Network infrastructure or IT infrastructure is a key component of modern communication and IT systems. It has a fundamental role in network connectivity, internet service providers, communication and operations of an enterprise. Furthermore, it enables connectivity, manages processes, applications, services and communication pathways.
What is network infrastructure ?
Network infrastructure is a set of information technology components; both hardware and software. It serves as the foundation of the IT system of an organization. Typically, it consists of various interconnected devices, such as routers, switches, servers, networking equipment as well as software. All these components create either a physical or virtual network. Together, they facilitate the user to accomplish tasks through the various applications and services based on this network.
The main purpose of network infrastructure is to facilitate communication. A network connects various devices together and facilitates data sharing. With the help of a reliable network infrastructure, different devices can use shared resources, such as files, internet, printers etc. Furthermore, this infrastructure establishes and supports different types of networks. For instance, local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs) as well as wireless networks.
Here is how it works!
There are two types of network infrastructure:
- Wired network – uses cables to connect devices and transmit data
- Wireless network – connects devices via a virtual network. The data is transmitted in the form of radio signals. There is still a need for a few hardware components. For instance, Ethernet switches establish connection and support wireless access points. In both cases, IT infrastructure is responsible for routing and transmitting data packets among different devices.
Network infrastructure devices
A network setup involves certain hardware and software components.
The server is just like the ‘brain’ of the whole network system. These are computers that enable operating systems (OSs) and software applications. However, a server is way more complicated and powerful than the typical PC or laptop. Moreover, it has different specifications such as RAM, storage, CPU etc.
Network or data cables connect different devices together. These are responsible for transmitting data among devices and the main server. In case of wireless networks, electromagnetic or radio waves replace the physical cables.
Routers are used to redirect and transmit data from one network to the next. For instance, if the organization has two local area networks LAN 1 and LAN 2, a router redirects data between these. Moreover, a switch is required with a router in order to facilitate data transmission between two or more networks.
In a network infrastructure, data is transmitted through cables or electromagnetic waves; if it is a wireless network. The main purpose of a switch is to control the direction of data transmission. This ensures that data reaches the desired location. Thus, a switch routes and redirects data transmission to make sure it reaches the intended point.
These are network security devices that filter the incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predefined rules and policies of the company. A firewall decides whether to allow or block certain data packets.
Software and Operating System (OS)
In addition to above mentioned network infrastructure devices or hardware components, software and operating systems are also used. Networking software runs the network and various applications as guided by the operating system. Windows, Linux, macOS are some examples of operating systems.
Last but not the least, network protocol services are also part of a network infrastructure. These are a set of rules for networking devices and applications. For instance, Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and File Transfer Protocol (FTP). The role is to ensure smooth data transmission and seamless connectivity.
Network Infrastructure Security
For an enterprise setup, one of the key considerations is to ensure network infrastructure security. A reliable and secure network must be capable of protecting against unauthorized access, security threat, data breaches and malware. For this purpose, end-to-end encryption, firewall installation and antivirus software installation helps to maintain security, integrity and confidentiality of data.
Benefits of having network infrastructure
Having a properly established network infrastructure is a basic requirement to enjoy stable and reliable network connectivity. All your business processes and routine activities, applications and software rely on networks so they can operate smoothly.
A poor infrastructure means having loopholes that can be disastrous for your business. A reliable and secure infrastructure minimizes downtime and guarantees workflow, productivity and efficiency. Network is in fact the backbone of communication and connectivity. Properly established network offers:
- Reliability – network infrastructure guarantees reliability. There is no interruption in data sharing and business communication
- Better performance – with a reliable network, all business processes run smoothly, resulting in improved performance and growth
- Affordability – it usually requires little maintenance and is cost effective solution for business setup
- Scalability –network can be extended to accommodate growing needs of your enterprise
Network infrastructure is a significant component of digital communication especially in enterprise setup. With a secure and reliable network, communication gets easy and resources can be shared quickly and more efficiently. Network infrastructure security is of prime importance so as to protect data breaches, security threats and malware.
What is the benefit of network infrastructure?
Some of the major benefits of an established infrastructure include cost effectiveness, reliability, guaranteed performance as well as easy scalability.
What is the network infrastructure?
This is a set of hardware and software components that allows computing and communication among users. This runs and maintains the IT system of an organization.
What are the main components of network infrastructure?
Three main components are:
- Network Hardware
- Network Services
What are different types of infrastructure?
A network infrastructure is of two types:
- Wired network – uses hardware components such as routers, switches, servers etc.
- Wireless network – uses software as well as some hardware components too
Is LAN a network infrastructure?
Yes. Local area network (LAN) is a small network. It typically connects various devices together but in small areas such as within an organization or small enterprise.