Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I need to do a homework and write a bit about ethernet. I am totally new to the topic, so i thought maybe some one could give me a hand by explaining me a bit about what scalability is, when talking about ethernet networks?

I have experience with web programming, and when we talk about scalability, we think in the performance of the application when the number of users or requests increase(Work load increases). I suppose this has to be something similar in networks. So what is for you scalability of an ethernet network?

share|improve this question

closed as not a real question by Ward, ThatGraemeGuy, Chopper3 May 30 '11 at 16:16

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Pretty much a dup of: – Ward May 30 '11 at 14:23
No, this is a MUCH more specific question. – TomTom May 30 '11 at 14:28
Still homework help – Dave M May 30 '11 at 16:06
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Ok, this IS tricky because there are different scalability axis.

  • How many computers you can happily have on a segment
  • How much data you can move on a segment
  • How much data you can move on a cable.

All those mean differen thigns and different ethernet level technologies migitate some of them more or less (switchesvs. hubs for one and two for example).

I would assume the most likely answer is network speed, which would be indicated by the different ethernet speeds (10megbit, 100megabit, 1 gigabit and 10gigabit).

Then we have whole network scalability. For example a switch with 48 ports - how scalable is it? These days mostly a non issue (answer: 96gigabit, the switch can hadnle the maximum theoretical traffic), but in the past a lower priced switch may not have enough processing power to handle this under all circumstances. As Ethernet is not necessarily an internet technology, requirements for speed and latency are stricter. For example I am using ethernet (like most people) between application servers and database servers, and there I push a LOT more bandwidth than most web servers do ;)

share|improve this answer
Thank you very much, now i understand much more better what scalability is. – sfrj May 30 '11 at 19:21

Just imagine, ive got all servers configured to 192.168.XXX.0/24 subnets. Yours project goes ok. You've got subnetworks for office-managers/employes/printers and so on. And now when you reached network you have to add some subnet for yours city-X parntners. what would you do now? (no more subnets, and you should change all of this to or subnets or use vlans)

Or you ve got all yours routers and switches that doesnt support vlans, and you shoud work with em.

Or how can you use PoE to add some area coveredge by wifi?

share|improve this answer
I suppose the wifi idea is the best right? – sfrj May 30 '11 at 19:18

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.