Infrastructure Lifecycle Management Best Practices

Infrastructure Lifecycle Management Best Practices
As your organization scales, inevitably, so too will its infrastructure needs. From physical spaces to personnel, devices to applications, physical security to cybersecurity – all these resources will continue to grow to meet the changing needs of your business operations.

To manage your changing infrastructure throughout its entire lifecycle, your organization needs to implement a robust infrastructure lifecycle management program that’s designed to meet your particular business needs.

In particular, IT asset lifecycle management (ITALM) is becoming increasingly important for organizations across industries. As threats to organizations’ cybersecurity become more sophisticated and successful cyberattacks become more common, your business needs (now, more than ever) to implement an infrastructure lifecycle management strategy that emphasizes the security of your IT infrastructure.

In this article, we’ll explain why infrastructure management is important. Then we’ll outline steps your organization can take to design and implement a program and provide you with some of the most important infrastructure lifecycle management best practices for your business.

What Is the Purpose of Infrastructure Lifecycle Management?
No matter the size or industry of your organization, infrastructure lifecycle management is a critical process. The purpose of an infrastructure lifecycle management program is to protect your business and its infrastructure assets against risk.

Today, protecting your organization and its customer data from malicious actors means taking a more active approach to cybersecurity. Simply put, recovering from a cyber attack is more difficult and expensive than protecting yourself from one. If 2020 and 2021 have taught us anything about cybersecurity, it’s that cybercrime is on the rise and it’s not slowing down anytime soon.

As risks to cybersecurity continue to grow in number and in harm, infrastructure lifecycle management and IT asset management are becoming almost unavoidable. In addition to protecting your organization from potential cyberattacks, infrastructure lifecycle management makes for a more efficient enterprise, delivers a better end user experience for consumers, and identifies where your organization needs to expand its infrastructure.

Some of the other benefits that come along with comprehensive infrastructure lifecycle management program include:

  • More accurate planning;
  • Centralized and cost-effective procurement;
  • Streamlined provisioning of technology to users;
  • More efficient maintenance;
  • Secure and timely disposal.

A robust infrastructure lifecycle management program helps your organization to keep track of all the assets running on (or attached to) your corporate networks. That allows you to catalog, identify and track these assets wherever they are, physically and digitally.

While this might seem simple enough, infrastructure lifecycle management and particularly ITALM has become more complex as the diversity of IT assets has increased. Today organizations and their IT teams are responsible for managing hardware, software, cloud infrastructure, SaaS, and connected device or IoT assets. As the number of IT assets under management has soared for most organizations in the past decade, a comprehensive and holistic approach to infrastructure lifecycle management has never been more important.

Generally speaking, there are four major stages of asset lifecycle management. Your organization’s infrastructure lifecycle management program should include specific policies and processes for each of the following steps:

  • Planning. This is arguably the most important step for businesses and should be conducted prior to purchasing any assets. During this stage, you’ll need to identify what asset types are required and in what number; compile and verify the requirements for each asset; and evaluate those assets to make sure they meet your service needs.
  • Acquisition and procurement. Use this stage to identify areas for purchase consolidation with the most cost-effective vendors, negotiate warranties and bulk purchases of SaaS and cloud infrastructure assets. This is where lack of insights into actual asset usage can potentially result in overpaying for assets that aren’t really necessary. For this reason, timely and accurate asset data is crucial for effective acquisition and procurement.
  • Maintenance, upgrades and repair. All assets eventually require maintenance, upgrades and repairs. A holistic approach to infrastructure lifecycle management means tracking these needs and consolidating them into a single platform across all asset types.
  • Disposal. An outdated or broken asset needs to be disposed of properly, especially if it contains sensitive information. For hardware, assets that are older than a few years are often obsolete, and assets that fall out of warranty are typically no longer worth maintaining. Disposal of cloud infrastructure assets is also critical because data stored in the cloud can stay there forever.

Now that we’ve outlined the purpose and basic stages of infrastructure lifecycle management, it’s time to look at the steps your organization can take to implement it.

