More and more companies and organizations are seeing the benefits of pooling and sharing storage and information servers. Business applications that rely on these servers can be designed to be more scalable and more resilient to the ups and downs of traffic patterns. The standardization and commoditization of server hardware means that organizations involved in graphics, multimedia, medical imaging and any other data intensive applications can implement advanced data center architectures that were once only available to publicly funded academic research and military institutions.
The proliferation of multimedia applications combining images, video and sound means that file sizes greater than 50 Mbytes are not uncommon. Users expect pictures to appear instantaneously; only Gigabit Ethernet can guarantee this level of response time. But the growing deployment of high speed PCs and workstations is placing an extra strain on the network infrastructure. While existing Ethernet switches with Gigabit uplinks are fine for connecting a few PCs and laptops equipped with 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet, they are not appropriate for use in a company deploying Gigabit-capable PCs, workstations and servers. For these environments a high performance Gigabit Ethernet switch with a 10 Gigabit uplink capability is absolutely necessary to give the required levels of control, network performance, security and reliability.