4.1 IT Infrastructure: Computer Hardware
Businesses require a wide variety of computing equipment, software, and communications capabilities simply to operate and solve basic business problems. Obviously, you need computers, and, as it turns out, a wide variety of computers are available, including desktops, laptops, and handhelds.
You will also need plenty of software. Each computer will require an operating system and a wide range of application software capable of dealing with spreadsheets, documents, and data files.
Today’s IT infrastructure is composed of five major components: computer hardware, computer software, data management technology, networking and telecommunications technology, and technology services. These components must be coordinated each other.
Computer hardware consists of technology for computer processing, data storage, input, and output.
Include both systems software and application software. System software manages the resources and activities of the computer. Application software applies the computer to a specific task for and end user, such as processing an order or generating a mailing list.
Data Management Technology
Data management software organizes, manages, and processes business data concerned with inventory, costumers, and vendors.
Networking and Telecommunications Technology
Provides data, voice, and video connectivity to employees, costumers, and suppliers.
Businesses need people to run and manage the other infrastructure components we have just described and to train employees in how to use these technologies for their work.
TYPES OF COMPUTERS
Personal Computer (PC)
If we’re working alone or with a few other people in a small business, you’ll probably be using a desktop or laptop personal computer.
It which fits on a desktop but has more powerful mathematical and graphics-processing capabilities than PC.
Server computers are specifically optimized to support a computer network, enabling users to share files, software, peripheral devices (such as printers), or other network resources.
Is a large-capacity, high-performance computer that can process large amounts of data very rapidly.
Is a specially designed and more sophisticated computer that is used for tasks requiring extremely rapid and complex calculations with thousands of variables, millions of measurements, and thousands of equations.
Involves connecting geographically remote computers into a single network to crate a “virtual supercomputer” by combining the computational power of all computers on grid.
Computer Networks and Client/Server Computing
The use of multiple computer linked by a communications network for processing is called distributed processing. Centralized processing, in wich all processing is accomplished by one large central computer, is much less common.
One widely used form of distributed processing is client/server computing. Client/server computing splits processing between “clients” and serves”. The client is the user point of entry for the required function and is normally a desktop or laptop computer. The user generally interacts directly only with the client portion of the application. The server provides the client with services.
For istance, at the first level a Web server will serve a Web page to a client in response to a request for service. Web server software is responsible for locating and managing stored Web pages. If the client requests access to a corporate system( a product list or price information, for instance), the request is passed along to an application server.
STORAGE, INPUT, AND OUTPUT TECHNOLOGY
In addition to hardware for processing data, we will need technologies for data storage, and input and output. Storage and input and output devices are called peripheral devices beucause they are outside the main computer system unit.
Secondary Storage Technology
The principal storage technologies are:
1. Magnetic Disks: the most widely used storage medium today is the magnetic disk.
2. Optical Discs: these discs use laser technology to store large quantities of data, including sounds and images, in a highly compact form. They are available for both PCs and large computers.
3. Magnetic Tape: some companies still use magnetic tape, an older storage technology that is used for secondary storage of large quantities of data that are needed rapidly but not instantly. It store data sequentially and is relatively slow compared to the speed of other secondary storage media.
4. Storage Networking: large firm are turning to network-based storage technologies to deal with the complexity and cost of mushrooming storage requirement.
Input and Output Devices
Human beings interact with computer system largely through input and output devices. Input devices gather data and convert them into electronic form for use by the computer, whereas output devices display data after they have been processed.
CONTEMPORARY HARDWARE TRENDS
The exploding power of computer hardware and networking technology has dramatically changed how business organize their computing power, putting more of this power on networks. We look at this trends:
1. The emerging mobile digital platform
Mobile digital computing platform have emerged as alternatives to PCs and larger computers. Communication devices such as cell phones,and smartphones such as the iPhone and BlackBerry, have taken on many functions of handheld computers, including transmission of data, surfing the Web, transmitting e-mail and instant messages, displaying digital content, and exchanging data with internal corporate system.
