Matt Moss BUS-381 Chapter 4 7-13-2013

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Matt Moss

BUS
-
381

Chapter 4

7
-
13
-
2013

1.

(10 points) Describe the five major categories of IT infrastructure and provide an
example of each. Describe the major trends in computer hardware discussed in the text.
Which of these do you think will create the biggest changes in business information
sy
stems, and why?

The Five major categories of IT infrastructure are computer hardware, computer
software, data management technology, networking and telecommunications technology,
and technology services.

Computer Hardware consists of technology for comput
er processing, data storage, input,
and output. An example of this would be large mainframes, servers and desktop
computers.

Computer software consists of system software, which manages the resources and
activities of the computer, and application software

which applies the computer to a
specific task for the end user. A system software would be the Operating System such as
Windows and an Application Software would be something such as Microsoft Office.

Data Management technology organizes, manages and proc
esses business data. An
example of this would be software that organizes business data such as inventory,
customers and vendors.

Networking and Telecommunications technologies provide data, voice and video
connectivity to employees, customers and suppliers
. An example of this would be
technology for running a company website with access to the Internet.

Technology Services consist of the people that run and manage the infrastructure
components of all above categories. An example would be a Computer technici
an that
takes care of employee computer issues within a company or firm.

Computer hardware is changing in many different ways. One being a shift from the PC
and desktop computer to mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones.
Nanotechnology is using in
dividual atoms and molecules to create computer chips
thousands of times smaller than today's computer chips, thus making more powerful
processors and shrinking the size of chips for use in mobile devices. Another change is
the move from having multiple ph
ysical servers to having virtual machines on fewer
physical servers, called Virtualization, thus saving space and electricity. Cloud
computing is yet another change in Computer hardware which allows for processing,
storage, software and many other service
s that operate over a network, primarily over the
Internet.

I believe that the change to Virtualization has change the business world tremendously
because it allows a business that used to have, for example, 100 servers, down to 50 or
less, and will allow
for less maintenance and decreased downtime.


2.


(10 points) Identify and describe some of the current trends in contemporary software
platforms. What is scalability? Why is it essential to the success of the modern business
firm?

There are several Software

trends including Open Source software and Cloud
-
Based
Software services and tools. Open source software is software developed by a community
of programmers. Users of open source software can use the software as is, modify it at
will and even include it in

for
-
profit software applications.

Cloud
-
based software and the data it uses is hosted on servers in massive datacenters and
can be accessed with an Internet connection and web browser.

Scalability is the ability of a computer product or system to expand

to serve a large
number of users without failing.

Software is essential to the success of the modern business firm because without it, a
business could fall behind competitors.

3.

(10 points) Read the case study (Green Data Centers: Good for Business?) on
page 121.
And answer the following questions:

o

What business and social problems does data center power consumption cause?

Data center power consumption costs quite a bit to power the computers and
servers, and also requires even more power to cool.

o

What solutions are available for these problems fro the people, organizational,
and technology perspectives? Explain your answers.

For the people, the end user could set up an energy profile on the computer to shut
the PC on standby when not in use to hel
p reduce power usage. Organizations can
put in place Virtualization and use less physical servers which use less power to
run and cool.

o

Perform an Internet search on the phrase “green computing”. Who are some of the
leaders of the green computing movement
? What are the latest trends in green
computing? What kind of impact are they having?

A leader of the green computing movement is Energy Star. Trends in green
computing include standby mode on computer monitors and computers which
help reduce the amount o
f energy tremendously.


4.

(15 points) Improving Decision Making: Using a spreadsheet to evaluate computing
equipments

Your company is about to purchase a set of equipment to upgrade its computing
capabilities. A committee was formed to evaluate needs, and this committee has come
back with a set of recommendations. They have recommended the purchase of two types
of PCs: on
e for power users and one for all other employees. There are sixteen employees
in your company. The committee is tentatively planning to order 6 high end PCs for
power users, and 10 less powerful standard PCs for the other employees. However, at
least 10 e
mployees have requested the power PCs, so the committee would like to be able
to look at the cost of increasing the number of power PCs that are purchased. The
committee has also recommended the purchase of a high
-
speed laser printer and three ink
jet colo
r printers. The laser printer will be placed in a central location and used for final
drafts requiring high print quality. The three ink jet printers will be placed at convenient
locations around the work area and will be used for printing of draft work.

You have been asked to go out to the Internet and obtain pricing information for your
company’s proposed purchase. You are asked to get at least three price quotes for each
type of equipment that is to be purchased. You are also asked to investigate the
te
chnology specifications, warranty and servicing provided by each potential supplier.
You are to gather this information into a spreadsheet file that can be presented to the
screening committee at its next meeting.

Based on the description provided, go out

to the Internet and get price quotes for all of
the hardware described in this case from at least three vendors (PC manufacturers). Once
you have obtained the needed information, use Excel to design and build a spreadsheet
application that will allow you
to show the costs of purchasing this hardware from each
vendor and total cost for whole purchase. Also be sure that your application allows you to
change a parameter value (the number of power PC units) to see the effect of changing
the number of power PC
units that are purchased.