Fast Ethernet vs Gigabit Ethernet

Fast Ethernet vs Gigabit Ethernet

This topic will explain the essential principles of Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet technologies, elaborating how each improves on basic Ethernet technology.

Fast Ethernet

Fast Ethernet was launched in mid-1990s as the IEEE 802.3u standard and remained the fastest version of Ethernet for three years before it was superseded by Gigabit Ethernet. Fast Ethernet is a local area network transmission standard that provides a data rate of 100 megabits per second (referred to as “100BASE-T”). Other common names for this latest standard included 100-BaseT2 and 100-BaseTX. A key element of its success was its capability to coexist with existing network installations.

Gigabit Ethernet

Gigabit Ethernet is a version of Ethernet capable of carrying traffic at the rate of 1000 Mbit per second. Gigabit Ethernet was originally considered as a switched technology and used fiber for uplinks and connections between buildings. Gigabit Ethernet preserves the 802.3 and Ethernet frame format, and the 802.3 managed object specifications. Therefore, users can migrate easily to gigabit speeds with existing applications, network operating systems, protocols, and network management. Gigabit Ethernet offers increased bandwidth in those portions of the network where it is needed, while exhibiting seamless integration with a clients existing Ethernet infrastructure. The maximum network limit is 70 km if Single Mode Fiber (1,310 nm wavelength) is used as a medium.

Why is Gigabit Ethernet necessary? Isn’t Fast Ethernet good enough?

Gigabit Ethernet is fully compatible with existing networks and preserves customer investments in applications, network operating systems, protocols, and network management.

Gigabit Ethernet is imperative for two reasons: faster systems and faster backbones. As Fast Ethernet makes its transition to an extensive desktop technology, a faster backbone network is necessary, and Gigabit Ethernet technology fills that role. As systems get even faster, and technology improves, Gigabit Ethernet will migrate to the desktop.

Simply put, faster systems require faster networking, input/output (I/O), memory throughput, and access to larger memory and storage in order to remain balanced.

If you are looking to upgrade your network and prepare for the future contact us today and we can create a solution based on your specific requirements and advise whether a Gigabit Ethernet backbone would be suitable for you.