Updating ethernet

Finally, while delivering more bandwidth and more robust management, Gb E switches are also more energy efficient than the previous generation of switches, Mehra said.

This offers enterprises the opportunity to lower their power consumption on the network edge.

The price gap between Fast Ethernet and Gb E switches may be the most obvious factor for most network engineers considering the network upgrade. The migration from 100 Mbps to Gb E involves more than the replacement of switches in the wiring closet.

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In many cases, end-user applications are simply not consuming all the bandwidth of Fast Ethernet, making the additional capacity of Gb E appear to be a pointless investment.

Network engineers, armed with network performance baselines, can likely argue that 100 Mbps provides enough capacity for their network edge.

Po E is available on the latest Gb E switches from major networking vendors, but vendors are not updating their existing Fast Ethernet switches with the new power standard.

If an enterprise deploys devices that require Po E for power, upgrading the edge to Gigabit might be more efficient than installing individual power injectors on a legacy Fast Ethernet network.

As 802.11n-based wireless LAN technology matures, the throughput capabilities of many wireless networks will exceed the bandwidth of a backhaul network based on Fast Ethernet.