Selecting the Proper Media Type

When choosing a media type, the main characteristics to consider are as follows:

  • Bandwidth
  • Security
  • Convenience
  • Cost

In the past, a trade-off existed between convenience/cost and bandwidth/security. If you wanted low cost and convenience, you could deploy wireless and give up security and bandwidth. If you needed security and bandwidth, you sacrificed convenience and cost. That largely remains true, but wireless has made huge strides in both security and bandwidth. It may never be fast enough or secure enough for a network backbone, but it could serve a larger role at the distribution layer at some point.

Cisco defines three layers (access, distribution, and core) of devices in the enterprise network. This model ...

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