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Chapter 4

IT Infrastructure:
Hardware and Software

4.1 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

STUDENT OBJECTIVES

• Identify and describe the components of IT


infrastructure.
• Identify and describe the major types of computer
hardware, data storage, and input and output
technology.
• Identify and describe the major types of computer
software used in business.

4.2 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

STUDENT OBJECTIVES (Continued)

• Assess contemporary hardware and software


trends.

• Evaluate the principal issues in managing


hardware and software technology.

4.3 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

DreamWorks Animation Turns to Technology for Production Support

• Problem: Gaining an edge in an intensely competitive market, working with


technology-intensive processes.
• Solutions: Deploy custom-built EMO software to render more realistic
animations and increase quality of films.
• HP processors and high-speed network facilitate rapid production schedule,
increasing productivity.
• Demonstrates IT’s role in strengthening a firm’s product and productivity
beyond what human talent can accomplish.
• Illustrates digital technology’s role in gaining an advantage in a fiercely
competitive market.

4.4 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

DreamWorks Animation Turns to Technology for Production Support

Interactive Session: DreamWorks Animation

• What is your opinion of DreamWorks Animation’s


decision to invest heavily in information technology
rather than superior people resources?
• What other industries can you think of that could
benefit from a similar approach?
• What kinds of firms do you think would be better off
taking the opposite approach?

4.5 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

IT Infrastructure: Computer Hardware

Infrastructure Components
• Computer hardware
• Computer software
• Data management technology
• Networking and telecommunications technology
• Technology services

4.6 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

IT Infrastructure: Computer Hardware

Types of Computers

• Computers come in different sizes with varying


capabilities for processing information
• FLOPS

• Personal computer (PC)


• Workstation
• Midrange computers: servers and minicomputers
• Mainframe
• Supercomputer

4.7 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

IT Infrastructure: Computer Hardware

Types of Computers

• Grid computing
• Client/server computing
• Multi-tiered (N-tier) client/server architectures
• Web server
• Application server

4.8 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

IT Infrastructure: Computer Hardware

Client/Server Computing

In client/server computing, computer


processing is split between client machines and
server machines linked by a network. Users
interface with the client machines.
Figure 4-2
4.9 © 2007 by Prentice Hall
Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

IT Infrastructure: Computer Hardware

Storage, Input, and Output Technology


• Secondary storage technology
• Magnetic disk: hard drives, USB flash drives, RAID
• Optical disks: CD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD
• Magnetic tape
• Storage networking: SANs
• Input devices gather data and convert them into
electronic form
• Output devices display data after they have been
processed
• Batch and online processing
4.10 © 2007 by Prentice Hall
Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

IT Infrastructure: Computer Hardware

Contemporary Hardware Trends


• Integration of computing and telecommunications
platforms
• Edge computing
• Autonomic computing

4.11 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Utility computing is
the model of
computing in which
companies pay only
for the information
technology resources
they actually use
during a specified
time.

4.12 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Cloud Computing [Wikipedia]
Cloud computing is Internet ("cloud") based
development and use of computer technology
("computing"). It is a business information
management style of computing in which
typically real-time scalable resources are
provided “as a service” over the Internet to
users who need not have knowledge of,
expertise in, or control over the technology
infrastructure ("in the cloud") that supports
them.

4.13 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


It is a general concept that incorporates software as a service (SaaS), Web
2.0 and other recent, well-known technology trends, in which the common
theme is reliance on the Internet for satisfying the computing needs of the
users. An often-quoted example is Google Apps, which provides common
business applications online that are accessed from a web browser, while
the software and data are stored on Google servers.

The cloud is a metaphor for the Internet, based on how it is depicted in


computer network diagrams, and is an abstraction for the complex
infrastructure it conceals.

The term cloud computing is often used to mistakenly refer to Web Desktop
environments.

4.14 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Comparisons
Cloud computing is often confused with grid computing, ("a form of
distributed computing whereby a 'super and virtual computer' is composed of
a cluster of networked, loosely-coupled computers, acting in concert to
perform very large tasks"), utility computing (the "packaging of computing
resources, such as computation and storage, as a metered service similar to
a traditional public utility such as electricity")[9] and autonomic computing
("computer systems capable of self-management").[10]
Indeed many cloud computing deployments as of 2009 depend on grids,
have autonomic characteristics and bill like utilities — but cloud computing
can be seen as a natural next step from the grid-utility model.[11] Some
successful cloud architectures have little or no centralized infrastructure or
billing systems whatsoever, including peer-to-peer networks like BitTorrent
and Skype and volunteer computing like SETI@home.[12]

4.15 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Autonomic computing is an industry-wide effort to develop
systems that can configure, optimize, tune, heal, and protect
themselves from outside intruders and self-destruction.

