Nobody likes slow networks.

This claim is not very bold; it’s about as safe as claiming that everyone likes vanilla. However, unlike network equipment, vanilla does not go through technical revisions, and its suitability for use does not depend on an ever-evolving field of intricately related products (though chefs may have a differing opinion on this). “Slow” is a comparison. So, to determine what qualifies as a “slow” network, we need to ask “slow compared to what?”

Comparing your network hardware to the speed of the connection coming into the building is an obvious (but ineffective) measuring stick. Your internal network does much more than simply providing you with a connection to the Internet. Ideally, your network is faster than the speed of the line coming in. But what if your current 100 Megabit network already satisfies this requirement?

A less obvious (but more important) measuring stick is the data transfer rate of your storage devices. Since 1995, hard drive transfer speeds increased by a factor of 45. Hard drive sizes increased by a whopping factor of 40,000. The amount of data that the average business generates has increased as a result. This, in turn, increases the amount of data sent to business-critical machines like backup drives, network sharing servers, or thin clients.

However, most small businesses have not updated their network hardware to handle this increased demand. A single modern hard drive can sustain transfer rates of 150 Megabits per second. This transfer rate swamps the de facto 100 Megabit standard. Gigabit Ethernet alleviates this problem.

If you have any questions or concerns about the suitability of your network hardware or you would like to start updating key network components, give us a call.