The essential guide to learning about infrastructure and it managed services

The Essential Guide To Learning About Infrastructure And IT Managed Services

Topics: IT managed services, Virtual business continuity

Virtualization is the latest paradigm in providing IT managed services and the entire array of information technology infrastructure. Simply put, virtual resources and services are those that are offered remotely to a client through an internet portal. These services range from applications, such as word processing or project scheduling programs, to entire networks and storage systems. Computing devices and hardware are also available for remote access through virtualization, meaning that a company could have access to an entire data center without having to host a single server in house.

Information technology infrastructure and IT managed services that are provided virtually represent the latest in industry practices for flexible, cost-efficient, and easily accessible computing resources. Let us explore the options available when it comes to infrastructure and IT managed services, as well as some examples such as virtual business continuity.

What Technology Infrastructure Can Be Made Virtual

The current virtualization technology allows nearly any piece of IT infrastructure to be virtualized and offered remotely. This fact is empowering many companies to utilize virtual resources in order to better leverage their use of technology as well as reduce their associated costs.

IT infrastructure covers a lot of ground and virtualization provides more IT managed services and computing resources than many people commonly believe. This covers all of the hardware, software, wiring, connectivity, networking, applications, operating systems, data center functions, cooling, power distribution, and system duplication and disaster recovery.

Specifically, this list includes transmission media including telephone lines, cable television lines, and satellites and antennas, and also the routers, aggregators, repeaters, and other devices that control transmission paths. It also covers the software used to send, receive, and manage the signals that are transmitted.

In addition, virtual computing resources cover all the equipment and devices from computers to servers. Any application suite or program and operating system falls under the infrastructure category as well. All communication devices can be translated into virtual counterparts, such as routers, switches, and entire networks.

Managed IT Services in Action: Virtual Business Continuity

A common application of managed IT services is virtual business continuity. Many business plans rely on specific implementations of technology to perform core business functions. The financial and banking sectors rely heavily on customer data, client profiles, data management, and the digital execution of financial orders. Distribution companies utilize IT resources for supply chain management. Many corporations use enterprise resource planning application (ERP) suites to coordinate their efforts and communicate between departments. Whatever the industry, a loss of data or accessibility can cripple business functions. In the worst case scenario, a permanent loss of client information could bankrupt a company.

With today’s dependency on technology solutions, virtual business continuity is a major issue across the economic spectrum. Having duplicate virtual systems in place that can replace lost resources is the best implementation of virtual business continuity. The scope of those systems can range from duplicate data storage all the way to the entire infrastructure of a company’s information technology resources.

Managed IT services provide a method for virtual business continuity that ensures real IT security. Having a redundant sever in the same room as the standard server is not reliable. Disasters and office damage, power outages, vandalism or accident damage, or equipment failure can render an entire infrastructure useless. Virtual business continuity relies on remotely hosted resources; a power surge in Texas won’t affect the data center services provided from Colorado, for instance.

With virtual business continuity, disasters can be planned for and disaster recovery can become a routine procedure.

Exploring Other IT Managed Services

Every business has different needs; virtualization is the ultimate in flexibility. All resources are scaled directly to demand, allowing businesses to tailor their resources to their business cycle and to meet unexpected demands without having to over specify their systems and let resources lie idle. Small businesses can access full infrastructure options without any capital investment or physical installations.

Virtualization offers services on a subscription basis and clients can purchase what they need ‘a la carte.’ Virtual networks can link together multiple offices and subsidiaries. A company’s data centers could be housed by a virtualization firm who provides environmental control, power management, and security. Any sized company could use cloud computing to access applications without having to install software on every one of their machines.

Ultimately, companies can focus their attention on their core business functions and use IT managed services to handle their technology.

Steve Bulmer is CTO and an author for Consonus, a provider of IT managed services ( Consonus offers virtual business continuity ( services customized for any business need.

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