IT Infrastructure: Top-Down Approach

, and Joseph Madden

While most corporate stakeholders have at least some appreciation for the amount of time and effort required to develop software applications, many have the perception that IT infrastructure projects — such as the build-out of a new data center — simply involves purchasing a list of hardware and having it delivered to a server room.

Nothing could be further from the truth — the reality is far more complex.

In fact, large-scale IT infrastructure projects require an enormous amount of planning, design, configuration and testing to ensure that everything is working correctly and properly transitioned once the work is done. This takes time and resources. Hardware components must be properly configured and connected, and it can be difficult to assess the schedule and duration of projects. Judging the number of resources that will be needed is also difficult, especially when those resources might be in short supply. Plus, there’s always pressure from executives and customers to get projects done in a fixed amount of time.

If IT infrastructure project plans are not based on a realistic estimate of effort and schedule, a whole host of problems can ensue. Projects that are not properly scoped and planned out are not only susceptible to cost and time overruns, but are also susceptible to reliability issues and security vulnerabilities resulting from …

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