TECHNOLOGY GUIDE 1. COMPUTER HARDWARE
Three interrelated factors that affect decisions in regard to hard wares are:
• Appropriateness for the task
Trend in hardware: smaller, faster, cheaper and more powerful over time.
Advantages of basic hardware knowledge:
Hardware is used in almost all and future functional areas in an organization
Understanding of basic hardware use, performance, problems and others
Helps in decision making with regard to organization hardware upgrades or replacement.
Helps in budget decisions.
INTRODUCING HARDWARE COMPONENTS
Physical equipment used for the input, processing, output and storage activities of a computer system. It includes:
Central processing Unit(CPU)
STRATEGIC HARDWARE ISSUE
Effective exploitation of computer hardware increases competitive advantage of an organization, and this is brought about
Comparing price and performance and making a cost effective decision
Analyzing the need for the new hardware infrastructures
Evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of allowing employees to work from home or from anywhere
Main focus: cost and ease of use.
INNOVATIONS IN HARDWARE UTILIZATION
1. Server Farms: Massive data centres that contain hundreds of thousands of networked computer servers, used to
facilitate management, transmission, and storage of data flow from web-based applications.
Require large amounts of electrical power, air conditioning, backup generators, security and money Located close to fibre optic communication links
2. Virtualization: Utilization rates on servers range from 5-10%. Virtualization means that servers no longer have to
be dedicated to a particular task. Server virtualization uses software-based partitions to create multiple virtual
servers (virtual machines) on a single physical server, thus allowing multiple applications to work at the same
Cost savings in equipment, energy, space, cooling, personnel and maintenance
Enhanced organizational agility(quick modification)
Shift focus from technology to service efficiency
3. Grid Computing: applies the unused processing resources of many geographically dispersed computers in a
network to form a virtual supercomputer.
4. Utility computing/ subscription computing/ on-demand computing: service provider makes computing resources
and infrastructure management available to a customer as needed. Charges are usage based, therefore is cost
5. Cloud computing: cloud-computers, the software and network connections. Cloud computing uses physically
distanced computers to perform the task over a network.
Access to innumerable computers
Users pay for actual processing and storage used.
Lower infrastructure costs
Disadvantages: privacy, security, and reliability concerns
6. Edge computing: process by which parts of website content and processing are located close to the user to
decrease response time and lower processing costs.
• Small and Relatively inexpensive servers (edge servers)
• Servers of company whose website you are accessing
7. Autonomic computing: use of autonomic systems to manage and maintain IT environments without direct human
resources. System automatically configures itself and adapts to the situation, finds and repairs hardware and
software problems and provides protection against attacks and failures.
8. Nanotechnology: creation of materials, devices and systems at a scale of 1-100nanometres.
• Require little power
• Provide huge storage capacities.
Examples: Nanotex, waterstick
THE COMPUTER HIERARCHY
Integrated circuits Ultra-large-scale integrated circuits
Massively parallel processing
Computers are divided on basis of hardware platform
1. Supercomputers: fastest computing engines which had speeds exceeding one petaflop ( 1 petaflop=
1000trillion floating point operations per second).
Generally used for computationally demanding tasks involving v.large data sets.
Run military and scientific applications.
Cost millions of dollars
Used for commercial applications eg.in banks
2. Mainframe computers: less powerful and generally less expensive than supercomputers.
High performance and reliability
Have terabytes of primary storage
Secondary storage- high capacity magnetic and optical storage media with capacities of many
Recentralization- movement of large organizations from mainframes toward distributed systems and now
returning to mainframes for centralized administration, reliability and flexibility
3. Midrange computers: Larger midrange computers-minicomputers-small, inexpensive and compact
Are a type of server-computer that supports computer networks and enables users to share files, software,
peripheral devices and other resources?
Scalable computers- inexpensive
Note: transaction-processing requirements- use server farms
Pizza-box-sized servers stacked in racks are called rack servers
Blade- server design computers with more density
4. Workstations: run computationally intensive scientific, engineering, and financial applications – high
performance demanded by engineers.
Provide high speed calculations
High resolution graphic displays
Widely used within scientific and business communities
5. Microcomputers/ micros/ personal computers/PCs: smallest ,least expensive general computer –usually uses
Microsoft windows operating system
Desktop PCs- dominant method of accessing workgroup and enterprise-wide applications comes with
standard tool for business and home- consist of CPU, monitor and keyboard. Thin-Client systems-client means computer used for performing a task. Thin-client systems-desktop
computer system that do not offer the full functionality of a PC, are less complex, would not have
Microsoft office instead include access software, easier and are less expensive.
Laptop and notebook computers: small easily transportable, lightweight microcomputers that fit
easily into a briefcase, designed for convenience and transport.
Ultra-mobile PCs –small mobile computer that run various mobile operating systems-smaller and
lighter than laptops
Net book- very small, lightweight, low cost energy efficient portable computer for internet based
6. Computing devices: Wearable computers- designed to be worn and used on the body, for industrial
applications-factory automation etc.
Embedded computers- embedded in other products to add features and capabilities
INPUT AND OUTPUT TECHNOLOGIES
Input technologies- allow user to put data into a computer
Human data-entry devices: high Source-data automation devices: minimal output
human effort human effort
Eg. Keyboard, mouse, optical Eg. Automated teller machine(ATM), Eg. Monitors- cathode ray tubes,
mouse, trackball, pointing stick,