining the physical resources themselves.
The best way to do so is partner with a public cloud provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS). The cloud provider purchases and maintains all the IT infrastructure, and you access it through virtualization. You can use all the IT resources as fully managed services.
Alternatively, you could create a private cloud where you share your on-premises data center resources virtually via self-created APIs.
Cloud infrastructure offers flexibility, scalability, and a high degree of security for businesses.
Hybrid cloud IT infrastructure is an approach where you have local resources but also use cloud services to strengthen or fill in any gaps you have. You can set up an IT environment that combines resources from multiple cloud providers and internal on-premises data centers to meet various requirements efficiently and cost-effectively.
How can you optimize your IT infrastructure?
Optimized IT infrastructure provides high-performance, low-latency, and secure systems for organizations. You can optimize your current IT infrastructure by combining traditional approaches to infrastructure with support from cloud services. For example, you can use infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).
You can use IaaS to access virtualized computing resources. By working with IaaS providers, you can use networks, servers, virtual machines, and storage systems that the cloud provider offers to you. IaaS offers a business a high degree of scalability and flexibility, as it can rent more resources to accommodate a higher demand.
PaaS is another way to access your cloud providers' tools and applications. PaaS is beneficial in development, as it provides a new environment where you can build, test, and deploy applications. PaaS providers also help automate development stages, which reduces the work you or your developers must do during setup.
How can AWS support your IT infrastructure?
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. AWS offers more than 200 fully featured IT infrastructure services from data centers around the globe. Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing start-ups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—use AWS to lower costs, become more agile, and innovate faster.
AWS has significantly more services and more features within those services than any other cloud provider. This makes it faster, easier, and more cost-effective to move your existing applications to the cloud and build nearly anything you can imagine.
For example, here are different types of services you can use:
- Compute services on AWS for instances, containers, and serverless compute infrastructure
- Networking services on AWS for secure and reliable networking and content delivery
- Cloud storage services on AWS for reliable, scalable, and secure cloud storage
Get started with AWS cloud IT infrastructure by creating an account today.