Nanotechnology uses individual atoms and molecules to create computer chips and other devices that are thousands of times smaller than current technologies permit.
3. Cloud computing
Cloud computing refers to a model of computing in which firms and individuals obtain computing resources and software applications over the internet (also referred to as “the cloud”).
Cloud computing consists of three different types of services:
a. Cloud infrastructure as a services: customers use processing, storage, networking, and other computing resources from cloud service providers to run their information system.
b. Cloud platform as a service: customers use infrastructure and programming tools hosted by the service provider to develop their own applications.
c. Cloud software as a service: customers use software hosted by the vendor.
4. Autonomic computing
Autonomic computing is an industry-wide effort to develop system that can configure themselves, optimize and tune themselves, heal themselves when broken, and protect themselves from outside intruders and self-destruction. Imagine, for instance, a desktop PC that could know it was invaded by a computer virus.
Virtualization and multicore processors
Virtualization presents a set of computing resources(such as computing power or data storage) so that they can all be accessed in ways that are restricted by physical configuration or geographic location.
4.2 IT Infrastructure: Computer Soft Ware
OPERATING SYSTEM SOFTWARE
The system software that manages and controls the computer’s activities is called the operating system. Other system software consists of computer language translation programs that convert programming languages into machine language that can be understood by the computer and utility programs that perform common processing tasks, such as copying, sorting, or computing a square root.
APPLICATION SOFTWARE AND DESKTOP PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS
Today, business have access to an array of tools for developing their application software. This include traditional programming languages, fourth-generation languages, application software packages, and desktop productivity tools; software for developing Internet application; and software for enterprise integration. It is important to know wich software tools and programming languages are appropriate for the work your business wants to accomplish.
SOFTWARE FOR THE WEB: JAVA, AJAX, AND HTML
There are a number of software tools that business use to build Web sites and applications that run on the Web. Java and ajax are used for building applications that run on the Web, and HTML is used for creating Web pages.
Java is operating sytem independent, processor independent, object oriented programming language that has become a leading interactive programming environment for the web.
Ajax us another web development tective web creating interativ on the web technique wb application that prevent all of in this inconvience.
HTML is a page description a language for specipying how graphics, video, text and sound are placed on a web page.
Web services refer to a set of loosely coupled software components that exchange information with each other using universal Web communication standards and languages.
Today are many more sources for obtaining software and many more capabilities for users to create their own customized software applications. Expanding use of open source software and cloud –based software tools and services exemplify this trend.
Open Source Sofware is developed by a community of programmers around the world, who make their program avaibles to user under one several different licensing schemes.
Cloud- Basd Software Tools and Services Such as Microsoft Word or Adobe.1) Mashups is the resulting software application and Widgets are small software programs that can be added to web pages or place on the desktop to provide additional functionally.
4.3 Managing Hardware And Software Technology
Selection and use of computer hardware and software technology has a profound impact on business performance. The most important issues will be face when in managing hardware and software technology: capacity planning and scalability; determining the total cost of technology assets; determing whether to own and maintain your own hardware, software, and other infrastructure components or lease them from an external technology servie provider; and managing mobile platforms and software localization.
CAPACITY PLANNING AND SCALABILITY
Capacity Planning is the processof predicting when a computer hardware system becomes saturated and Scalability refers the ability of a computer, product, or system to expand to serve a large number of users without breaking down.
TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP (TCO) OF TECHNOLOGY ASSETS
TCO model can be used to analyze these direct and indirect costs to help determine the actual cost of owning the specific technology.
USING TECHNOLOGY SERVICE PROVIDERS
Outsourcing The maintenance of their IT infrastructure and development of new systems to external vendors.
Using Cloud Services , firms now have the option of maintaining their own IT infrasturture or using cloud based hardware and software services.
Managing Mobile Platforms, a large firm have many thousand of wireless devices to configure and monitor , similar to a desktop environment.
MANAGING SOFTWARE LOCALIZATION FOR GLOBAL BUSINESS
If you are operating a global company, all of management issues we have just described will be affected by the need to create systeme that can be realistically used by multiple business units different countries.