4.16 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Edge computing (think at the edge of the system near the user)
is a multi-tier, load-balancing scheme for Web-based
applications in which significant parts of Web site content, logic,
and processing are performed by smaller, less expensive
servers located nearby the user.

4.17 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Middleware is software that
connects two otherwise
separate applications, enabling
them to communicate with each
other and to exchange data.

4.18 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Web services refer to a set of
loosely coupled software
components that exchange
information with each other
using standard Web
communication standards and
languages.

4.19 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Scalability refers to the ability of
a computer, product, or system
to expand to serve a large
number of users without
breaking down.

4.20 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


The total cost of ownership
(TCO) model can be used to
analyze the direct and indirect
costs to help firms determine
the actual cost of specific
technology implementations.

4.21 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

IT Infrastructure: Computer Software

Operating System Software

• The software that manages and controls the


computer’s activities
• PC operating systems and graphical user
intefaces
• GUIs
• Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2003
• UNIX
• Linux
• Open-source software
4.22 © 2007 by Prentice Hall
Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

IT Infrastructure: Computer Software

The Major Types of Software

The relationship among the system software,


application software, and users can be
illustrated by a series of nested boxes. System
software—consisting of operating systems,
language translators, and utility programs—
controls access to the hardware. Application
software, including programming languages
and “fourth-generation” languages, must work
through the system software to operate. The
user interacts primarily with the application
software.
Figure 4-6
4.23 © 2007 by Prentice Hall
Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

IT Infrastructure: Computer Software

The Corporate World Migrates to Open-Source


• Read the Focus on Technology and then discuss
the following questions:
• What problems do Linux and other open-source
software help companies address?
• How does open-source software help?
• What issues and challenges does deploying open-
source software raise?
• What can be done to address these issues?
• Describe what you think is a sound strategy for
deploying Linux and other open-source components at
this stage of their evolution.

4.24 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

IT Infrastructure: Computer Software

Interactive Session: Open-Source


• Search the Internet for the latest news on open-
source in the corporate world and look specifically
for the following topics:
• Percentage of enterprises that use open-source
• Money being saved by enterprises as a result of open-
source
• Problems resulting from the adoption of open-source
• Relationship between Microsoft and Linux

4.25 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

IT Infrastructure: Computer Software

Application Software and Desktop Productivity Tools


• Application programming languages for business
• Fourth-generation languages
• Software packages and desktop productivity tools
• Word processing software
• Spreadsheets
• Data management software
• Presentation graphics
• Integrated software packages and software suites
• E-mail software
• Web browsers
• Groupware

4.26 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

IT Infrastructure: Computer Software

Software for the Web: Java and HTML


• Java
• Operating system-independent, processor-
independent, object-oriented programming language
• Leading interactive programming environment for the
Web
• Hypertext markup language (HTML)
• Page description language for specifying how
elements are placed on a Web page and for creating
links to other pages and objects

4.27 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

IT Infrastructure: Computer Software

Software for Enterprise Integration


• Legacy systems: replace or integrate?
• Middleware
• Enterprise application integration (EAI) software
• Web services and service-oriented architecture
• XML
• SOAP
• WSDL
• UDDI
• SOA
4.28 © 2007 by Prentice Hall
Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

IT Infrastructure: Computer Software

Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) Versus


Traditional Integration

EAI software (a) uses special middleware that


creates a common platform with which all
applications can freely communicate with each
other. EAI requires much less programming
than traditional point-to-point integration (b).
Figure 4-9
4.29 © 2007 by Prentice Hall
Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

IT Infrastructure: Computer Software

The Benefits and Challenges of a Service-Oriented


Architecture
• Read the Focus on Organizations and then discuss
the following questions:
• What problems do Web services and service-oriented
architectures help companies solve?
• How did companies described in this case benefit from
SOA?
• How can the benefits of an SOA trickle down to
consumers and the clients of companies that employ
the architecture?
• What challenges and issues were raised by those who
have experience with SOAs?
• Is an SOA the best solution in all cases?

4.30 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

IT Infrastructure: Computer Software

Software Trends: Mashups, Web 2.0, and


Distributed Software Applications

• Mashups: combined applications that depend on


high-speed data networks, universal
communication standards, and open-source code
• Web mashups combine two or more online
applications to create a new application or service
that provides more value than the original pieces
• Google: an extreme example of distributed
computing

4.31 © 2007 by Prentice Hall


Essentials of Business Information Systems
Chapter 4 IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

Managing Hardware and Software Technology

Important issues faced by managers of hardware and


software technology:

• Capacity planning and scalability


• Total cost of ownership (TCO) of technology assets
• Using technology service providers
• Outsourcing
• On-demand computing
• Application service providers (ASPs)

4.32 © 2007 by Prentice Hall