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Resilient IT Infrastructure

Resilient IT Infrastructure

By: A Staff Writer

Updated on: Mar 15, 2024

Building a Resilient IT Infrastructure for the Post-Covid Era.

The COVID-19 crisis thrust digital infrastructure into the enterprise spotlight, managing unprecedented spikes in remote access needs. As we enter a post-pandemic business landscape, architects and technology leaders must re-architect IT environments, keeping resilience at the core to enable continuity and innovation despite disruptions.

Here is a blueprint across ten imperatives for building a reslient IT infrastructure.

Modernizing Legacy Infrastructure

Older on-premise infrastructure built on dedicated hardware lacks the agility and scale to adjust capacity based on demand fluctuations. CIOs need to accelerate modernization programs leveraging converged and hyperconverged infrastructure delivering resilient, software-defined IT-as-a-Service agility while optimizing utilization. Such solutions integrating modular compute, storage and networking capabilities on virtualized racks with unified management simplify provisioning and scalability.

Transitioning to cloud-ready software-defined infrastructure minimizes reliance on physical assets vulnerable to disruptions. Automated failover between on-premise data centers and diversion across hybrid cloud prevents downtime risks from localized outages.

Adopting Hybrid Cloud Models

Blending scalable public cloud with flexible on-premise private cloud infrastructure allows optimizing workload placement based on business criteria. Less sensitive apps can leverage public cloud benefits like bursting while core systems get private cloud security, control and latency. A hybrid foundation facilitates portability to redirect apps as needed while consistent identity, data, management and analytics fabrics unify hybrid operations.

Multi-cloud architectures prevent over-reliance on single providers, enabling redistribution if contractual, performance or commercial changes necessitate. Containers and microservices aid application mobility across cloud.

Rethinking Connectivity Networks

The network underpins user access, application performance and data flows across systems. Multipath connectivity combining MPLS, internet VPN and software-defined WAN with multiple carriers provides in-built redundancy alongside 5G, LEO satellite and WiFi mesh emerging as complementary access infrastructure with failsafes across locations.

Automating IT Services Delivery
Manual runbook based incident response proved inadequate managing spikes amid COVID-19 business continuity needs. Hence, AI-based automation combining predictive analytics, self-healing scripts and orchestration playbooks will enable resilient operations.

Autonomics ingesting telemetry inputs from across infrastructure layers expedite anomaly detection and time to recovery. Simulation environments mimic failures for crisis training. Analytics quantify resilience KPIs like recovery time objective and minimize deviations.

Securing Access and Data Flows
With remote interactions increasing complex security attack surfaces, microsegmentation policies, contextual access controls and data encryption across multi-cloud infrastructure are crucial for safe permeability while preventing breaches.

Multi-factor authentication, privileged access management and network traffic monitoring provide zero-trust enforcement safeguarding assets. First responders access emergency virtual war rooms during threats. Table-top exercises test crisis protocols and preparedness.

Leveraging Colocation Facilities
Interconnection-first colocation facilities located proximate to users allow distributed capacity expansion augmenting on-premise infrastructure for improved latency and business continuity. Colocation hubs provide access to telecom carriers, cloud providers and IT partners for innovation.

Dual colocation sites in different risk zones prevent concurrent disruption. Blending colocation hosting with managed IT services via a single provider simplifies vendor oversight.

Building Analytics-Driven Infrastructure
Infrastructure telemetry, user signals, application logs and business KPIs provide situational awareness enabling data-driven optimization, incident prevention and performance improvement leveraging AIOps. Such real-time analytics minimizes outages through predictive modeling, machine learning led pattern discovery and smarter automation.

Institutionalizing Business Continuity Management
With climate change accelerating extreme weather events alongside cyber risks, resilient operations necessitate enterprise-wide business continuity planning transcending IT. Impact analysis models assess disruption threats, quantify risks, define emergency response processes and conduct crisis simulation drills minimizing business disruption.

Cross-department Crisis Management Committees institute BCP as organizational culture ensuring readiness to navigate events. Dashboards track resilience metrics providing insights to strengthen infrastructure.

Diversifying Technology Supply Chains

The Russia-Ukraine conflict highlighted geo-political risks manifesting as supply chain disruptions even in the digital economy. CIOs need to re-evaluate vendor selection weighing continuity risk, evaluate alternate regional sources, and balance onboarding new niche partners while deepening relationships with existing strategic players to mitigate concentration issues.

Fostering Vendor Collaboration
Collective action is key aligning internal response teams with external providers via information sharing to co-create automation playbooks and coordinate preparedness testing. Trusted relationships, flexible contracts allowing redirection and joint crisis planning reduce friction during turbulent times.

As enterprises navigate demand uncertainty, cyber threats, tech disruptions, climate events and global risks, CIOs have a pivotal role to play championing resilience through fundamental rethinks of legacy estates alongside reinvented connectivity, security and automation capabilities fostering always-on operations. The dimensions above provide a blueprint to determine resilience interventions balancing business needs, risk appetite and investment capacity for continuity.

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