Spotlight

IoT.nxt

Gartner Innovation 2016 | Davinci TT100 Innovation 2016 | MTN M2M Best Commercial & Best Overall 2017 | Microsoft Gold Partner | Deloitte Preferred Partner IoT.nxt’s unique technology stack bridges the gap between all protocols in the industrial ecosystem, creating a single integration/translation point. Its patented RaptorTM gateway allows organisations to retrofit all existing legacy systems with no rip and replace. A powerful data abstraction model further translates anything and everything from the edge, supporting a true subscription based big data model.

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Gartner Innovation 2016 | Davinci TT100 Innovation 2016 | MTN M2M Best Commercial & Best Overall 2017 | Microsoft Gold Partner | Deloitte Preferred Partner IoT.nxt’s unique technology stack bridges the gap between all protocols in the industrial ecosystem, creating a single integration/translation point. Its patented RaptorTM gateway allows organisations to retrofit all existing legacy systems with no rip and replace. A powerful data abstraction model further translates anything and everything from the edge, supporting a true subscription based big data model.

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Iridium Communications Inc., a leading provider of global voice and data satellite communications, today announced Project Stardust, the evolution of its direct-to-device (D2D) strategy with 3GPP 5G standards-based Narrowband-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) Non-Terrestrial Network (NB-NTN) service development. As a new standards-based solution, it will be deployed on Iridium's existing satellite network giving the company a unique ability to offer both high-quality proprietary and standardized D2D and IoT services to its customers. The early stages of programming Iridium's low-Earth orbiting (LEO) satellites offers a special opportunity to smartphone companies, OEMs, chipmakers, mobile network operators (MNO) and related IoT developers to have their requirements woven into the fabric of the Iridium® network. Iridium is already collaborating directly with several of these companies. "This is an exciting moment for Iridium and is a testament to the flexibility and capability built into our satellite constellation," said Iridium CEO Matt Desch. "The industry is moving quickly towards a more standards-based approach, and after surveying the field, we found that we're the best positioned to lead the way using our own network, particularly given our true global coverage." Iridium is designing its initial NB-IoT offering to support 5G NTN messaging and SOS capabilities for smartphones, tablets, cars, and related consumer applications. Adopting the service will enable device manufacturers to add a satellite connection to standardized devices, take advantage of existing, globally allocated and coordinated Iridium spectrum, and provide a superior low-latency LEO user experience. The Iridium network supports approximately 1,300 SOS and emergency (911 or equivalent) incidents per year, around the world and has readily available systems, processes, and partners to implement this capability for new devices. Iridium understands the market need for its customers to develop and certify products quickly. Applying our established onboarding processes, chipmakers and NB-IoT developers can join Iridium's ecosystem of about 500 partners, and choose a proprietary, standards-based, or dual-solution integration approach for added network redundancy. MNOs will have the opportunity to be a one-stop shop for ubiquitous coverage and off-grid use cases, with unmatched industry reliability. Iridium partners are supported by a 24/7 customer support, back office, billing, and provisioning system, all ready to support the new service upon launch. The Iridium satellite constellation's fully crosslinked, LEO architecture and global L-band spectrum provides a competitive service advantage versus other LEO and geostationary satellite networks. Certified to provide safety of life services by international regulatory bodies, the Iridium network has become the gold standard of reliability and continues to be the only network that provides connectivity everywhere on Earth. Operating in LEO, the Iridium constellation does not suffer from the same line-of-sight limitations, significant power requirements or outages that can affect entire regions from a single satellite as faced by geostationary systems. The recognized leader in satellite IoT and personal communications, Iridium has more than two decades of experience and an unmatched partner ecosystem supporting more than 2.2 million users around the world. As of the third quarter of 2023, Iridium subscribers have grown at a 15% CAGR over the last five years, and the company serves approximately 1.7 million IoT customers today, including about 900,000 personal trackers and satellite messengers for consumer, enterprise, and government applications. Known for its reliability, coverage, and low power requirements, the Iridium network is an ideal fit for NB-IoT NTN service. The company is currently working with several D2D and IoT-focused companies to understand and incorporate their use cases, requirements, and end-user needs into its planned service. The company anticipates testing to begin in 2025, with service in 2026. About Iridium Communications Inc. Iridium® is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with its ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications. In 2019, the company completed a generational upgrade of its satellite network and launched its specialty broadband service, Iridium Certus®. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A., and its common stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol IRDM.

