Security is now the single most important feature that customers seek in switches used for LANs and on WAN backbones, according to a study released yesterday by Infonetics Research in San Jose.
The report estimates that organisations in the US will spend more than $19 billion on Fast Ethernet (100M bit/sec.) and Gigabit Ethernet (1,000M bit/sec.) infrastructures in 2004. Of that amount, approximately half will be spent on Layer-3 network switches.
Layer-3 switches can accommodate many of the network traffic routing functions currently handled by multiprotocol routers, according to Michael Howard, principal analyst and founder of Infonetics. With LANs, said Howard, "users need only a handful of the capabilities of a full-featured, multiprotocol router. Layer-3 switching is a hot alternative because it provides the capabilities these users need at a fraction of the price."
The study also concludes that Gigabit Ethernet is becoming "ubiquitous" and that it is being deployed right to the desktop.
Titled "User Plans for High Performance LANs 2000," the Infonetics study includes:
Gigabit Ethernet deployment plans.
Layer-3 and Layer-7 switch adoption rates.
Quality of Service/Class of Service deployment plans.
Policy-based management implementation plans.
Voice on the LAN deployment plans.
Switch manufacturers that customers plan to buy from.
Network factors and applications driving high-performance LAN purchases.