Application Infrastructure

Application infrastructure refers to the underlying foundation of software systems and the components necessary to support the execution, integration, and deployment of applications. It includes the hardware, software, network infrastructure, and middleware that enable the functioning of applications within an IT environment. [1]

The purpose of application infrastructure is to provide a reliable and scalable platform for running applications, facilitating their interaction with other systems, and ensuring their availability to end-users. It serves as the backbone for application development, deployment, and management.

Components and key considerations in application infrastructure include:

  1. Hardware: The physical equipment, such as servers, storage devices, and networking devices, required to support application execution. This includes servers with sufficient processing power, memory, and storage capacity to handle application workloads.
  2. Operating System: The software layer that manages hardware resources and provides an interface for application programs to interact with the hardware. Common operating systems used in application infrastructure include Windows, Linux, and UNIX.
  3. Middleware: The software layer that facilitates communication and integration between different applications or components within an application system. It includes message brokers, application servers, integration platforms, and other middleware tools that enable seamless interaction and data exchange.
  4. Databases: The software systems that store and manage structured data required by applications. Databases, such as relational databases (e.g., Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server) or NoSQL databases (e.g., MongoDB, Cassandra), are essential components of application infrastructure for data storage and retrieval.
  5. Network Infrastructure: The physical and logical components that enable communication between different systems and devices within the application environment. It includes routers, switches, firewalls, load balancers, and other network devices that ensure reliable connectivity and data transfer.
  6. Security: The measures and mechanisms implemented to protect application infrastructure from unauthorized access, data breaches, and cyber threats. It includes user authentication, access controls, encryption, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and other security measures.

Importance and Benefits of Application Infrastructure:

  1. Application Performance: A robust and well-designed application infrastructure ensures optimal performance and responsiveness of applications. It provides the necessary resources and capabilities to handle application workloads and deliver a seamless user experience.
  2. Scalability and Flexibility: Application infrastructure allows applications to scale up or down based on demand. It provides the ability to allocate additional resources, such as servers or storage, to handle increased workloads, ensuring that applications can meet changing business needs.
  3. Integration and Interoperability: A well-architected application infrastructure enables smooth integration and interoperability between different applications and systems. It facilitates data exchange, business process automation, and seamless collaboration across applications.
  4. Reliability and Availability: An application infrastructure designed for high availability and fault tolerance ensures that applications remain accessible and operational even in the event of hardware or software failures. It minimizes downtime and improves business continuity.
  5. Security and Compliance: Application infrastructure includes security measures and controls to protect applications, data, and sensitive information from unauthorized access, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards.
  6. Simplified Application Management: An optimized application infrastructure simplifies the management and administration of applications. It provides centralized control, monitoring, and management capabilities, facilitating efficient deployment, updates, and troubleshooting.

Pros and Cons of Application Infrastructure:


  1. Improved application performance and user experience
  2. Scalability and flexibility to handle changing workloads
  3. Enhanced integration and interoperability
  4. High availability and fault tolerance for business continuity
  5. Security measures to protect applications and data
  6. Streamlined application management and administration


  1. Initial setup and configuration can be complex
  2. Requires ongoing maintenance and updates
  3. Potential compatibility issues between different components
  4. Cost of infrastructure hardware and software licenses
  5. Expertise and skills required for managing and optimizing application infrastructure

Examples of application infrastructure solutions include cloud platforms (such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform), application servers (such as Apache Tomcat, JBoss, and IBM WebSphere), and database management systems (such as Oracle Database and MongoDB).

Overall, application infrastructure is a critical element in supporting the effective and efficient functioning of applications within an IT environment. It provides the necessary foundation, resources, and capabilities to ensure the performance, integration, availability, and security of applications.

See Also

  1. Middleware: Middleware facilitates communication and data management for distributed applications within the application infrastructure. It acts as a bridge between application software and operating systems.
  2. Application Servers: Application servers host and run applications, providing necessary runtime services within the application infrastructure. They play a critical role in application deployment, execution, and scalability.
  3. Microservices: Microservices is an architectural approach that structures an application as a collection of loosely coupled services. Application infrastructure must support this approach by providing the required networking, communication, and deployment mechanisms.
  4. Service Oriented Architecture (SOA): SOA is a style of software design where services are provided to other components via communication protocols. The application infrastructure should accommodate the connections and services inherent to SOA.
  5. Cloud Infrastructure: Cloud infrastructure is the collection of hardware and software components (like servers, storage, networks) that enable cloud computing. Application infrastructure often integrates or exists atop cloud infrastructure.
  6. Content Delivery Network (CDN): CDNs distribute content across various points of presence. They interact with application infrastructure to optimize content delivery to end-users.
  7. Infrastructure as Code (IaC): IaC is a practice in which infrastructure is provisioned and managed using code and software development techniques. It automates the setup, configuration, and management of application infrastructure.
  8. DevOps: DevOps emphasizes the collaboration between development and IT operations. A robust application infrastructure facilitates the continuous integration, deployment, and monitoring processes integral to DevOps.
  9. Virtual Machine (VM)s & Containers: Virtual machines and containers provide isolated environments to run applications. They are foundational components of modern application infrastructure, ensuring scalability and flexibility.
  10. Load Balancers: Load balancers distribute incoming network traffic across multiple servers. They enhance application availability and responsiveness within the infrastructure.
  11. Distributed Systems: Distributed systems involve multiple computers interacting to achieve a common goal. Application infrastructure ensures their efficient and seamless communication.


  1. Defining Application infrastructure Gartner