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FCW : May 30, 2014
37 > latency," says Doug Roberts, managing director for enterprise products at Fluke Networks. Switches play a variety of roles within the communication pipeline. For example, a Layer 2 network switch examines each data packet and then uses embedded intelligence to process it appropriately. is contrasts with legacy network hubs that would simply send a packet to all ports. Switches communicate between connected stations at high speed, regardless of how many devices are connected to the switch. Switches come in two basic architectures. A store-and-forward switch will copy the entire frame into its buffer and perform a cyclic redundancy check (CRC), a technique for identifying errors in the information being communicated. e switch then forwards frames that pass CRC to their ultimate destinations. Because this that use architectures and components that haven't been fully upgraded in recent years. ese warning signs often signal that it's time to modernize a network backbone infrastructure: • Large numbers of existing switches and routers, including those predating the budget constrictions of the recent recession, are at the end of their useful life spans. • Network bottlenecks, brownouts and breakdowns have become the new normal rather than infrequent exceptions. • ere's a lack of adequate network support for new IT innovations, ranging from virtualization, cloud and mobility to voice over IP (VoIP), video conferencing, IPv6 and software- defined networking (SDN). Clearly, all of the above reasons help explain why networks will be getting plenty of attention in 2014. In fact, 58 percent of IT professionals say they plan to make network infrastructure upgrades in the next year, according to the 2013 CDW Surveying Your Network report. But industry observers point out that IT managers need a well-planned strategy for modernizing their networks given ongoing resource constraints. To help meet the challenge, here's a game plan for optimizing investments in new network solutions to create the biggest impact on performance today and in the years to come. Tiers Still Deliver Value Industry veterans say the fundamental designs and core components for many networks have remained essentially the same for years --- even as infrastructure game changers such as server virtualization and virtual machines (VMs) traversing IT environments became commonplace. is is why it's now time for many organizations to modernize their networks beyond a routine refresh that might only involve increasing the port density of switches at the top of a rack. Despite the need for an upgrade, one constant remains: Most networks rely on a hierarchical internetworking model. is widely used topology for creating reliable and scalable networks typically consists of three main components: • An access layer --- with hubs and switches that link the enterprise network with end-user devices, including desktop and notebook computers, printers and VoIP handsets. is layer ensures that data packets are delivered to users' devices and that people can reliably connect with apps via wired and wireless connections. • A distribution layer --- including LAN routers and Layer 3 switches. e distribution layer routes data packets properly between subnets and virtual LANs (vLANs). is is also where network administrators monitor traffic and manipulate data flows to achieve necessary quality of service (QoS) levels for individual apps. • A core layer --- which serves as the wide-area backbone and is home for the most sophisticated and expensive network devices. is layer moves traffic to and from the WAN to connect mobile and remote staff, as well as authorized customers. No packet manipulation is done in this layer. Because the core is concerned with speed and ensuring reliable delivery of packets, it's where data moves as fast as possible with minimum delay. Tackling the Big Two Switches and routers are the primary hardware components and play the biggest roles in helping multitiered networks achieve necessary service- level requirements. ese essential building blocks of modern networks provide the speeds and feeds necessary for all network communications, and as a result, they're the obvious focal point for IT managers when planning network upgrades. "Switch or router upgrades are certainly appropriate ways to significantly reduce network CDWG.com | 800.808.4239 SOURCE: CDW Surveying Your Network report, August 2013 OF I.T. PROFESSIONALS SAY THEY PLAN TO REPLACE ROUTERS AND SWITCHES IN THE NEXT YEAR 35%
May 15, 2014
June 30, 2014