The Infrastructure Role Cluster connects knowledge, people, processes, technology, space, partners, and customers in many ways. Infrastructure management looks at the evolving enterprise architecture and ensures that plans are in place to meet the new and changing requirements of running the business from a networking, telecommunications, hardware, and software perspective. The term infrastructure engineering is frequently used to refer to the positions within this role cluster.
A key component of long-term planning is the capacity management of enterprise resources. The Infrastructure Role Cluster owns the selection and management of the fundamental building blocks that applications rely on for underlying system services. Examples of these building blocks include system-level software, system management software such as Microsoft Systems Management Server, network management software, middleware, and security software.
Additionally, the Infrastructure Role Cluster includes responsibility for shared/common data management such as customer and product data, space and storage planning (data centers, field and remote offices, test labs, development labs, and so forth), as well as the tools necessary to support the infrastructure. Standard images, approved-build compact discs (CDs), physical build replication, and data center server physical placement and management are all common activities owned by the Infrastructure Role Cluster.
The Infrastructure Role Cluster works closely with the real estate and facilities group in planning and coordinating building and office moves, expansions and acquisitions, physical environment changes, and other events. It plans for such issues as proper wiring, lab space, data center accommodations, and user connectivity to the corporate network.
In large enterprises, the Infrastructure Role Cluster frequently owns the organizing and managing of IT policies and procedures, methodologies, standards such as desktop and server hardware, distributed computing connectivity and telecommuting resources, and cost-management techniques. In the growing use of "virtual enterprises," many options for working anytime/anyplace need to be technologically understood and supported.
The Infrastructure Role Cluster works closely with the Support and Operations role clusters to ensure efficient infrastructure development and effective deployment. This joint effort allows the Support and Operations role clusters to design sound processes for the smooth operation of infrastructure solutions.
Key responsibilities of the Infrastructure Role Cluster include:
- Planning and managing the IT infrastructure to meet
ever-changing business requirements.
- Researching and providing recommendations for remote access and
- Developing and documenting the policies and procedures for
consistent infrastructure management, methodologies, and
- Managing strategy for the operations and support of the IT
infrastructure (computers, networks, local equipment).
- Coordinating physical environment usage and planning across
geographies (data centers, labs, field offices).
- Managing infrastructure engineering, lab, and IT
- Forecasting and managing capacity of systems and
- Monitoring availability of infrastructure services.
- Defining how costs are measured, tracked, and reported, and
then using that information to plan and budget.
- Managing server builds, standard images, and software
- Providing cost and chargeback reporting to management and
customers based on established costing and charging
Key skills required of the Infrastructure Role Cluster include:
- Ability to provide a service culture in meeting the needs of
other IT groups in design, selection, and procurement of
- Deep technical understanding of distributed and remote
- Understanding of network management, including Simple Network
Management Protocol (SNMP) and networking traffic
- Understanding of naming standards and requirements.
- Understanding of site and capacity planning estimation and
- Ability to design and support multiplatform site architecture
- Understanding of breadth and depth of infrastructure tools and
third-party management systems for selection and support.