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Chapter 4

IT Infrastructure: Hardware and Software

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© 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.

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© 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.

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© 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.

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© 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?

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© 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

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© 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
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© 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

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© 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
© 2007 by Prentice Hall

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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
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© 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

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© 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.

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© 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.
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© 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.

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© 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]
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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.

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© 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.

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

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

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

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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.

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© 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
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© 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
© 2007 by Prentice Hall

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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 opensource 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.
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© 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 opensource 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 opensource • Problems resulting from the adoption of open-source • Relationship between Microsoft and Linux

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© 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
• • • • • • • •
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Word processing software Spreadsheets Data management software Presentation graphics Integrated software packages and software suites E-mail software Web browsers Groupware
© 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, processorindependent, 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

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© 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
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© 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
© 2007 by Prentice Hall

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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?
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© 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
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© 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)
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© 2007 by Prentice Hall