Infrastructure is the foundation or framework that supports a system or organization. In computing, information technology infrastructure is composed of physical and virtual resources that support the flow, storage, processing and analysis of data. Infrastructure may be centralized within a data center, or it may be decentralized and spread across several data centers that are either controlled by the organization or by a third party, such as a colocation facility or cloud provider.
Data center infrastructure often includes the power, cooling and building elements necessary to support data center hardware. The data center hardware infrastructure usually involves servers; storage subsystems; networking devices, like switches, routers and physical cabling; and dedicated network appliances, such as network firewalls.
A data center infrastructure also requires careful consideration of IT infrastructure security. This can include physical security for the building, such as electronic key entry, constant video and human surveillance of the premises, carefully controlled access to the server and storage spaces, and so on. This ensures only authorized personnel can access the data center hardware infrastructure and reduces the potential for malicious damage or data theft.