Data infrastructure refers to the hardware, software, and network resources that support the collection, storage, processing, and analysis of data. It includes both physical elements, such as storage devices, and intangible elements, such as software, that are essential for using, storing, and securing data.
The following are common types of data infrastructure.
- Data Ingestion – Infrastructure for obtaining and importing data such as an ETL tool.
- Data Access – Interfaces for human access to data such as a website.
- APIs & Integration – Interfaces for machine access to data such as APIs and other forms of data integration.
- Data Storage – Equipment and software for physically storing data.
- Data Processing – Computing hardware and software including systems and applications.
- Databases – Software that is used to efficiently store, process and access data.
- Networks – Network infrastructure for transporting data.
- Data Security – Hardware and software for securing data.
- Data Management – Tools and processes for controlling data such as a master data management platform.
- Data Quality – Infrastructure for assuring data quality such as a data lineage tool.
- Data Centers – Facilities that host data and data processing infrastructure.
- Data Analysis – Tools for data analysis such as a data mining, numerical computing or statistics platform.
- Data Visualization – Software such as analytics that visualize data for human consumption.
- Cloud Platforms – Platforms that allow many physical machines to be used as one for the purposes of data storage and processing.