1. What is IT infrastructure and what are its components?
Define IT infrastructure from both a technology and a services perspective.
•Technical perspective is defined as the shared technology resources that provide the platform for the firm’s specific information system applications. It consists of a set of physical devices and software applications that are required to operate the entire enterprise. •Service perspective is defined as providing the foundation for serving customers, working with vendors, and managing internal firm business processes. In this sense, IT infrastructure focuses on the services provided by all the hardware and software. IT infrastructure is a set of firm-wide services budgeted by management and comprising both human and technical capabilities. List and describe the components of IT infrastructure that firms need to manage. Students may wish to use Figure 5-10 to answer the question. IT infrastructure today is composed of seven major components. •Internet Platforms – Apache, Microsoft IIS, .NET, UNIX, Cisco, Java •Computer Hardware Platforms – Dell, IBM, Sun, HP, Apple, Linux machines •Operating Systems Platforms – Microsoft Windows, UNIX, Linux, Mac OS X •Enterprise Software Applications – (including middleware), SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Microsoft, BEA •Networking/Telecommunications – Microsoft Windows Server, Linux, Novell, Cisco, Lucent, Nortel, MCI, AT&T, Verizon •Consultants and System Integrators – IBM/KPMG, EDS, Accenture •Data Management and Storage – IBM DB2, Oracle, SQL Server, Sybase, MySQL, EMC Systems
2. What are the stages and technology drivers of IT infrastructure evolution? List each of the eras in IT infrastructure evolution and describe its distinguishing characteristics.
Five stages of IT infrastructure evolution include:
•General-purpose mainframe and minicomputer era (1959 to present): •Personal computer era (1981 to present):
•Client/server era (1983 to present):
•Enterprise computing era (1992 to present):
•Cloud computing era (2000 to present):
Define and describe the following: Web server, application server, multitiered client/server architecture.
•Web server: software that manages requests for Web pages on the computer where they are stored and that delivers the page to the user’s computer. •Application server: software that handles all application operations between browser-based computers and a company’s back-end business applications or databases. •Multitiered client/server architecture: client/server network in which the work of the entire network is balanced over several different levels of servers.
Describe Moore’s Law and the Law of Mass Digital Storage
•Moore’s Law: the number of components on a chip with the smallest manufacturing costs per component (generally transistors) had doubled each year. Moore later reduced the rate of growth to a doubling every two years. •Law of Mass Digital Storage: the amount of digital information is roughly doubling every year. Almost all of this information growth involves magnetic storage of digital data, and printed documents account for only 0.003 percent of the annual growth. The cost of storing digital information is falling at an exponential rate of 100 percent a year.
Both of these concepts explain developments that have taken place in computer processing, memory chips, storage devices, telecommunications and networking hardware and software, and software design that have exponentially increased computing power while exponentially reducing costs.
Describe how network economics, declining communication costs, and technology standards affect IT infrastructure.
Network economics: Metcalfe’s Law helps explain the mushrooming use of computers by showing that a network’s value to participants grows exponentially as the network takes on more members. As the number of members in a network grows linearly, the...