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Ethernet is the most popularly used Local Area Network (LAN) technology today. An Ethernet is primarily implemented using a twisted-pair copper Ethernet cable—usually Category 5 or CAT 5 cable comprising four twisted wire pairs. The most common implementation of Ethernet is for data transmissions speeds of 10 Mbps (Megabits Per Second). Fast Ethernet typically used to implement the backbone of a LAN provides 100Mbps of data transmission speed.
To meet the needs of growing enterprises and the demands of high-performance computers and software applications, today an even higher level of Ethernet technology is available. This technology is known as the Gigabit Ethernet. As the name suggests, a Gigabit Ethernet supports data transmissions at the rate of 1 Gbps (Giga Bits Per Second) or 1000 Mbps.
Need for Gigabit Ethernet
A typical network of an enterprise is quite similar to plumbing in your house, where several small pipes connected to a few medium-sized pipes, joined with one large pipeline that supplies the water. In the same way, when you implement a network to connect several desktops, you need a pipe that has enough bandwidth to support data transmission between these desktops. This is the reason why today enterprises want to implement a network backbone that can easily handle the increasing network traffic of rapidly growing Internet technologies and software applications.
You realize the need for a Gigabit Ethernet when you repeatedly start receiving complaints from users about slow response time on the network. A network usually slows down when you upgrade your workstations, servers, and applications to higher technology, but fail to enhance the bandwidth of your Ethernet to support the increase in the demand for higher data transfer speeds.
Due to the development of several high-end software and database applications, servers today are designed to process large files and transfer data at quite high speeds. The efficiency of these advanced servers, however, is of no use if your network infrastructure does not offer the same performance as your servers.
Moreover, as 100 Mbps Fast Ethernets become popular in the late half of the 1990s, enterprises started provisioning their powerful and new workstations with faster 100 Mbps connections. Over time, as companies grew, more and more users were added to the existing networks. IT managers were now forced to look for options that would enable their enterprise network to support bandwidth-intensive software applications and Internet communications technologies to individual desktops.
To improve the overall performance of the network and prevent bottlenecks from developing on your mission-critical servers, powerful workstations and high-end applications IT managers opted to upgrade their current Ethernet technology to Gigabit Ethernet. The need of preventing network bottlenecks and enhancing the network response time is sufficed by the Gigabit Ethernet that provides the larger pipe to implement your network backbone and alleviate the congestion at the aggregation points of your network.
1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet has evolved from the traditional 10 Mbps Ethernet and Fast 100 Mbps Ethernet technologies. This high-speed Ethernet implemented over the Ethernet cable infrastructure laid down for conventional and Fast Ethernets. The only difference is that in first Ethernets we used only two pairs of twisted-pair Ethernet cable—out of four—for data transfer, in Gigabit Ethernet to speed up the transmission you need to use all four pairs.
Benefits of Gigabit
They are 100 times faster than the traditional Ethernet and ten times faster than the Fast Ethernet makes Gigabit Ethernet an ideal choice for many medium and large-sized enterprises who want to implement high-performance network infrastructure. Some of the critical benefits of Gigabit Ethernet are listed below.
With continuous addition of 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, and 1000 Mbps computers in rapidly growing enterprises, it will not take much time when the demands of these computers will exceed the network capacity of your Ethernet implementation—especially if your users need to perform multitasking and work with large files over the network. As more and more high-speed computers are added, the response time of the system will go down, to overcome this problem and meet the increasing demand for a faster network, it is recommended that you install the Gigabit Ethernet as the network backbone. This solution will help you in significantly increase the throughput of your system and will not even cost you a lot in your pocket.
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