How to Prepare Your Business for a 10G Network

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Last month in this blog series, we discussed what Wi-Fi 6 – the next generation of Wi-Fi built on 802.11ax technology – can do for your business, such as greater speed, more throughput and improved network capacity (among other improvements).

To fully benefit from the capabilities of Wi-Fi 6, however, businesses must first meet a few pre-requisites, one of which is ensuring your equipment can support 10G Ethernet. Here’s everything you need to know about accomplishing that, as well as answers to some questions you might have about why you should migrate to a 10G network.

What is 10G?
It refers to a new technology developed by CableLabs that will boost cable internet speeds up to 10 gigabits per second, according to The Colorado Sun article “What is 10G internet? The next generation of cable tech, developed right here in Colorado.”

10G technology will offer lower latencies, more reliability, improved security, and speeds 10 times faster than current 1 gigabit speeds, according to CableLabs.

When will 10G be available?
As of January 2019, the foundation for 10G was already in place, CableLabs President and CEO Phil McKinney explained in a blog entry titled “10G Platform: Coming to Homes, Offices and Cities Near You.” During the next few years, 10G will become available as cable network capacities across the nation gradually increase.

Why should my business migrate to a 10-gigabit network?
As mentioned earlier, adopting 10G technology will allow you to fully realize the benefits of Wi-Fi 6. It will also better allow you to leverage other technologies, such as server virtualization and cloud applications, according to the Cisco blog entry “Affordable 10 Gigabit Ethernet for Small and Midsize Businesses.”

Pretty much all the new digital tools that are becoming essential to staying competitive in the business world require a reliable and fast network. With 10G speed, you can improve efficiency, reduce network congestion, allow your team members to be more productive, and respond to clients faster, Cisco explains.

It will ultimately benefit your organization to establish a true end-to-end high-speed network. For instance, consider how your end users will optimize how they operate as bandwidth costs decrease with fiber enhancements. Ensure that you can support the speed they need from start to finish, whether they’re accessing a cloud server, connecting to an internal line-of-business-application server, or wirelessly carrying out real-time collaboration with others inside or outside the company.

What steps should I take to prepare for the transition to a 10G network?
To ensure your organization is ready for 10G technology, you’ll want to take the following steps.

1. Going forward, make sure your infrastructure wiring for everything, not just wireless access points (WAPs), is minimally CAT6+. However, focusing on WAP wiring is a good start to accommodate faster speeds. Businesses with CAT5 or less have an easier time replacing wireless access point cabling than re-running their entire office cabling.

2. Your core switching equipment should be 10G Ethernet. Switches are designed with fiber ports or Ethernet ports to accommodate faster speeds. Simply plan the migration to 10G. 10G Ethernet ports can be costly today. As a result, you should start with core switching at 10G to allow connections to all other infrastructure gear and servers.

Enabling Power over Ethernet (PoE) will then allow you to hook up your WAPs. Access switches can be phased in later.

3. Your core firewall should be able to support 10G, and switch to firewall should be 10G+. You can achieve that through either fiber internet or Ethernet – your choice. An increasing number of firewall solutions these days offer 10G Ethernet ports.

4. Add 10G ports to your workstations and desktops. However, 10Gig NIC cards aren’t standard on workstations or phones yet, so pricing isn’t necessarily attractive/mature at this point in time.

If you have any questions about 10G technology or would just like to learn more, our team of tech experts can assist you. We have experience working with a wide range of IT solutions and can help your organization select and smoothly implement products and services that fit your needs and circumstances. Connect with us today by calling 877-599-3999 or emailing sales@stratospherenetworks.com.

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