GigE For Business
Will Become The Default Standard Gigabit Ethernet is becoming within
reach of bandwidth demanding organizations even today.
By: John Shepler
Online technologies have been getting more
and more resource demanding. Much of this is due to the sophistication
of the applications, the move from plain text to graphical solutions,
and the extensive use of video. The promise of improved productivity
and additional sales opportunities are coming at a price. That
price is increased WAN bandwidth requirements. Yesterday, ordering
a T1 line was a big decision. Tomorrow you may be leasing a Gigabit
First, GigE to the Desktop
Gigabit Ethernet in business? Wow! We normally think of that
kind of throughput, 1,000 Mbps, as needed for carrier backbones
or interconnecting supercomputers. How would it apply to business
Think about the corporate LAN. What started
out as 10 Mbps Ethernet has been upgraded to 100 Mbps to the
desktop and GigE over copper or fiber between wiring closets.
You know that 10 Gigabit Ethernet isn't far off. It's just a
matter of the production learning curve bringing the price down
enough to spark mass adoption. So is GigE to the desktop.
The Weak Link is the WAN
The laggard in these increasing speed levels has been the WAN
or Wide Area Network connection. You may have hundreds of employees
on your networks at various plant sites and office complexes.
Files zip around these nets without delay inside each facility.
You may have already deployed enterprise VoIP solutions to converge
your telephone and computer networks. But what happens when you
try to send something outside? Are you still poking along with
a 45 Mbps DS3 connection?
Smaller and medium size companies may wince
at the thought of "poking" along at 45 Mbps. But when
hundreds or thousands of employees are accessing the Internet
as an essential part of doing their jobs, that DS3 can easily
become a bottleneck. A few seconds delay here, a few seconds
there. Pretty soon we're talking some serious lost productivity.
The situation is more dire for companies
on the cutting edge of HDTV video production, medical imaging,
animation rendering, or CAD simulation. The WAN bandwidth between
your company and your customer may well limit how much "product"
you can ship in a day. Collaboration on product design can become
an exercise in futility. The only way to make the operation of
the tools invisible in the process is to take bandwidth limitations
out of the loop.
Gigabit Ethernet Infrastructure Will
In case you are still thinking that 1,000 Mbps WAN connections
are way beyond reason, consider that South Korea is planning
to bring Gigabit Ethernet to all Koreans within 5 years. They're
looking at implementing this infrastructure as a strategic advantage
for the country.
In the United States, such a public infrastructure
is well down the road. But Gigabit Ethernet is here for business
users, and prices have dropped dramatically over what they were
a few years ago. Thanks to competitive service providers who
now offer GigE connections on their own fiber optic networks
and DS3 level connections over twisted pair copper, bandwidth
upgrades are within reason for most companies. Are prices at
the level where you should be considering GigE WAN connections?
Find out by seeing what's available in your area for Gigabit
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