Chapter 5

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Ryerson University
Information Technology Management
ITM 102
Vikraman Baskaran

ITM Chapter 5 – IT Infrastructure and Emerging Technology IT infrastructure - The shared technology resources that provide the platform for the firm’s specific information system applications. - Includes investment in hardware, software, and services, such as consulting, education, and training. - Defining IT infrastructure: - Set of physical devices and software required to operate enterprise - Set of firm wide services including:  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 - “Service platform” perspective more accurate view of value of investments Evolution of IT infrastructure: - Electronic accounting machine era: 1930-1950 - General-purpose mainframe and minicomputer era: 1959 to present - Personal computer era: 1981 to present - Client/server era: 1983 to present - Enterprise Internet computing era: 1992 to present - Cloud Computing: 2000 to present Technology drivers of infrastructure evolution - Moore’s Law and microprocessing power - The Law of Mass Digital Storage - Metcalfe’s Law and network economics - Declining communications costs and the Internet - Standards and network effects Moore’s law and microprocessing power has been interpreted as: - The power of microprocessors doubles every 18 months - Computing power doubles every 18 months - The price of computing falls by half every 18 months - Nanotechnology uses individual atoms and molecules to create computer chips and other devices The Law of Mass Digital Storage - The amount of digital information is roughly doubling every year - The cost of storage is falling at an exponential rate of 100 percent per year Metcalfe’s Law and Network Economics - The value of a network grows exponentially as a function of the number of network members Seven Major Components of IT Infrastructure Computer Hardware Platforms - Client machines (desktops, laptops, and PDAs) - Server machines • Blade servers • Server Farms - Mainframes systems used as giant servers for enterprise networks and corporate Web sites Operating System Platforms - Microsoft Windows dominates the market of client machine software - Unix or Linux widely used as server software - Linux available as open-source software Enterprise and Other Software Applications - Largest suppliers of enterprise software are • SAP • Oracle • PeopleSoft (acquired by Oracle) Data Management and Storage - Database software: IBM (DB2), Oracle, Microsoft (SQL Server), Sybase (Adaptive Server Enterprise), MySQL - Physical data storage: EMC Corp (large-scale systems), Seagate, Maxtor, Western Digital - Storage area networks (SANs): connect multiple storage devices on dedicated network Networking/Telecommunications Platforms - Leading network hardware providers are Cisco, Lucent, Nortel, and Juniper - Software leaders are Microsoft, Novell, Linux, and Unix - Service vendors include Bell Canada, Primus, and regional carriers - Growth of wireless and Voice over IP (VoIP) Internet Platforms - Hardware, software, management services to support company Web sites, (including Web hosting services) intranets, extranets - Internet hardware server market: Dell, HP/Compaq, IBM - Web development tools/suites: Microsoft (FrontPage, .NET) IBM (WebSphere) Sun (Java), independent software developers: Macromedia/Adobe, RealMedia Consulting and System Integration Services - Even large firms do not have resources for full range of support for new, complex infrastructure - Software integration: ensuring new infrastructure works with legacy systems - Legacy systems: older TPS created for mainframes that would be too costly to replace or redesign - Accenture, IBM Global Services, EDS, Infosys, Wipro Grid Computing - Involves connecting geographically remote computers into a single network capable of working in parallel on business problems that require short-term access to large computational capacity - Rather than purchase huge mainframes or super computers, firms can chain together thousands of smaller desktop clients into a single computing grid Cloud Computing and Computing Utility - Firms off-load peak demand for computing power to remote, large-scale data processing centres - Firms pay only for the computing power they use, as with an electrical utility - Excellent for firms with spiked demand curves caused by seasonal var
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