Information System Notes Chapter 5-7.docx

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Information Technology Management
ITM 102
Catherine Middleton

CHAPTER 5: IT INFRASTRUCTURE AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES Key Questions  What is IT infrastructure and what are its components?  What are the current trends in computer hardware platforms?  What are the current trends in software platforms?  What are the stages and technology drivers of IT infrastructure evolution?  What are the challenges of managing of IT infrastructure and management solution? IT Infrastructure  The shared technology resources that provide the platform for the firm’s specific information system application  Includes investments in hardware, software, and services, such as consulting, education and training o Includes the following IT services  Computing platforms providing computing services  Telecommunications services  Data management services  Application software services  Physical facilities, management services  IT management, standards, education, research and development services  Evolution of IT infrastructure o General-purpose mainframe (IBM) and minicomputer (DEC) era: 1959 to present  Highly centralized computing under the control of professional programmers and system operators (corporate data center)  Most elements of the infrastructure is provided by a single vendor, manufacturer of the hardware & software  Changed w/ the intro of minicomputers; powerful machines at lower prices; produced by DEC (digital equipment corporation)  Minicomputers made possible for decentralization of computers; customization for individual department needs  The minicomputers now evolved into what is called mid- range computers o Personal computer era: 1981 to present  Although the first personal computer systems appeared in 1970s the true personal computer era started in 1981, mainly used by American businesses  Wintel PC – windows operating system software o Client/server era: 1983 to present  Desktop or laptop computers called clients are networked to powerful server computers  Clients are usually the point of entry and access  Servers are typically processes and stored data shared by those clients, refers both the software application and the physical computer  Client/server networks can be found in small businesses, big corporations often have multi-tiered client/server architectures  Application servers – software that handles all application operations between user and an organization’s back-end business systems, resides in the same computer as the webserver or on its own dedicated computer  Allows businesses to distribute work across series of smaller, inexpensive machines that cost less than minicomputers or centralized mainframe systems o Enterprise computing era: 1992 to present  Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) networking standards used to tie disparate networks together  Links different pieces of computer hardware and smaller networks into an enterprise-wide network so that info can flow freely across the organization and between the firm and other organizations  Enables linkage of different types of computer hardware; mainframes, servers, PCs, mobile phones and other handheld devices: telephone systems, internet and public network services o Cloud computing and mobile computing era: 2000 to present  Cloud computing provides access to a shared pool of computing resources over a network (Internet)  “Clouds” of resources can be accessed on an as- needed/instant basis from any device and location  Currently the fastest growing form of computing  Access by desktops, laptops, netbooks, entertainment centers, mobile devices and other client machines linked to the internet  Technological drivers of infrastructure evolution o Law of Mass Digital Storage  The amount of digital information is doubling every year  The cost of storage is falling at an exponential rate of 100%/year = more data but cheaper storage o Metcalfe’s Law and Network Economics  A network becomes more valuable as more people join it  Example; if one person who has access to email, there is no real value to that access. If two have access the number of connections that can be made is only one. But if three have access, there are three connections that is, an increase of two with an increase of only one new member of the network and so on. Infrastructure components  Computer hardware platforms o Client machines – desktop PCs and mobile computing devices such as netbooks and laptops, but not iPhones or Blackberries o Sever machines  Blade servers – ultrathin computers consisting of a circuit board with processors, memory and network connections stored in racks, takes up less space than traditional box- based servers  Server farms o Mainframe systems used as giant servers for enterprise networks and corporate websites  Operating system platforms o Software that manages the resources of the computer o Microsoft Windows dominates the market of client machine software (75% of server operating system market) o Unix or Linux widely used as server software (25% of corporate servers)  Linux available as open-source software  Scalable, reliable and much less expensive than mainframe operating systems, can be run on different types of processors o 90% of PC use Microsoft Windows operating system o (Google) Chrome OS, provides cloud centered operating systems for netbooks  Allows users to access data through the Chrome Web browser  Enterprise software applications o Largest suppliers of enterprise software are:  SAP  Oracle  PeopleSoft (acquired by Oracle)  Data management and storage o Database software: IBM (DB2), Oracle, Microsoft (SQL sever), Sybase (adaptive server enterprise), MySQL; supply more than 90% of the global database software marketplace o Physical data storage: EMC Corp (large-scale systems), Seagate, Maxtor, Western Digital o Storage area networks (SANs): connect multiple storage devices on dedicated networks  Networking/telecom platforms o Leading network hardware providers are Cisco, Lucent, Nortel, and Juniper o Software leaders are Microsoft, Novell, Linux and Unix o Software vendors include Bell Canada, Primus, and regional carriers o Growth of wireless and Voice over IP (VoIP)  Internet platforms o Hardware, software, management services to support company Websites, (including web hosting services) intranets, extranets o Internet hardware server market: Dell, HP/Compaq, IBM o Web development tools/suites: Microsoft (FrontPage, .NET) IBM (WebSphere) Sun (Java), independent software developers: Macromedia/Adobe, RealMedia  Consulting/Systems Integration o Even larges firms do not have resources for full range of support for new, complex infrastructure o Software integration: ensuring new infrastructure works with legacy systems o Legacy systems: older TSP created for mainframes that would be too costly to replace or redesign o