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Why You Should Switch To Gigabit Ethernet

There was a time when Fast Ethernet really was fast. One hundred megabits per second of pulsing network power seemed like all anyone could ever need back when 10 Mbps was the standard. Fast Ethernet was as fast as you could ever want to go.

Until now. What was speedy then seems downright pokey in a world of Gigabit Ethernet and -- gasp! -- 10 Gigabit Ethernet. If there's one thing almost everyone who either uses or manages a network can agree on, it's this: speed matters. And when you can boost your data speed ten times, then that's a technology that you really have to look at.

In fact, a lot of organizations are looking closely at Gigabit Ethernet, and realizing that all that extra speed is something that they can use, if necessarily right now, then in the near future. "It's becoming very pervasive," says John Yen, senior manager of Cisco's switching products marketing group. "We've seen a transition on our modular platforms where Gigabit Ethernet outsells Fast Ethernet."

While a big part of the interest in Gigabit Ethernet is being driven simply by converged network applications' insatiable appetite for bandwidth, speed itself is not the only justification for speed. A big part of it is that speed can make good business sense. No one ever got fired for making a network faster.

"We're looking at customers who want longer term investment protection," Yen says. "If you're looking to upgrade your switches anyway, you might as well do Gigabit Ethernet now rather than later on."

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