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Daily Spin: Switches: When Speed Isn't Enough

The Big Picture
Switches: When Speed Isn't Enough

There was a time when the first thing a Network Computing reviewer would do when they got a switch or router in the lab would be to check the obvious: just how fast was this sucker?

In many ways, though, those days are gone. Today, speed is a given for most enterprise switches and routers, Gigabit, 10 Gigabit, whatever. As NWC tech editor Sean Doherty writes in this week's review of data center switches, "Network processors deliver wire speeds, and a switch that lags in performance will last as long as a lame wildebeest on the Serengeti."

In other words, if you can't play the speed game, don't even bother lining up for the race. For the most part, the same has been true for recent tests of content switches, closet and edge switches and low-end switches.

So if speed is not the paramount issue, what should IT be looking for in a switch? Here's a few issues to consider:

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