Why You Should Upgrade Your IT Infrastructure to Multi-Gigabit Technology

Ethernet cables with a blue tint.High-speed internet has become a necessity these days as businesses increasingly rely on wireless devices and cloud solutions. The adoption of 802.11ac and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) – combined with the deployment of numerous wireless devices and applications – has created a pressing need for greater network bandwidth, according to Cisco.

That’s where multi-gigabit (a.k.a., multi-gig) technology comes into play. Particularly as bandwidth prices drop and the need for better end-to-end throughput increases, many organizations would be wise to revamp their infrastructure with multi-gig-compatible technology. As you consider a potential upgrade, here are the answers to a few key questions you might have about multi-gigabit equipment and how it can improve operations.

1. What is multi-gigabit technology?

This type of equipment makes it possible to achieve two additional data rates – 2.5G BASE-T and 5G BASE-T – between 1Gb and 10Gb with Cat 5e and 6 cabling, according to the TREND Networks article “Will Multigig work? Two ways to Check.” Subsequently, if your company needs more bandwidth, you can achieve better throughput without entirely replacing your cabling if you swap out your current switches and other infrastructure for multi-gig equipment.

A 2019 report from Dell’Oro Group predicted that almost 290 million multi-gig switch ports would ship during the next five years, with demand from enterprises driven by the utilization of high-end apps and Wi-Fi 6 access points. Those switch ports will likely replace 10/100/1000 BASE-T ports typically deployed in the access layer, according to the Network Computing article “Will Your Copper Cable Plant Support Multigigabit?

2. Why should I upgrade my IT infrastructure to multi-gig?

Some devices – including Internet of Things (IoT) devices and Wi-Fi 6 access points – are starting to necessitate speeds over 1Gbps, according to Network Computing. If your business utilizes those types of devices or plans to in the near future as part of digital transformation efforts, you need enhanced network access speeds and better end-to-end throughput support for optimal performance.

To achieve that, you’ll need to ensure your infrastructure is completely multi-gig compatible, including switches, firewalls, wireless access points (WAPs) and cabling.

3. How is multi-gig different from 10G internet?

10G technology can increase internet speeds to 10 gigabits per second. However, migrating to 10G typically requires Cat 6a cabling or above, which means a costly upgrade for many businesses, as stated in the FS Community blog entry “Multi-Gigabit Switches – Break Bottlenecks and Future-proof Your Enterprise Network.”

Multi-gig (2.5G or 5G), on the other hand, can work with Cat 5e and Cat 6 cables, according to the Network World article “How to Plan Your Move to Multi-Gigabit Ethernet.” As a result, this type of tech tends to be much more affordable, particularly for small and midsize businesses.

If you’re interested in learning more about multi-gig technology and upgrading your infrastructure, our techs would be happy to assist you and assess your network. Get in touch with us today by calling 877-599-3999 or emailing sales@stratospherenetworks.com.

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