Building for the Future: 12 Strategies to Create Resilient IT Infrastructure

By Chiradeep BasuMallick - Published on March 27, 2024
IT Infrastructure

As our dependence on digital technologies increases, building resilient IT infrastructure is of paramount importance. Research shows that 80% of IT managers have experienced some kind of outage in the last three years, substantially impacting revenue. According to Forrester, 56% of IT leaders are incurring revenue dips due to technology downtime. Fortunately, there are measures you can implement to embed resilience into your IT infrastructure and minimize the frequency and severity of outages.

1. Consider a Hybrid Infrastructure Approach

When considering a hybrid infrastructure approach, you’re essentially looking at combining on-premises infrastructure with cloud-based solutions. You can leverage the benefits of both environments while mitigating their individual limitations.

In a hybrid setup, you might keep sensitive data on-premises while utilizing the cloud for compute-intensive tasks or for handling fluctuating workloads.

Your hybrid infrastructure should include robust connectivity between on-premises and cloud environments, ensuring seamless communication and data transfer. This might involve setting up secure VPN connections or using dedicated interconnect services provided by cloud providers like AWS Direct Connect or Azure ExpressRoute.

2. Design and Deploy Fault-Tolerant Networking

Fault-tolerant networking aims to minimize downtime by designing redundant network components and protocols that can withstand failures without disrupting services.

One key aspect of fault-tolerant networking is redundancy at the hardware level. This involves deploying multiple network devices, such as switches, routers, and load balancers in a redundant configuration. For example, you might use technologies like Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) or Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP) to ensure seamless failover in case of device failures.

Additionally, you’ll employ protocols and techniques like Link Aggregation (LACP) to bundle multiple network links together. Redundant paths and dynamic routing protocols such as OSPF or BGP help ensure traffic can automatically reroute around network failures.

3. Utilize Containerization Technologies

Containerization technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes offer a resilient approach to deploying and managing applications by encapsulating them in lightweight, portable containers. Containers provide isolation, scalability, and consistency across different environments, making them ideal for building resilient IT infrastructures.

With containerization, you can package your applications along with their dependencies into self-contained units that can run consistently across various platforms. This simplifies deployment and reduces the likelihood of compatibility issues, enhancing the resilience of your applications.

4. Conduct Regular Business Impact Analysis (BIA)

A BIA activity involves assessing the potential impact of disruptions to your IT systems and services on your organization’s operations. To perform a BIA, identify critical business processes, systems, and resources and evaluate the potential consequences of downtime or failures.

Your BIA process should involve key stakeholders from various departments to ensure comprehensive coverage and understanding of business priorities. Quantify the financial, operational, and reputational impacts of disruptions so you can prioritize investments in resilience measures.

Through the BIA process, you’ll identify recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs) for critical systems and services, guiding the development of your continuity and recovery plans.

5. Bring Your Incident Response Plan Up to Date

Incident response plans (IRP) outline the procedures and protocols to follow when responding to and mitigating security incidents and disruptions to IT services. To keep your IRP up to date, review and refine it regularly in response to changes in your IT environment, emerging threats, and lessons learned from past incidents.

Your updated IRP should include clear escalation procedures, defined roles and responsibilities for incident response team members, and predefined communication channels for reporting and coordinating response efforts. It should also incorporate incident detection and analysis tools and techniques to enable timely and effective responses to security events.

Regular testing and simulation exercises, such as tabletop exercises and red team/blue team scenarios, help validate the effectiveness of your IRP and identify areas for improvement.

6. Move to Virtualization from Physical Hardware

While this is a major transformation, consider transitioning from traditional bare-metal servers to virtualized environments for added IT infrastructure resilience. Here, multiple virtual machines (VMs) run on a single physical server hardware. Components like networks can also be virtualized through software-defined technology.

Virtualization offers numerous benefits for resilience – e.g., improved resource utilization, easier scalability, and enhanced disaster recovery capabilities. Abstracting hardware resources from the underlying physical infrastructure enables rapid provisioning, migration, and failover of VMs.

Your virtualization strategy may involve technologies such as VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, or open-source solutions like KVM and Xen.

7. Monitor Traffic Using Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS)

Intrusion detection systems (IDS) are security tools that monitor network traffic for suspicious activity and potential security threats. Your IDS deployment may include network-based IDS (NIDS), which analyzes network traffic at strategic points, and host-based IDS (HIDS), which monitors activity on individual servers and endpoints.

