It infrastructure and Platforms



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Chapter 6

IT Infrastructure and Platforms



True-False Questions







IT infrastructure technology is a set of physical devices and software applications that are required to operate the entire enterprise.
Answer: True Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 186




A firm’s infrastructure is organized by three major levels: competitors, enterprise, and business unit.
Answer: False Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 188




Business unit infrastructure includes specialized production software and systems, customer and vendor systems, and local order entry and other transaction systems.
Answer: True Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 188




The first era of business computers used transistors.
Answer: False Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 189




Sun dominated mainframe computing from 1965 onward and still dominates.
Answer: False Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 189




Apple II is usually credited as the beginning of the PC era because this machine was the first to become widely adopted in American business.
Answer: False Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 191




Client/server computing is a widely used form of centralized processing.
Answer: False Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 191




In two-tiered client/server architecture, the processing is split between the two types of machines.
Answer: True Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 191




Application server software is responsible for locating and managing stored Web pages.

Answer: False Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 192




Enterprise infrastructure requires software that can link disparate applications and enable data to flow freely among different parts of the business.
Answer: True Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 192




Moore’s Law implies that the power of microprocessors doubles every two years.
Answer: False Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 194




The first Pentium microprocessors operated with 3-gigahertz speed.
Answer: False Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 196




Robert Metcalfe claimed in 1970 that the value of power of a network grows exponentially as a function of the number of network members.
Answer: True Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 197




Technology standards unleash powerful economies of scale and result in price declines as manufacturers focus on the products built in a single standard.
Answer: True Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 197




The marketplace for computer hardware has increasingly become concentrated in top firms such as IBM, HP, Dell, and Sun Microsystems.
Answer: True Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 200




The three major microprocessor chip producers are Intel, Dell, and AMD.
Answer: False Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 200




In the server marketplace, more than 85 percent of the corporate servers in the United States use some form of the Unix or Linux operating systems.
Answer: True Difficulty: Hard Reference: p. 201




Unix and Linux operating systems can run on many different types of processors.
Answer: True Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 201




The largest provider of enterprise application software is Microsoft.
Answer: False Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 201




The leading database software providers are Corel, Microsoft, and Lotus.
Answer: False Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 201




MySQL is a Linux open-source relational database product available for free on the Internet.
Answer: True Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 201




The physical data storage market is dominated by Western Digital.
Answer: False Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 202




SANs create large central pools of storage that can be rapidly accessed and shared by multiple servers.
Answer: True Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 202




Nearly all contemporary local area networks, as well as wide area enterprise networks use the TCP/IP protocol suite as a standard.
Answer: True Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 202




Cisco, Lucent, Nortel, and Juniper are the leading networking hardware providers.
Answer: True Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 202




The Internet hardware server market has become increasingly concentrated in the hands of Cisco, Lucent, and Nortel.
Answer: False Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 202




High-capacity networks are becoming the source of computing power, enabling business firms to expand their computing power greatly at very little cost.
Answer: True Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 204




On-demand computing is far more expensive than owning the required hardware resources.
Answer: False Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 205




Contributors to open-source software receive respect, prestige, and access to a network of knowledgeable programmers.
Answer: True Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 209




Windows XP is now the world’s fastest growing client and server operating system.
Answer: False Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 210




Java software is designed to run on any computer or computing device, regardless of the specific microprocessor or operating system it uses.
Answer: True Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 210




Web services can exchange information between two different systems regardless of the operating system or programming languages on which the systems are based.
Answer: True Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 213




XML is limited to describing how data should be presented in the form of Web pages; HTML can perform presentation, communication, and storage of data.
Answer: False Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 213




Hypertext markup language specifies how text, graphics, video, and sound are placed on a document.
Answer: True Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 213




Web Services Description Language is a set of rules for structuring messages that enables applications to pass data and instructions to one another.

Answer: False Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 214





The collection of Web services that are used to build a firm’s software systems constitutes what is known as a service-oriented architecture.

Answer: True Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 214





Today most business firms have discontinued operating their legacy systems, and they have been extremely inexpensive to replace with newer technology.
Answer: False Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 214




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

Answer: False Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 216





Software development is seldom outsourced to offshore, low-wage areas of the world.

