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Special Report: Standards Rule: Infrastructure

 
 

Special Report: Standards Rule
• Introduction

• Enterprise Applications

• Security

• Storage & Servers

• Management

• Wireless

• Infrastructure

• Messaging

In terms of standards compliance, the infrastructure space has had it easy, thanks to Ethernet. Can you imagine what life in the data center would be like if Token Ring, FDDI and ATM had gained significant market share? Fortunately, the graceful scalability of Mr. Metcalfe's protocol, which keeps getting faster (now up to 10 Gbps) without changing any of the other rules, has spared us from many interoperability woes.

We're not immune, of course--networking pros got a taste of what colleagues deal with when VoIP hit the scene. Until the IETF's SIP standard was embraced, VoIP phone systems were in danger of proprietary vendor lock-in. Other standards are making our complex infrastructures even easier to manage. Take the IEEE's 802.1ab LLDP (Logical Link Discovery Protocol) standard, which gives network devices the smarts to deliver topology information that can be used for mapping, troubleshooting, enabling E911 capabilities and more.

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