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As demand for bandwidth (and network infrastructure) continues to increase, skilled infrastructure experts are required to meet this demand. In this blog, I explain the trends that are driving network changes. And I ask three questions to help you assess if you are ready to address them.
Question 1: Increased bandwidth demands require increased infrastructure knowledge. Are you prepared?
Network planning has never been an easy process; however, it can probably be summarized in a relatively simple equation: Data Centralization + IP Convergence = Large amounts of aggregated bandwidth at the edge, in the backbone and data centers.
We are faced with growing bandwidth needs from users--in the backbone and in the data centers to support applications such as:
- Software Defined Networks (SDN)
- Network Function Virtualization (NFV)
- High-performance computing
- Multi-site collaboration
- Streaming multi-media
- Data warehousing
- Cloud and edge computing
Question 2: But what’s the answer to this challenge?
Over the past 30 years, network infrastructure developments have taken parallel paths for optical fiber, copper and wireless transmission media. Of all the network protocols, Ethernet is clearly the market favorite. As Ethernet evolves to higher-speed forms, it addresses the needs of customers with a cost-effective reliable solution to their data networking needs. Additionally, switched Ethernet networks have shown themselves to be extremely robust, performing over every physical media layer available, from twisted pair cables to all types of fiber-optic cables. Almost all network traffic today starts out as Ethernet and IP traffic.
Building Ethernet networks with the next step up in speed is usually the easiest way to scale and migrate enterprise and service-provider networks. This means 10 Gbps (Gigabits per second) moves the decimal point from one to 10 gigabits per second, and 100 Gbps will move it one step further, with speeds of more than 1 Tbps (Terabits per second) also on the horizon. This will enable Ethernet to match and exceed speeds of the fastest technology in metropolitan area networks (MANs) and wide-area networks (WANs).
Higher network speeds will continue to evolve because of steadily increasing bandwidth demands, coupled with the decreasing costs of interface electronics and the advancing adoption of technologies such as cloud and edge computing. The aggregation effects of user bandwidth drive even higher speeds in data centers and network backbones.
Question 3: Which technology should you learn about?
As the network requirements in both the wired and wireless world fuel the need for high reliability, low latency, high bandwidth and extended distances, fiber optic solutions reach deeper and deeper into the network and wireless solutions proliferate at the user.
If you are hedging your bets on which technology to learn about, wireless and fiber optics – and passive infrastructure as a whole – have to be up near the top of your list.
If you are looking for specific courses, then CommScope Infrastructure Academy’s Passive Infrastructure Specialist Courses can help you to get ahead in the growing network infrastructure market. These courses cover the full range from RF Wireless Infrastructure Fundamentals, to Fiber Optic Infrastructure, to Structured Cabling Design and more. You can see the full course listing here.
So, how are you going to future proof your skills?