Answer: False Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 217





TCO refers to the original cost of the hardware and software.
Answer: False Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 220

Multiple-Choice Questions







When defining IT infrastructure, the computing platforms component would not include:
a. providing computing services that connect employees, customers, and suppliers.

b. large mainframes, desktop and laptop computers.

c. personal digital assistants and Internet appliances.

d. telecommunications and data management services.


Answer: d Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 187




Public IT infrastructure includes:
a. computing power that is off-loaded during peak demand to remote, large-scale data processing centers.

b. specialized production software and systems, customer and vendor systems, and local order entry and other transaction systems.

c. services such as e-mail, a central corporate Web site, corporate-wide intranets, and an increasing array of enterprise-wide software applications.

d. the Internet, the public switched telephone network, industry-operated networks, and other IT support facilities such as cable systems and cellular networks.


Answer: d Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 188




Which of the following would not be characteristic of the first era of business computing?
a. used specialized machines to sort computer cards into bins

b. used machines that were large and cumbersome

c. used software programs that were hardwired into circuit boards

d. used in business


Answer: d Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 189




A network that contains one or more host computers that provide some type of service to the other computers in a network is a:
a. peer-to-peer network.

b. client/server network.

c. local area network.

d. wide area network.


Answer: b Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 191




The simplest client/server network consists of a client computer networked to a server computer which would most likely be:
a. a mainframe.

b. a workstation.

c. a minicomputer.

d. a powerful personal computer.


Answer: d Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 191




Software in a multi-tiered network that provides the business logic for handling all application operations between a user and an organization’s back-end business systems best describes:
a. Web server.

b. application server.

c. groupware.

d. capacity server.


Answer: b Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 192




Today, the leading technology for client/server networking is:
a. Microsoft.

b. Novell Netware.

c. Cisco.

d. Apache.


Answer: a Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 192




Which of the following statements is not one of the three variations of Moore’s Law?
a. The power of microprocessors doubles every 18 months.

b. Computing power doubles every 18 months.

c. The price of information appliances will fall by half every 18 months.

d. The price of computing falls by half every 18 months.


Answer: c Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 194




The amount of digital information is roughly doubling every year. This hypothesis is referred to as:
a. Moore’s Law.

b. Law of Diminishing Returns.

c. Law of Mass Digital Storage.

d. Metcalfe’s Law.


Answer: c Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 194




Which of the following statements is not one of the four technology drivers related to transforming IT infrastructures?
a. Metcalfe’s Law and Network Economics

b. Moore’s Law and Microprocessor Power

c. The Law of Mass Digital Storage

d. Rising Communications Costs


Answer: d Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 194




Specifications that establish the compatibility of products and the ability to communicate in a network are referred to as:
a. protocols.

b. business policies.

c. technology standards.

d. operating standards.


Answer: c Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 197




This standard made it possible for computer machines from different manufacturers to exchange data:
a. American Standard Code for Information Interchange.

b. Ethernet.

c. World Wide Web.

d. Common Business Oriented Language.


Answer: a Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 198




Which is a suite of communications protocols and a common addressing scheme that enables millions of computers to connect together in one giant global network?
a. TCP/IP

b. UNIX


c. Turbolinux

d. COBOL
Answer: a Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 198






At the client level, 95 percent of PCs and 45 percent of handheld devices use some form of ________________ operating system.
a. Windows

b. Linux


c. IBM OS

d. MacOS
Answer: a Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 201






At the server level, more than 85 percent of the corporate servers in the United States use some form of ________________ operating system.
a. Windows

b. Unix


c. IBM OS

d. MacOS
Answer: b Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 201






Unix and Linux constitute the backbone of corporate infrastructure throughout much of the world. Which one of the following options does not apply to this statement?
a. They are scalable.

b. They are reliable.

c. They are less expensive than mainframe operating systems.

d. They are more expensive than mainframe operating systems.


