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What is IT infrastructure?

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Information technology (IT) infrastructure are the components required to operate and manage enterprise IT environments. IT infrastructure can be deployed within a cloud computing system, or within an organization's own facilities.

These components include hardware, software, networking components, an operating system (OS), and data storage, all of which are used to deliver IT services and solutions. IT infrastructure products are available as downloadable software applications that run on top of existing IT resources—like software-defined storage—or as online solutions offered by service providers—like Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

Hardware

Hardware includes servers, datacenters, personal computers, routers, switches, and other equipment.

The facilities that house, cool, and power a datacenter could also be included as part of the infrastructure.

Software

Software refers to the applications used by the business, such as web servers, content management systems, and the OS—like Linux®. The OS is responsible for managing system resources and hardware, and makes the connections between all of your software and the physical resources that do the work.

Networking

Interconnected network components enable network operations, management, and communication between internal and external systems. The network consists of internet connectivity, network enablement, firewalls and security, as well as hardware like routers, switches, and cables.

Traditional infrastructure

With a traditional infrastructure, the components—like datacenters, data storage, and other equipment—are all managed and owned by the business within their own facilities. Traditional infrastructure is often thought of as expensive to run and requires large amounts of hardware, like servers, as well as power and physical space.

Cloud infrastructure

Cloud infrastructure describes the components and resources needed for cloud computing. You can create a private cloud by building it yourself using resources dedicated solely to you. Or you can use a public cloud by renting cloud infrastructure from a cloud provider like Alibaba, Amazon, Google, IBM, or Microsoft. And by incorporating some degree of workload portability, orchestration, and management across multiple clouds you can create a hybrid cloud.

Hyperconverged infrastructure

Hyperconverged infrastructure allows you to manage your compute, network, and data storage resources from a single interface. With software-defined compute and data storage bundled together, you can support more modern workloads with scalable architectures on industry-standard hardware.

IT infrastructure management is the coordination of IT resources, systems, platforms, people, and environments. Here are some of the most common technology infrastructure management types:

  • OS management: Oversees environments running the same OS by providing content, patch, provisioning, and subscription management.
  • Cloud management: Gives cloud admins control over everything running in a cloud—end users, data, applications, and services—by managing resource deployments, use, integration, and disaster recovery.
  • Virtualization management: Interfaces with virtual environments and the underlying physical hardware to simplify resource administration, enhance data analyses, and streamline operations.
  • IT operations management: Also known as business process management, this is the practice of modeling, analyzing, and optimizing business processes that are often repeated, ongoing, or predictable.
  • IT automation: Creates repeatable instructions and processes to replace or reduce human interaction with IT systems. Also known as infrastructure automation.
  • Container orchestration: Automates the deployment, management, scaling, and networking of containers.
  • Configuration management: Maintains computer systems, servers, and software in a desired, consistent state.
  • API management: Distributes, controls, and analyzes the application programming interfaces (APIs) that connect apps and data across enterprises and clouds.
  • Risk management: Identifies and assesses risks and creates plans to minimize or control those risks and their potential impacts.
  • Data management: Gathers, stores, and uses data, allowing organizations to know what data they have, where it is located, who owns it, who can see it, and how it is accessed.

Red Hat offers software and support for every enterprise IT need, from infrastructure to platforms, data storage to containers, and management to automation. The result is a standardized platform across physical, virtual, private cloud, and public cloud environments, with solutions that work as well with one another as they do with your existing technologies and processes.

Simplicity is the key to a more efficient, more secure IT ecosystem. By deploying an infrastructure built on open source technologies, you can simplify your IT stack while still maintaining your ability to do whatever you want now, and prepare for where you want to go in the future.

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