Last week, we blogged about one of the universal truths regarding local area networks (LANs): they never stop transforming themselves. In that post, I promised to explain the three universal truths about networks to help us understand their complexity and importance to enterprises.
Here are the three universal truths:
This week, we discuss how and why networks never stop stretching across the enterprise.
In the late ‘60s, the growing use of computers in colleges and research labs called for the ability to connect computer systems. As that idea caught on, “networks” grew to include hundreds of computers sharing storage and printers within a workplace.
As LANs continue to infiltrate enterprises, we now see networks stretch to support more than computers, storage and printers. Today’s enterprise networks still include computer systems, but now incorporate smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices that employees bring to the workplace. Networks have also stretched to not only accommodate employees and their devices, but also the users outside the enterprise (guests and customers) and their devices as well.
As a convenient alternative to a wired LAN connection, wireless networks allow devices to connect to the network without a cable. This allows guests and customers to move around unrestricted within the enterprise coverage area. Wireless network capabilities have increased the number of devices connecting to LANs, whether they are smartphones, tablets, surveillance cameras or projectors. As wireless connections become faster thanks to new standards, their use will only increase.
Networks today impact all functional departments and aspects of the business (internally and externally) – for the well-being of employees, improved efficiency, streamlined business operations and a better customer experience. It’s not just about sending and receiving files and emails anymore.
The network is being found literally everywhere: behind walls, above the ceiling, in a variety of devices that occupants utilize for traditional LAN interaction (desktop computers, laptops, phones, smartphones, tablets, touchscreens, etc.). But the network has also stretched to support several other building and workplace systems beyond computers and communications devices. LANs are stretching across the enterprise to bring voice, data, wireless, AV, security and building management systems together on one network. These building management affect occupant well-being, security and, ultimately, business efficiency.
Now that we’ve covered the first and second universal truths about networks, stay tuned for next week’s post – we will cover the third and final universal truth: networks never stop operating at higher speeds.
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Throughout his career Stephane has worked in the telecommunications industry; in R&D, product management, training and marketing. Since 2014, Stephane as Director Technology and Applications is focusing on technology roadmap and ideation, networking applications and trends, and standards engagement.