IT infrastructure management

IT infrastructure is a highway

Gartner’s definition is good for dealing with IT people. However, when I discuss IT infrastructure with organizational management, HR, or senior management, I generally use this metaphor of the road:

Managed Infrastructure Services

Like building a physical highway, infrastructure professionals plan, build, maintain, repair, and protect their own digital highway, along which all of the organization’s data travels. They do not load and unload the information vehicles that circulate on that road; they create the path that vehicles travel on, maintain the path, and regulate access and behavior in its road infrastructure.

All of which ensures that the requested information reaches your intended user or application, be it terminal screens, internal applications, websites, mobile applications, timestamps, spreadsheets, documents, reports, emails or anything else.

Like local authorities, IT infrastructure managers manage their own individual road section and Internet access. Non-IT people may be confused about IT-enabled hardware and processes, but they know exactly what a path is. That is why the highway metaphor works.

Network infrastructure management

Network infrastructure involves all interconnected hardware and Internet components that must be configured to transport data and allow access within and outside of your infrastructure. The network infrastructure organizes its hardware so that all nodes on the network can find and communicate with each other, without neglecting the bad guys.

Once your hardware is installed, you can start working on your network infrastructure:

The hardware infrastructure is physically connected through wired or wireless access points.

Patch panels, switches, routers, firewalls, and devices are wired and configured for access.

IP addresses, subnets, and gateways are created to segment your network, along with TCP / IP services (such as DHCP and DNS) that allow traffic to move in and out of each network.

Infrastructure offers business value

Generally speaking, IT infrastructure management is anything it doesn’t involve: application development, database analysis and reporting, and deployment and management of individual devices.

Remember the way. The infrastructure provides informational outlet for commercial applications, much like a highway delivers products loaded onto trucks. The infrastructure provides the mechanism for delivering business information; business applications provide the information themselves.

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