infrastructure support and why your business needs it
17-02-20
Industry Analysis

Infrastructure support and why your business needs it

Written By
Andy Bristow

Just as roads, railways and communication networks make up the infrastructure of a city, the same is true for IT infrastructure in a business. Everything that keeps an organisation’s IT services connected and working smoothly, both the virtual and physical resources, is what makes an IT infrastructure.

And just as roads can get potholes and power lines need to be connected to new buildings, IT infrastructures also need to be monitored, expanded and repaired too. That’s why jobs in IT infrastructure support are such crucial roles for any business owners.

Whether an infrastructure is centralised or decentralised, cloud-based or in-house, and what elements are involved in the set up can be wide ranging and depend on the business needs of the organisation. So employees that build a good understanding of how IT infrastructures are managed can be valuable, especially when developments in tech are so fast paced.

IT Infrastructures - What and how?

The components that make up any robust IT infrastructure can usually be divided into 6 simple sections:

Facilities

Every infrastructure starts with the physical space. In IT terms, this means the data centres where IT equipment, security features, power and temperature control are stored.

Network

Next, you need to get connected. So network level infrastructure includes routers, firewalls and load balancers.

Storage

Being able to store data at a network level is important for any organisation. Storage area networks (SAN) or network-area storage (NAS) provide this access.

Servers

Servers can be part of the physical infrastructure, held on-site, or can be part of a virtual data centre environment.

Management Tools

Every level of an IT infrastructure needs to be monitored and managed, so any tools that infrastructure support use to do this, including this like domain name systems (DNS) are covered at this level.

Applications

Each previous level of an IT infrastructure creates the environment where applications can be used by business owners and employees to carry out tasks and processes.

Each layer of the infrastructure relies upon and builds on the one before. So when it comes to creating a new IT infrastructure, there’s a clear process that needs to be followed. Before business owners can make decisions about what type of storage is right for them or where the servers will be managed, someone experienced in infrastructure support needs to analyse the goals of the business in order to design the best data storage, and configuration of IT components to provide the most efficient solution.

And of course then it’s necessary to be able to access and monitor the entire network in an efficient way as well. Known in the industry as single pane of glass monitoring, IT infrastructure support is best done when information from multiple components can be viewed in the same place. This makes configuring and optimising the system much more streamlined.

Types of IT infrastructure

Business owners have a few different options when it comes to how they put together an IT infrastructure. The level of flexibility needed is one key thing to consider. A dynamic infrastructure adapts to changing demands whereas immutable infrastructure is more fixed, redeploying and replacing components whenever there are updates or changes needed.

Why Do You Need It?

The business value of prioritising IT infrastructure management and support is becoming clearer as technology becomes an indispensable element of every business, not just start-ups and tech organisations. From employee satisfaction to increased sales, the effects of good IT infrastructure can reach every corner of a business.

Whether an organisation is providing information, a software as a service (SaaS) app, or products for sale, if the website or app works smoothly - thanks to reliable infrastructure support - customer satisfaction will increase. Business owners can also learn how to improve and change their business to better serve customers if they work closely with their IT infrastructure support staff to monitor and analyse how customers use their service.

The Benefits of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

While you may have heard of (and probably use quite a few) SaaS products - apps for project management, email, CRM and more, Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) products perhaps not as ubiquitous.

IaaS is an automated cloud computing system where all the data from a business is stored and managed. One of the most promising benefits of choosing a third party provider to run your infrastructure is that you don’t need to worry about high set-up costs and expensive maintenance. The IaaS company is responsible for the upkeep of the best quality equipment and hardware meaning you can get started in minutes rather than days and weeks.

As most IaaS providers work on a ‘pay as you grow’ model, you have the flexibility to adapt and expand your business without worrying about committing to an infrastructure setup that’s either too big or too small and expensive to change.

Well known IaaS providers like IBM, Microsoft and Amazon are competing with smaller challenger companies, giving business owners the freedom to choose a provider that most closely aligns with their business needs. As well as one that provides optimum reliability and stability and constant support from infrastructure experts.

A New Role in Infrastructure Support

At Bristow Holland, our team of tech recruitment experts are here to help, whether you’re a business owner looking to expand their infrastructure support team or if you’re a candidate looking for a different or new role in infrastructure support in the east of England. Contact the team today to get your search started.