IT infrastructure architecture

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In our material about custom software development, you could find the list of services Syndicode provides for successful project planning, developing and maintaining. IT infrastructure architecture is one of the stages and activities we need to apply for successful application deployments. IT infrastructure heavily affects the performance, availability and security of software applications. It helps to reduce the development cost and properly build on-demand apps.

What is infrastructure architecture?

Infrastructure architecture is the activity responsible for ensuring the technical systems and infrastructure are designed to support business requirements.

In IT, this stage of development obviously works to meet information technology business requirements, which considered to be very complicated. IT infrastructure refers to the

  1. hardware (servers, computers, data centers, switches, hubs and routers, and other equipment),
  2. software (ERP, CRM, productivity applications),
  3. network resources (network enablement, internet connectivity, firewall, and security) and
  4. services required for the existence, operation, and management of the IT environment. This part includes human users as well:
    • administrators,
    • developers,
    • designers,
    • end-users with access to any IT appliance or service.

IT infrastructure allows an organization to deliver IT solutions and services to its employees, partners and/or customers. It is usually internal to an organization and deployed within owned facilities.

In general, IT infrastructure covers the next building blocks:

  • datacenters,
  • servers,
  • networks,
  • storage,
  • operating systems,
  • end user devices.

IT infrastructure covers the client and server nodes of the hardware configuration, the infrastructure applications running on them, the services they offer to applications, as well as the protocols and networks that connect applications and nodes.

IT infrastructure potential problems

Back then, large enterprises have been continuously building their infrastructure architecture to meet every new requirement and modernize their software. From the business point of view, there was no chance to start the architecture from the blank canvas. And the only way to maintain what is already done was to multiply numerous fixes and add new components. As a result, nowadays, they face such problems as:

  1. Heavy customization,
  2. Complexity,
  3. Security vulnerabilities,
  4. Insufficient performance,
  5. Defective reliability,
  6. Poor functionality,
  7. Inadequate scalability,
  8. Technical debt.

Sure, back then, large enterprises had no cure for that. But these days they can really start everything afresh. With modern technologies, IT infrastructure architecture can be done with fewer efforts, personnel and money spent.

To admit, distributed, unstructured, and democratized data is now the norm.

Modern IT infrastructure

Architectural modernization is about more than lowering expenses by transitioning to the cloud and eliminating on-premises servers. There are several very important technology achievements available nowadays that can make any (no matter startup or enterprise) IT infrastructure architecture effective, secure, reliable and scalable.

  • Cloud

Cloud computing (“the cloud”) is the delivery of on-demand computing resources — everything from applications to data centers — over the internet on a pay-for-use basis.
There are the next benefits of cloud computing:

  • Cost efficiency
  • Scalability
  • Speed
  • Integration
  • Audit and compliance
  • Business continuity planning

At the same time, the design of a cloud environment is different from the on-premises environment. And a minor error can have dramatic consequences – with a single click the customer environment can be made readable by the entire internet. So, a secure setup of the cloud is crucial.
There are two modes for cloud computing deployment:
– Private (when services are delivered from a business’s data center to internal users), and
– Public (when a third-party cloud service provider delivers the cloud service over the internet). You can find a comparison for main public cloud development on our blog.
A cloud service has three distinct characteristics that differentiate it from traditional web hosting:

  • It is sold on demand, typically by the minute or the hour;
  • It is elastic – a user can have as much or as little of a service as they want at any given time;
  • The service is fully managed by the provider (the consumer needs nothing but a personal computer and Internet access).
  • Containers

Containers offer a logical packaging mechanism in which applications can be abstracted from the environment in which they actually run. As Docker says, a container is a standard unit of software that packages up the code and all its dependencies so the application runs quickly and reliably from one computing environment to another.
Containers break down monolithic interdependent architectures into manageable, largely independent pieces. Containers are fully portable and can live on-premises or in the cloud, depending on which is more cost-effective.
There are the next benefits of using containers:

  • Consistent environment – containers give developers the ability to create predictable environments that are isolated from other applications.
  • Run anywhere – containers are able to run virtually anywhere, greatly easing development and deployment.
  • Isolation – containers virtualize CPU, memory, storage, and network resources at the OS-level, providing developers with a sandboxed view of the OS logically isolated from other applications.

Containers and virtual machines have similar resource isolation and allocation benefits but function differently because containers virtualize the operating system instead of hardware. Simply put, containers are more portable and efficient, but they are not fully independent.

  • Virtualization

Virtualization is the process of running a virtual instance of a computer system in a layer abstracted from the actual hardware.  Hardware virtualization or platform virtualization refers to the creation of a virtual machine that acts like a real computer with an operating system. Software executed on these virtual machines is separated from the underlying hardware resources.

p.s. Operating-system-level virtualization, also known as containerization, refers to an operating system feature in which multiple isolated user-space instances exist.

  • DevOps as a service

DevOps as a Service (DaaS) is a delivery model for a set of tools that facilitates collaboration between an organization’s software development team and the operations team. In this delivery model, the DevOps as a Service provider collects the disparate tools that cover various aspects of the overall process and connects these tools to work together as one unit. The DevOps philosophy is “If you built it, you run it”.

While DevOps is typically used for teams developing and running functional software, the same philosophy can be applied to develop and run an infrastructure platform that functional DevOps teams can use. In an infrastructure DevOps team, infrastructure developers design, test, and build the infrastructure platforms and manage their lifecycle; infrastructure operators keep the platform running smoothly, fix incidents, and apply small changes.

IT infrastructure architecture best practices

Like any software development company, Syndicode uses its IT infrastructure for both inner purposes and developing business solutions for our customers.

To enable IT operations, a software development company should provide the proper IT infrastructure architecture. To facilitate informed decision making in the process of designing, constructing and running an organization’s infrastructure, you should build it by answering the next questions:

  • What functionality is required?
  • Who requires this functionality?
  • What is the functionality’s quality level?

Then, you have to apply all the best practices for infrastructure architecture available nowadays:

  • cloud-first,
  • containers,
  • virtualized platforms,
  • reusability.

Building your infrastructure architecture is a hard and slow process that demands a lot of dedication, passion, skills, and money. Even with the latest available solutions, you still need experts to guide you.

That’s why we advice you to rely on some trusted guys who can provide you with Software-as-a-Service! Rely on Syndicode! No more searching and comparisons, we can build you a modern, secure, reliable and scalable infrastructure!

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