2007: The year in...network architecture

* A look back at industry developments in the last year

Well, the end of the year certainly crept up on me. This is the last newsletter of 2007, which means it's time for our annual look back at the year that was.

This newsletter changed titles along the way, but frankly, the new name of Network Architecture suits us just as well as LANs & Routers. Throughout the year I've tried to keep a focus on the basic building blocks of our networks.

Heck, we could have kept the even older name of High Speed LANs, given that there was still progress on that front in 2007. We saw some controversy in the IEEE as participants disagreed over whether to pursue 100Gbps or 40Gbps as the next Ethernet standard speed. In the end, they chose both. And then there were the folks talking about the 100G copper option - and the option that really pushes the envelope. Meanwhile, 10 Gigabit Ethernet saw a brighter future in data centers.

The effort to find a more energy-efficient way of doing Ethernet continued, with the formation of an IEEE study group and then a task force to examine what could be done.

IPv6 got more traction in 2007 than in all the years it has been around. We saw IPv6 equipment from more vendors. The federal government mandated that its agencies be IPv6-capable. But at the same time, reticence lingered.

Wireless LAN momentum has not stopped - and, in fact, serious people in serious conversations talked about whether we might leave many wires behind. In storage networking, an endgame for Fibre Channel came into focus with Fibre Channel over Ethernet.

At Network World, one of the greatest developments has been the creation of the Cisco Subnet community of interest, which for most readers of this newsletter is no doubt very interesting indeed. The Subnet has attracted expert bloggers, provided lots of info related to Cisco certifications and training, and even gave away free books.

This industry never stops; the innovation and the progress are just remarkable. I'm looking forward to seeing what 2008 brings. Thanks for reading, and we'll see you next year.

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