IDS solutions utilize signature-based detection, anomaly detection, and behavioral analysis techniques to identify known threats and abnormal patterns of activity. Fine-tune your IDS configuration to minimize false positives and ensure efficient response to security incidents.

Integrating IDS with your incident response procedures and security operations center (SOC) will enable seamless coordination during security events so you can safeguard the resilience and integrity of your IT infrastructure.

8. Invest in Documentation and Knowledge Management

Documentation encompasses all aspects of your IT infrastructure, including network configurations, system architectures, application dependencies, and operational procedures.

Your documentation should be detailed, up-to-date, and accessible to relevant stakeholders within — and outside — your organization, including MSPs and vendors. It should cover installation procedures, configuration settings, troubleshooting guides, and best practices for maintaining and securing your IT systems and services.

Knowledge management systems, such as wikis, knowledge bases, and documentation repositories, provide centralized platforms for storing, organizing, and retrieving critical information. They empower team members to find solutions and make informed decisions during adverse events so that the resilience of your IT infrastructure isn’t impacted.

9. Incorporate Red Team Exercises into IT Workflows

Red team exercises involve simulating real-world cyberattacks and security breaches to evaluate the effectiveness of your organization’s defenses. A team of skilled security professionals (the Red Team) attempts to breach your organization using various tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) employed by real attackers. Their goal is to uncover weaknesses in your security posture and highlight areas for improvement.

These exercises can simulate a range of attack scenarios – e.g., network infiltration, social engineering, and application-level exploits. It should be conducted in a controlled environment with predefined rules of engagement and close coordination with your internal security team.

Following the exercise, conduct a thorough debriefing and analysis to assess the findings, identify gaps in your defenses, and develop remediation strategies.

10. Choose Microservices Architecture for Your Applications

Microservices architecture is an architectural approach that decomposes applications into smaller, loosely coupled services that can be independently developed, deployed, and scaled. As a result, you gain agility, scalability, and resilience in your IT infrastructure.

A microservices architecture also enables you to embrace principles such as fault tolerance, graceful degradation, and distributed resilience. This is because you can implement resilience patterns like circuit breakers, retries, and fallback mechanisms to maintain service availability under adverse conditions.

11. Level Up from DevOps to ElasticOps

ElasticOps is an evolution of DevOps that emphasizes elasticity, scalability, and automation in IT operations.

In ElasticOps, you prioritize elasticity and scalability by designing your infrastructure to automatically adapt to changing workloads and resource demands. It leverages cloud-native technologies and artificial intelligence platforms to provision, scale, and manage resources dynamically, optimizing cost-efficiency and performance.

Automation plays a central role in ElasticOps, enabling you to automate routine tasks, deployments, and scaling operations using tools like Ansible, Terraform, and Chef.

12. Maintain Geographic Redundancy

To drive resilience, organizations need to replicate critical IT resources and services across multiple geographic locations to mitigate the risk of localized failures, disasters, and outages.

Geographic redundancy ensures high availability, resilience, and disaster recovery capabilities for your IT infrastructure and applications.

You’ll identify key data centers, cloud regions, and network points of presence (PoPs) strategically located in different geographic regions. By distributing your infrastructure across multiple locations, you minimize the impact of local events.

Geographic redundancy encompasses redundancy at multiple levels of the infrastructure stack, including networking, storage, computing, and data replication. You’ll implement technologies like global load balancing, multi-region replication, and disaster recovery orchestration to ensure seamless failover and continuity of operations for greater IT resilience.


Ultimately, resilient IT infrastructure is essential both for technology and business outcomes. With digital systems increasingly becoming the backbone of mid-sized to large organizations, investing in the right strategies can prevent outages from eating into your revenue and the cost of post-incident, reactive measures.

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Chiradeep BasuMallick | Chiradeep BasuMallick is a content marketing expert, startup incubator, and tech journalism specialist with over 11 years of experience. His background includes advertising, marketing communications, corporate communications, and content marketing. He has collaborated with several global and multinational companies. Presently, he runs a content marketing startup in Kolkata, India. Chiradeep writes extensively on IT, banking and financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality, financial analysis, and stock markets. He holds a literature and public relations degree and contributes independently to leading publications.

Chiradeep BasuMallick | Chiradeep BasuMallick is a content marketing expert, startup incubator, and tech journalism specialist with over 11 years of experience. His backgr...

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