Buying an Ethernet switch is no longer a simple task. While there are several reasons for this, perhaps the greatest one is that of innovation. Today, buyers must learn a variety of technical nuances that set switches apart from one another, match those capabilities to their organization's needs, and then move ahead to a purchase.
If you think faster speeds are the extent of the new Ethernet technology, you're focusing on one detail of a much larger picture. Yes, greater speeds are an important part of what's new with Ethernet switching; 10GbE and even 40GbE are found in a wide variety of platforms.
But beyond the speeds themselves, new forwarding technologies that enable all links in a layer 2 domain to be utilized have become commonplace. Beyond that, the networking industry is looking ahead to software-defined networking (SDN), where traffic can be forwarded through a datacenter in ways we haven't even thought of yet.
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