Physical vs Virtual Network Segmentation

In 1990, networking equipment manufacturer, Kalpana, introduced the first multi-port LAN switch, which significantly enhanced Ethernet networks and paved the way for modern switch solutions. Cisco later acquired Kalpana in 1994.

For the next 10-15 years, the only devices connected to these networks were data terminals. During this period, the objective was to continually deliver an increasing amount of bandwidth to these data terminals, as demand for faster speeds increased.

Today, organizations are deploying an increasing number of internet-connected devices onto the local area network, including IP phones, IP wireless access points, and IP intercoms. These new devices are being layered onto a network that was designed for data terminals. However, IP and IoT devices have significantly different requirements than a traditional data terminal.

IP phones, for example, require real-time data delivery and are highly latency-sensitive. However, IP communication is being layered onto a switch fabric designed for near-time data delivery with an emphasis on delivering an increasing amount of bandwidth.

Given the technology available at the time, VLAN solutions were introduced to virtually segment the network. However, the local area network has become incredibly complex, difficult to manage, and costly.

Today, new switch innovations are available, and VLANs may no longer be the most effective strategy. NVT Phybridge switch innovations allow organizations to create a physically separate network for various IP devices and applications. Organizations can leverage any new or existing infrastructure to create a physically separate, robust, and secure Power over Ethernet backbone for any smart device. Additionally, these networks can be centrally converged using a single wire in a highly controlled manner. We have helped many organizations leverage their existing point-to-point network topologies to achieve the same five 9’s of reliability that was experienced with analog systems.

This allows businesses to create LAN strategies based on the requirements of the endpoint device. Frost & Sullivan refer to this as the “outside-in approach” in the Modern LAN literature. Cisco refers to this as “intent-based networking”. Both refer to establishing a purpose-driven network that is specifically designed to support the application and endpoint being enabled. This strategy can provide amazing benefits to the end-user:

  • No compromise to the existing data network
  • Simple and fast modernization to IP
  • Reduced cost and business disruption
  • Secure and reliable PoE network
  • A network that is simple for IT teams to manage

Many hospitals that we have worked with prefer to establish physically separate networks for voice and emergency phone systems because they need to maintain 24/7 up-time to ensure safety. This kind of reliability and performance is available for any organization, not just those in healthcare.

Spend less of your digital transformation budget on infrastructure and more on the ROI-driving factors, such as the endpoints and applications that provide business value. Is your organization looking to modernize to IP or the Internet of Things? Let us help you simplify network requirements while creating a robust and reliable PoE backbone for any IP device.

If you have an upcoming IP/IoT modernization project, we would love to help! Click below to book a one-on-one meeting with one of our Digital Transformation Consultants.

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