Answer: d Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 201




Which software company would not be considered as a major provider of the Unix operating system?
a. Dell

b. IBM


c. HP

d. Sun
Answer: a Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 201






Linux is:
a. primarily concerned with the tasks of end users.

b. designed for specific machines and specific microprocessors.

c. an example of open-source software.

d. especially useful for processing numeric data.


Answer: c Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 201




Linux:
a. is an earlier version of the Windows operating system for home users.

b. can be modified by software developers.

c. is used on 95 percent of all business computers.

d. is a 16-bit operating system.


Answer: b Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 201




The process of tying together multiple applications to support the flow of information across multiple business units and systems is called:
a. the Internet.

b. enterprise application integration.

c. integrated programming.

d. enterprise programming applications.


Answer: b Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 201




Which software company would not be classified as one of the largest providers of enterprise application software?
a. SAP

b. Oracle

c. PeopleSoft

d. Macromedia


Answer: d Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 201




Software that functions as a translation layer between two disparate applications so they can work together is called:
a. integration software.

b. groupware.

c. extensible software.

d. middleware.


Answer: d Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 201




A growing new entrant in the database management software market is:
a. IBM (DB2).

b. Sybase (Adaptive Server Enterprise).

c. Linux (MySQL).

d. Microsoft (SQL Server).


Answer: c Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 201




A high-speed network dedicated to storage that connects different kinds of storage devices, such as tape libraries and disk arrays so they can be shared by multiple servers best describes:
a. SSN.

b. ASP.


c. LAN.

d. SAN.
Answer: d Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 202






Which of the following is not classified as a leading telecommunication service vendor?
a. IBM

b. AT&T


c. Verizon

d. MCI
Answer: a Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 202






Which of the following would not be considered a major Internet hardware server company?
a. Dell

b. HP/Compaq

c. Sybase

d. IBM
Answer: c Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 202






Your text defines a legacy system as:
a. traditional mainframe-based business information systems.

b. electronic spreadsheets used on a PC.

c. computerized account inquiry system for access by customers.

d. systems found on services.


Answer: a Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 203




The business case for using grid computing involves all of the following EXCEPT:
a. cost savings.

b. breakeven point.

c. speed of computation.

d. agility.


Answer: b Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 205




This type of computing refers to firms off-loading peak request for computing power to remote, large-scale data processing centers:
a. on-demand.

b. grid.


c. edge.

d. autonomic.


Answer: a Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 205




When a firm purchases computing power from a central computing service and pays only for the amount of computing power it uses, this is commonly referred to as:
a. grid computing.

b. utility computing.

c. edge computing.

d. autonomic computing.


Answer: b Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 205




An industry-wide effort to develop systems that can configure, optimize, tune, and heal themselves when broken, and protect themselves from outside intruders and self-destruction is called:
a. grid computing.

b. utility computing.

c. edge computing.

d. autonomic computing.


Answer: d Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 207




The major driver for the adoption of Linux for most corporations would be:
a. cost.

b. reliability.

c. resilience.

d. integration.


Answer: a Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 210




Java is a:
a. hybrid language providing more flexibility than the popular language in current use.

b. language that delivers only the software functionality needed for a specific task.

c. page description language for creating Web pages and other hypermedia documents.

d. the leading data processing language in the world.


Answer: b Difficulty: Medium Reference: 210




Software that connects two disparate applications, allowing them to communicate with each other and to exchange data best describes:
a. C++.

b. COBOL.

c. Linux.

d. middleware.


Answer: d Difficulty: Easy Reference: 212




HTML is a:
a. hybrid language providing more flexibility than the popular language in current use.

b. language that delivers only the software functionality needed for a specific task.

c. page description language for creating Web pages and other hypermedia documents.

d. language that combines data and program code.


Answer: c Difficulty: Medium Reference: 213




An application service provider:
a. supplies online access over networks to storage devices and storage area network technology.

b. manages combinations of applications, networks, systems, storage, and security as well as providing Web site and systems performance monitoring to subscribers over the Internet.

c. uses centrally managed facilities to host and manage access to package applications delivered over networks on a subscription basis.

d. provides only usage-based pricing during a specified time period.


