Currently connecting approximately 85 percent of the world’s LAN-based personal computers and workstations, Ethernet remains the networking technology of choice. The technology has been extended far beyond its original 10 Megabit per second (Mbps) data transmission rate, with Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet now the norm and 10 Gigabit Ethernet on the horizon.

Even though gigabit connections are proliferating across most computing platforms, most often these connections do not generate sustained gigabit data transmission. For many networks, upgrading current chassis equipment is far more desirable than implementing a forklift upgrade that may not be immediately necessary. In networks where a new infrastructure platform does make sense, the ability to intelligently oversubscribe data ports can greatly improve utilization and extend the life of the new system.