Introduction, Fast ethernet technology, Gigabit ethernet technology – NetComm NP2500 User Manual

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NP2500 24-Port 10/100 PoE + 2-Port 10/100/1000 WebSMART Switch User Guide


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This chapter describes the features of the

NP2500 24-Port 10/100 PoE + 2-Port 10/100/1000 Web-

SMART Switch and some background information about Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, Switching, VLAN
and Power over Ethernet technologies.

Fast Ethernet Technology

The growing importance of LANs and the increasing complexity of desktop computing applications are
fueling the need for high performance networks. A number of high-speed LAN technologies have been
proposed to provide greater bandwidth and improve client/server response times. Among them, 100BASE-
T (Fast Ethernet) provides a non-disruptive, smooth evolution from the current 10BASE-T technology. The
non-disruptive and smooth evolution nature, and the dominating potential market base, virtually guarantees
cost-effective and high performance Fast Ethernet solutions.

100Mbps Fast Ethernet is a standard specified by the IEEE 802.3 LAN committee. It is an extension of the
10Mbps Ethernet standard with the ability to transmit and receive data at 100Mbps, while maintaining the
CSMA/CD Ethernet protocol. Since the 100Mbps Fast Ethernet is compatible with all other 10Mbps Ethernet
environments, it provides a straightforward upgrade and takes advantage of the existing investment in hard-
ware, software, and personnel training.

Gigabit Ethernet Technology

Gigabit Ethernet is an extension of IEEE 802.3 Ethernet utilizing the same packet structure, format, and sup-
port for CSMA/CD protocol, full duplex, flow control, and management objects, but with a tenfold increase in
theoretical throughput over 100Mbps Fast Ethernet and a one hundred-fold increase over 10Mbps Ethernet.
Since it is compatible with all 10Mbps and 100Mbps Ethernet environments, Gigabit Ethernet provides a
straightforward upgrade without wasting a company’s existing investment in hardware, software, and trained
personnel. The increased speed and extra bandwidth offered by Gigabit Ethernet are essential to coping
with the network bottlenecks that frequently develop as computers and their busses get faster and more
users use applications that generate more traffic. Upgrading key components, such as your backbone and
servers to Gigabit Ethernet can greatly improve network response times as well as significantly speed up the
traffic between your sub-networks. Gigabit Ethernet enables fast optical fiber connections to support video
conferencing, complex imaging, and similar data-intensive applications. Likewise, since data transfers occur
10 times faster than Fast Ethernet, servers outfitted with Gigabit Ethernet NIC’s are able to perform 10 times
the number of operations in the same amount of time. In addition, the phenomenal bandwidth delivered by
Gigabit Ethernet is the most cost-effective method to take advantage of today and tomorrow’s rapidly improv-
ing switching and routing internetworking technologies.