Many years ago, a wise man once told me everything I’d ever need to know about LANs (local area networks). Let me share with you what he said:

  1. Networks never stop transforming themselves
  2. Networks never stop stretching across the enterprise
  3. Networks never stop operating at higher speeds

These statements were accurate years ago, and they still hold true today. These three universal truths about LANs help us understand not only the complexity of our networks, but also how vital they are to enterprises.

In recent blogs, I explained the rise of LAN 2.0 and then declared 2016 to be the year of the ubiquitous LAN. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be talking more about the universal truths of LANs – the first involving network transformation.

IoT - The New Convergence1. Networks Never Stop Transforming

We can all agree that networks never stop transforming. With technology and business changes, networks, of course, must change and transform to keep up (and get ready for what’s ahead). With more devices and people connecting to LANs than ever before, networks have had to increase their reliability and ensure constant uptime.

When they were first introduced, LANs allowed for the transmission of data (such as email messages) between workers. This shared data could be routed to a common printer on the network that served a large group of employees, eliminating the cost and hassle associated with personal printers.

 

Today, LANs bring all kinds of traditionally separate, standalone systems together under one network – much like they did with personal computers and printers. For this reason, the number of devices connected to LANs now outnumber the number of people connected to LANs. With AV systems, security cameras and building management systems becoming part of the network, the number of connected devices continues to multiply. LANs have had to constantly evolve to accommodate ever-increasing growth in network traffic.

Mobile/wireless connections now outpace the number of fixed LAN connections, which has also transformed enterprise networks. With BYOD (bring your own device) popularity, employees use mobile devices as their primary communications tool, and even as a productivity tool. Consequently, they demand performance, hence increasing requirements for the WLAN (wireless LAN) infrastructure.

Wireless Devices At Work

PoE (power over Ethernet) connections are increasing as well, meaning that LANs have adjusted their power capacity and port growth to support both data and electrical power through the cable. IP surveillance cameras, wireless access points (WAPs) and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones all make use of PoE, driving this network transformation.

To learn more about advancements in PoE technology and the implications for cabling infrastructures, watch our webinar

Additional Universal Truths

As LANs continue to transform, they become less of a communications tool and more of a complete business asset. Can you imagine doing business today without one?

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