Answer: c Difficulty: Hard Reference: 216




When a firm contracts custom software development to an outside firm, it is commonly referred to as:
a. outsourcing.

b. scaling.

c. service-oriented architecture.

d. application integration.


Answer: a Difficulty: Easy Reference: 217




Which of the following refers to the ability of a computer, product, or system to expand to serve a larger number of users without breaking down?
a. Modifiability

b. Scalability

c. Expandability

d. Disintermediation


Answer: b Difficulty: Easy Reference: 218




Hardware and software acquisition costs account for about ________________percent of total cost of ownership.
a. ten

b. twenty

c. thirty

d. forty
Answer: b Difficulty: Medium Reference: 220






This model can be used to analyze the direct and indirect costs to help firms determine the actual cost of specific technology implementations:
a. total cost of ownership.

b. return on investment.

c. breakeven point.

d. cost benefit analysis.


Answer: a Difficulty: Easy Reference: 220


Fill in the Blanks







Information technology infrastructure is the shared technology resources that provide the platform for the firm’s specific information systems applications.
Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 186




Telecommunication services provide data, voice, and video connectivity to employees, customers, and suppliers.
Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 186




Physical facilities management services develop and manage the physical installations required for computing, telecommunications, and data management services.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 187




Firm infrastructure is organized at three major levels: public, enterprise, and business unit.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 188




Business unit infrastructure includes production and transaction systems.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 188




Minicomputers were the first type of computer that could be used for decentralized computing.
Difficulty: Hard Reference: p. 189




Mainframe computers today are used as massive servers supporting large Web sites and corporate enterprise applications.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 189




The first commercial all-electronic vacuum tube computers appeared in the early 1950s with the introduction of the UNIVAC computers and the IBM 700 Series.
Difficulty: Hard Reference: p. 189




The minicomputer was introduced in 1965 by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC).
Difficulty: Hard Reference: p. 189




At first using the DOS operating system, and later the Microsoft Windows operating system, the Wintel PC computer became the standard desktop personal computer.
Difficulty: Hard Reference: p. 191




In client/server computing, desktop computers called clients are networked to powerful server computers that provide the client computers with a variety of services and capabilities.
Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 191




In the n-tier architecture, the work of the entire network is balanced over multiple levels of servers.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 191




Client/server computing enables businesses to distribute computing work across a series of smaller, inexpensive machines that cost much less than minicomputers or centralized mainframe systems.
Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 192




Moore’s Law asserts that the power of microprocessors doubles every 18 months.
Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 194




Nanotechnology uses individual atoms and molecules to create computer chips and other devices that are thousands of times smaller than current technologies permit.
Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 194




Technology standards are specifications that establish the compatibility of products and the ability to communicate in a network.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 197




Blade servers are ultrathin computers consisting of a circuit board with processors, memory, and network connections that are stored in racks.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 200




The operating system manages and controls the computer’s activities.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 201




Open-source software is software created and updated by a worldwide community of programmers and available for free.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 201




Storage area networks connect multiple storage devices on a separate high-speed network dedicated to storage.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 202




A(n) storage area network (SAN) is a high-speed network dedicated to storage that connects different kinds of storage devices, such as tape libraries and disk arrays.
Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 202




A Web hosting service maintains a large Web server, or series of servers, and provides fee-paying subscribers with space to maintain their Web sites.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 202




Software integration means ensuring the new infrastructure works with the firm’s older, so-called legacy systems and ensuring the new elements of the infrastructure work with one another.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 203




Legacy systems are generally older transaction processing systems created for mainframe computers that continue to be used to avoid the high cost of replacing or redesigning them.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 203




Grid computing involves connecting geographically remote computers into a single network to create a virtual supercomputer by combining the computational power of all computers on the grid.
Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 204




On-demand computing refers to firms off-loading peak demand for computing power to remote, large-scale data processing centers.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 205




Utility computing is the model of computing in which companies pay only for the information technology resources they actually use during a specified time.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 205




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.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 207




Edge computing is a multitier, 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.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 207




Java software is designed to run on any computer or computing device, regardless of the specific microprocessor or operating system the device uses.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 210




