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Architecting the Modern Enterprise: 10 Key Technologies for a Strong Foundation

Technology is constantly changing, and IT architects need to keep up with modern developments to ensure that their companies are achieving the best possible return on their IT investment.

This can be achieved by architecting a solid IT infrastructure with modern components spanning the hardware, software, network resources, and services required for the operation and management of an enterprise IT environment.

Today, NoSQL, Hadoop and Spark, microservice architectures, and DevOps are just some of the technologies and frameworks emerging to help organizations derive more value from data as they continue to leverage tried-and-true solutions to enterprise problems.

Here’s a look at 10 key technologies for modern enterprise IT. Some, such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, which, while clearly on the rise, are still in the nascent stages. Others, such as database management systems, which have long been mainstays of enterprise infrastructure, are evolving to address new requirements.

Updating Traditional Components

When thinking about IT infrastructure the first things that usually spring to mind are the underpinnings of most computer systems: servers, storage, and networks. These components have been the core of our IT infrastructure for many years. As such, frequently enterprises run with outdated hardware.

But modern business is changing rapidly. Systems built without knowledge of mobile apps, social media, global commerce, the Internet of Things (IoT), and the like will be ill-equipped to efficiently handle such workloads.

Older servers, storage media, and network components may not be able to support the needs of modern systems. They may not support newer CPU capabilities, such as improved caching, turbo boost technology, or improved multi-threading. And, it can be more difficult to scale quickly when using older technology. Even when servers are virtualized, older hardware will not be able to support as many virtual machines as newer, more efficient servers.

From a storage perspective, older hard-disk drives (HDDs) are plentiful because they are cheaper to procure. But solid-state drives (SSDs) should be considered. The latest SSDs reduce power and cooling needs, take up less space, and provide much faster data access for time-critical workloads like analytics.

Similar advantages can be obtained by updating networking components. Higher speeds, even with wireless networking, can be achieved sometimes just by updating network equipment. And, as cloud adoption continues to rise, a solid, fast network is of paramount importance.

Clouds in the Forecast

The clear trend these days is that many components of the IT infrastructure are moving from on-premises to the cloud. Enterprises are evaluating which applications, and how much of the infrastructure supporting those applications, should be moved into the cloud. Cloud computing refers to storing and accessing data and programs over the internet instead of your own computers. The cloud is a metaphor for the internet, and when you hear the term “cloud” you can translate that as “someone else’s computer.”

However, contrary to the current popular belief, on-premise computing is not going to disappear any time soon—just think of all those mainframes still humming away out there. Instead, many organizations will combine on-premise deployments with public cloud and private cloud deployments for a hybrid approach spanning multiple clouds as well as their own data centers.

Nonetheless, cloud is sure to continue to grow as a key component of IT infrastructure due to its ability to reduce the cost of managing and maintaining on-premise IT systems. Furthermore, the cloud can enhance flexibility, deliver quick scalability, and help organizations be sure that they are running with current, up-to-date system software.

The API Advantage

Today, modern applications are being built using APIs (application programming interfaces) that make it easier to connect and share data between applications using various different underlying technologies.

Connectivity and integration of incompatible software has long been a challenge for IT professionals. Constructing software using APIs is a powerful way to simplify the integration of software components.

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