Read More

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ICANN ANNOUNCES GRANT PROGRAM TO SPUR INNOVATION

PR Newswire | January 16, 2024

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit organization that coordinates the Domain Name System (DNS), announced today the ICANN Grant Program, which will make millions of dollars in funding available to develop projects that support the growth of a single, open and globally interoperable Internet. ICANN is opening an application cycle for the first $10 million in grants in March 2024. Internet connectivity continues to increase worldwide, particularly in developing countries. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), an estimated 5.3 billion of the world's population use the Internet as of 2022, a growth rate of 6.1% over 2021. The Grant Program will support this next phase of global Internet growth by fostering an inclusive and transparent approach to developing stable, secure Internet infrastructure solutions that support the Internet's unique identifier systems. "With the rapid evolution of emerging technologies, businesses and security models, it is critical that the Internet's unique identifier systems continue to evolve," said Sally Costerton, Interim President and CEO, ICANN. "The ICANN Grant Program offers a new avenue to further those efforts by investing in projects that are committed to and support ICANN's vision of a single, open and globally interoperable Internet that fosters inclusion amongst a broad, global community of users." ICANN expects to begin accepting grant applications on 25 March 2024. The application window will remain open until 24 May 2024. A complete list of eligibility criteria can be found at: https://icann.org/grant-program. Once the application window closes, all applications are subject to admissibility and eligibility checks. An Independent Application Assessment Panel will review admissible and eligible applications and the tentative timeline to announce the grantees of the first cycle is in January of 2025. Potential applicants will have several opportunities to learn more about the Call for Proposals and ask ICANN Grant Program staff members questions through question-and-answer webinar sessions in the coming months. For more information on the program, including eligibility and submission requirements, the ICANN Grant Program Applicant Guide is available at https://icann.org/grant-program. About ICANN ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secured and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world.

Read More

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Legrand Acquires Data Center, Branch, and Edge Management Infrastructure Market Leader ZPE Systems, Inc.

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Legrand, a global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures, including data center solutions, has announced its acquisition is complete of ZPE Systems, Inc., a Fremont, California-based company that offers critical solutions and services to deliver resilience and security for customers' business critical infrastructure. This includes serial console servers, sensors, and services routers that enable remote access and management of network IT equipment from data centers to the edge. The acquisition brings together ZPE's secure and open management infrastructure and services delivery platform for data center, branch, and edge environments to Legrand's comprehensive data center solutions of overhead busway, custom cabinets, intelligent PDUs, KVM switches, and advanced fiber solutions. ZPE Systems will become a business unit of Legrand's Data, Power, and Control (DPC) Division. Arnaldo Zimmermann will continue to serve as Vice President and General Manager of ZPE Systems, reporting to Brian DiBella, President of Legrand's DPC Division. "ZPE Systems leads the fast growing and profitable data center and edge management infrastructure market. This acquisition allows Legrand to enter a promising new segment whose strong growth is expected to accelerate further with the development of artificial intelligence and associated needs," said John Selldorff, President and CEO, Legrand, North and Central America. "Edge computing, AI and operational technology will require more complex data centers and edge infrastructure with intelligent IT needs to be built in disparate remote geographies. This makes remote management and operation a critical requirement. ZPE Systems is well positioned to address this need through high performance automation infrastructure solutions, which are complementary to our current data center offerings." "By joining forces with Legrand, ZPE Systems is advancing our leadership position in management infrastructure and propelling our technology and solutions to further support existing and new market opportunities," said Zimmermann. About Legrand and Legrand, North and Central America Legrand is the global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures. Its comprehensive offering of solutions for commercial, industrial, and residential markets makes it a benchmark for customers worldwide. The Group harnesses technological and societal trends with lasting impacts on buildings with the purpose of improving lives by transforming the spaces where people live, work, and meet with electrical, digital infrastructures and connected solutions that are simple, innovative, and sustainable. Drawing on an approach that involves all teams and stakeholders, Legrand is pursuing its strategy of profitable and responsible growth driven by acquisitions and innovation, with a steady flow of new offerings—including products with enhanced value in use (faster expanding segments: data centers, connected offerings and energy efficiency programs). Legrand reported sales of €8.0 billion in 2022. The company is listed on Euronext Paris and is notably a component stock of the CAC 40 and CAC 40 ESG indexes.

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