A Web browser is an easy-to-use software tool with a graphical user interface for displaying Web pages and for accessing the Web and other Internet resources.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 212




Middleware is software that connects two otherwise separate applications, enabling them to communicate with each other and to exchange data.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 212




Web services refer to a set of loosely coupled software components that exchange information with each other using standard Web communication standards and languages.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 213




XML provides a standard format for data exchange, enabling Web services to pass data from one process to another.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 213




In a service-oriented architecture, software applications are created by combining self-contained software services that communicate with each other.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 214




A software package is a prewritten commercially available set of software programs that eliminates the need for a firm to write its own software programs for certain functions.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 216




An application service provider (ASP) is a business that delivers and manages applications and computer services from remote computer centers to multiple users using the Internet or a private network.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 216




Outsourcing takes place when a firm contracts custom software development or maintenance of existing legacy programs to outside firms.
Difficulty: Easy Reference: p. 217




Scalability refers to the ability of a computer, product, or system to expand to serve a large number of users without breaking down.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 218




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.
Difficulty: Medium Reference: p. 220

Essay Questions




Identify and describe the stages of IT infrastructure evolution.
The five eras are automated special-purpose machines, general-purpose mainframe and minicomputer computing, personal computers, client/server networks, and enterprise and Internet computing.


    • IT infrastructure in the earliest stage (1930-1950) consisted of specialized “electronic accounting machines” that were primitive computers used for accounting tasks.

    • IT infrastructure in the mainframe era (1959 to present) consists of a mainframe performing centralized processing that could be networked to thousands of terminals and eventually some decentralized and departmental computing using networked minicomputers.

    • The personal computer era (1981 to present) in IT infrastructure has been dominated by the widespread use of standalone desktop computers and office productivity tools.

    • The predominant infrastructure in the client/server era (1983 to present) consists of desktop or laptop clients networked to more powerful server computers that handle most of the data management and processing.

    • The enterprise Internet computing era (1992 to present) is defined by large numbers of PCs linked into local area networks and growing use of standards and software to link disparate networks and devices linked into an enterprise-wide network so that information can flow freely across the organization.






Identify and describe the technology drivers of IT infrastructure evolution.


    • Moore’s Law deals with the exponential increase in processing power and decline in the cost of computer technology, stating that every 18 months the power of microprocessors doubles and the price of computing falls in half.

    • The Law of Mass Digital Storage deals with the exponential decrease in the cost of storing data, stating that the number of kilobytes of data that can be stored on magnetic media for $1 roughly doubles every 15 months.

    • Metcalfe’s Law helps explain the mushrooming use of computers by showing that a network’s value to participants grows exponentially as the network takes on more members.

    • Declining communications cost and the Internet are also driving the explosion of computer use. The rapid decline in costs of communication and growing agreement in the technology industry to use computing and communications standards are driving the explosion of computer use.



Identify and describe the seven major IT infrastructure components. List at least three major vendors within each component category.


    • Internet Platforms (Apache, Microsoft IIS, .NET, Unix, Cisco, Nortel, Java)

    • Computer Hardware Platforms (Dell, IBM, Sun, HP, Apple, Linux machines)

    • Operating Systems Platforms (Microsoft Windows, Unix, Linux, Mac OS X)

    • Enterprise Software Applications (including middleware, SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Microsoft, BEA)

    • Network/Telecommunications (Microsoft Windows Server, Linux, Novell, Cisco, Lucent, Nortel, MCI, ATT, Verizon)

    • Consultants and System Integrators (IBM, KPMG, Accenture, Capgemini)

    • Data Management and Storage (IBM DB2, Oracle, SQL Server, Sybase, MYSQL, EMC Systems)