Accenture, IBM Global Services, EDS, Infrosys, Wipro Contemporary Hardware Platform Trends  The emerging mobile digital platform – why is this important? o Cell phones, smartphones (Blackberry, iPhone, Android) have assumed data transmission, web surfing, email and IM duties o Netbooks: small, low-cost lightweight notebooks optimized for wireless communications and core computing task o Tablets: not just the iPad  Grid computing o Connect multiple computers together, make use of existing capacity o Requires software programs to control and allocate resources on the grid o Communicates with a server software application, breaks data and application code into chunks that are then parceled out to the grid’s machines o Benefits businesses; cost saving, speed of computation and agility  Virtualization and Multicore processors o The process of presenting a set of computing resources so that they can be accessed in ways that are not restricted by physical configuration or geographic location o Enables a single physical resource to appear to the user as multiple logical resources o Enables multiple physical resources to appear as a single logical resource o Makes possible for a company to handle its computer processing and storage using computing resources housed in remote locations  Business benefits of virtualization  Provides the ability to host multiple systems on a single physical machine, virtualization helps organizations increase equipment utilization rates, conserving data center space and energy usage  Allows businesses to run their legacy applications on older versions of an operating system on the same server as newer applications  Facilitates centralization and consolidation of hardware administration  Cloud computing o Firms off-load peak demand for computing power to remote, large-scale data processing centers o Firms pay only for the computing power they use, as with an electrical utility o Excellent for firms with spiked demand curves caused by seasonal variations in consumer demand (holiday shopping) o Saves firms from purchasing excessive levels of infrastructure o Data permanently stored in remote servers, accessed and updated over the Internet by users o On-demand self service – can obtain computing capabilities such as server time or network storage on their own o Cloud computing have the following essential characteristics;  On-demand self-service  Ubiquitous network access (found everywhere)  Location-independent resource pooling  Rapid elasticity; depending on demand resources can be increased or decreased  Metered service; charged for what they use o Three types of services  Cloud infrastructure as a service - use processing, storage, networking and other computing resources from cloud service providers to run their information systems  Cloud platform as a service – use infrastructure and programming tools hosted by the service provider to develop their own applications  Cloud software as a service – use software hosted by the vendor on the vendor’s hardware and delivered over a network o Public cloud – maintained by an external service provider o Private cloud – proprietary network or a data center that ties together servers, storage, networks, data and applications as a set of virtualized services shared by users inside a company  Autonomic computing o An industry-wide effort to develop systems that can configure themselves, optimize and tune themselves, heal themselves when broken and protect themselves from outside intruders and self- destruction  Green computing o Practices and technologies for designing, manufacturing, using and disposing of computers, servers and associated devices such as monitors, printers, storage devices and networking and communications systems to minimize impacts on the environment Contemporary software platform trends  Linux and open sourced software o Open-source software is free and can be modified by users – but can be complex, companies often buy Linux systems/support o Developed and maintained by a worldwide network of programmers and designers under the management of user communities o Linux is the most widely used open-source software program  Software for the web: Java and Ajax o Java – operating-system-independent, processor-indpendent, and object-oriented programming language (Sun Microsystems) that has become the leading interactive environment for the web  Can handle text, data, graphics, sound, and video within one program  Enables PC users to manipulate data on networked systems using Web browsers, reducing the need to write specialized software o Ajax  Allows client and server to exchange small pieces of data behind the scenes so that an entire webpage does not have to be reloaded whenever the user requests a change o Leading programming environment for the Web  Applets, E-commerce applications  Web services and service-oriented architecture o Web services refers to a set of loosely coupled software components that exchange information with each other using universal web communication standards and languages o Exchanges information between two different systems regardless of the operating systems or programming languages on which the systems are based o Not tied to any one operating system or programming language and different applications can use them to communicate with each other without time-consuming custom coding  Mashups and Apps o Mashups  Combinations of two or more online applications, such as combining mapping software (Google maps) with local content o Apps  Small pieces of software that run on the internet, on your computer, or on your cellphone  IPhone, Blackberry, Android  Generally delivered over the internet  Software outsourcing o Software packages and enterprise software  Software package – pre-written commercially available set of software programs that eliminates the need for a firm to write its own programs for certain functions, such as payroll processing or order handling o Software outsourcing (domestic or offshore)  Domestic  Primarily for middleware, integration services, software support  Offshore  Primarily for lower level maintenance, data entry, call centers, although outsourcing for new-program development is increasing  Cloud services o Software as a service (SaaS) o Accessed with Web browser over the internet o Ranges from free or low-cost services for individuals to business and enterprise software o Users pay on subscription or per-transaction o Service Level Agreements (SLAs): Formal agreement with service providers Management Issues  Dealing with infrastructure change o Scalability – the ability of a computer, product, system or network to expand to serve a large number of users without breaking down o New applications, mergers and acquisitions and changes in the business volume all impact computer workload and must be considered when planning hardware capacity  Management and govern
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