Briefly explain why corporations are increasingly interested in using Unix or Linux for their operating system.
Linux is an inexpensive and robust open-source relative of Unix. Unix and Linux constitute the backbone of corporate infrastructure throughout much of the world because they are scalable, reliable, and much less expensive than mainframe operating systems. They can also run on many different types of processors. The major providers of Unix operating systems are IBM, HP, and Sun with slightly different and partially incompatible versions.
Although Windows continues to dominate the client marketplace, many corporations have begun to explore Linux as a low-cost desktop operating system provided by commercial vendors such as RedHat Linux and Linux-based desktop productivity suites such as Sun’s StarOffice. Linux is also available in free versions downloadable from the Internet as open-source software. The rise of open-source software, particularly Linux and the applications it supports at the client and server level, has profound implications for corporate software platforms: cost, reduction, reliability and resilience, and integration, because Linux works on all the major hardware platforms from mainframes to servers to clients. Linux has the potential to break Microsoft’s monopoly on the desktop. Sun’s StarOffice has an inexpensive Linux-based version that competes with Microsoft’s Office productivity suite.




Distinguish between grid computing, edge computing, on-demand computing, and autonomic computing.


    • Grid computing involves connecting geographically remote computers into a single network to create a computational grid that combines the computing power of all the computers on the network with which to attack large computing problems.

    • Edge computing balances the processing load for Web-based applications by distributing parts of the Web content, logic, and processing among multiple servers.

    • On-demand computing also depends on networks for firms to purchase additional processing power from large computer service firms and to have that power delivered when they need it over a network.






Identify and describe the four major themes in contemporary software platforms.


    • Growing use of Linux and open-source software – open-source software is produced and maintained by a global community of programmers and is downloadable for free. Linux is a powerful, resilient open-source operating system that can run on multiple hardware platforms and is used widely to run Web servers.

    • Java – is an operating-system and hardware-independent programming language that is the leading interactive programming environment for the Web.

    • Web services and service-oriented architecture – software for enterprise integration includes enterprise applications and middleware such as enterprise application integration (EAI) software and Web services. Unlike EAI software, Web services are loosely coupled software components based on open Web standards that are not product-specific and can work with any application software and operating system. They can be used as components of Web-based applications linking the systems of two different organizations or to link disparate systems of a single company.

    • Software outsourcing – companies are purchasing their new software applications from outside sources, including application software packages, by outsourcing custom application development to an external vendor (that may be offshore), or by renting software services from an application service provider.






Web services communicate through XML messages over standard protocols. Distinguish between Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Web Services Description Language (WSDL), and Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI)


    • Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is a set of rules for structuring messages that enables applications to pass data and instructions to one another.

    • Web Services Description Language (WSDL) is a common framework for describing the tasks performed by a Web service and the commands and data it will accept so that it can be used by other applications.

    • Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) enable a Web service to be listed in a directory of Web services so that it can be easily located.



  1. .

The objective of infrastructure management is to provide a coherent and balanced set of computer-based services to customers, employees, and suppliers. Identify issues that a firm must deal with to meet this objective.
To obtain this objective a firm must deal with the following series of issues:


    • Cost of IT infrastructure

    • Integration of information, applications, and platforms.

    • Flexibility to respond to business environments.

    • Resilience

    • Service levels






Evaluate the challenges of managing IT infrastructure and management solutions.
Major infrastructure challenges include:

    • Making wise infrastructure investments

    • Choosing and coordinating infrastructure components

    • Dealing with infrastructure change

    • Agreeing on infrastructure management and governance

Solution guidelines include:



  • Using a competitive forces model to determine how much to spend on IT infrastructure and where to make strategic infrastructure investments

  • Starting out new infrastructure initiatives with small experimental pilot projects

  • Establishing the total cost of ownership (TOC) of information technology assets.






What is scalability? Why is it essential to the success of the modern business firm?
Scalability is the ability of the computer, product, or system to expand to survey larger number of users without breaking down. It is important because as firms grow, they can quickly outgrow their infrastructure. As firms shrink, they can get stuck with excessive infrastructure purchased in better times. Any modern company must be able to make plans for the future, even though that future may be different than what was expected. Computer equipment is expensive, though dropping in price, and budgets must be planned to allow for new purchases, upgrades, and training. It is generally assumed that a successful company will need more computer capacity for more people as it follows a path to continued success.



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