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LAN Turns 30, May Not See 40? 279

Posted by Zonk
from the getting-senile dept.
dratcw writes "The first commercial LAN was based on ARCnet technology and was installed some 30 years ago, according to a ComputerWorld article. Bob Metcalfe, one of the co-inventors of Ethernet, recalls the early battles between the different flavors of LAN and says some claims from the Token Ring backers such as IBM were lies. 'I know that sounds nasty, but for 10 years I had to put up with that crap from the IBM Token Ring people — you bet I'm bitter.' Besides dipping into networking nostalgia, the article also quotes an analyst who says the LAN may be nearing its demise and predicts that all machines will be individually connected to one huge WAN at gigabit speeds. Could the LAN actually be nearing the end of its lifecycle?"
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LAN Turns 30, May Not See 40?

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  • Well, could it? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pharmboy (216950) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:20PM (#22251380) Journal
    Could the LAN actually be nearing the end of its lifecycle?

    Yes. All computers in the future will be stand alone and the Interweb will be shut down.

    Somewhat interesting article, stupid summary question.
    • Re:Well, could it? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dosh8er (608167) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `oamayo'> on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:33PM (#22251690) Homepage Journal
      I used to have a thinnet rg-6 network back in school (10base2)... 2.5MIPS max. Plus you HAD to have a 75ohm terminator on any unused end. Never touched token ring... and from what I hear, a pain! All things considered, the CAT5 spec has been pushed quite a ways, even in the roll-out of CAT6e. These are the types of people that the industry needs. Individuals that can push what we have to the limit (hrmmm... let's twist the wires and then shield them for better resistance against cross-talk, thus improving bandwidth!) I applaud our existing Ethernet Overlords, and welcome the new age of Fiber!

      Seriously, that must be the next thing, since copper, or any conductor, has its limitations.. (speed of the electrons, eddy currents, all that fun science...) With the advent of stopping light, quantum computing (vaporware?) fiber must be next... mmmm... everbody needs a little fiber in their diet!
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by russotto (537200)
        You should have been using RG-58 and 50 ohm terminators... things work much better with the right equipment.
        • When I started out, we had ArcNET (and Netware 2), which was weird - if a card failed either the upstream or downstream station would get bumped off the network. I ended up replacing those machines and that network with coax ethernet (and Netware 386). I even built and pulled the cables myself, had the stripper and crimper and bags of connectors, t's and the odd terminator. For the longest time I had a terminator on my keyring, crucial in finding bad connections.

          When the college decided to rewire, someone f
    • WAN, SCHMAN (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by Moryath (553296)
      Anyone who thinks that wireless everything is the wave of the future has never considered the simple phrase "electromagnetic interference."

      Imagine you and your closest 35 neighbors in an apartment complex, all wanted to use one of the 11 available 802.11 channels for your routers... at once...
      • by markov_chain (202465) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:42PM (#22251860) Homepage
        It doesn't work that way, it's more like a game of chicken-- one guy gets a router first, and then everyone else hops on. First hand experience here :)
      • Re:WAN, SCHMAN (Score:5, Interesting)

        by timeOday (582209) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:50PM (#22252030)
        Imagine if all the people in your apartment had cellphones... Oh, of course they do. And they've all had wireless home phones for 15 years before that. Transponder density doesn't have to be a problem for wireless, it just means you need smarter transponders, and you get to use less power.

        Whatever the limitations of 802.11 may or may not currently be, that doesn't mean much about the long-term prospects of wireless. 10 years ago I would have thought reclaiming the analog TV spectrum would be impossible, now it's happening before our eyes. Outside of a post-nuclear attack scenario, I can't think of any reason to say wireless is inherently unreliable.

        • by Shakrai (717556) *

          that doesn't mean much about the long-term prospects of wireless

          I wouldn't be as dismissive of wireless as the GP was, but he does have something of a point. At the end of the day any wireless network is going to be a shared medium. Different sharing methodologies may net you more bandwidth/users (CDMA vs TDMA) but at the end of the day you can't escape the fact that each device is sharing/competing with others for bandwidth.

          Regardless of the merits of wireless vs wired though, WTF was the author of that article smoking? The LAN is going away in favor of every de

          • Re:WAN, SCHMAN (Score:5, Insightful)

            by snowraver1 (1052510) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @06:22PM (#22253830)
            I think that the author is suggesting that each device will have it's own address (IPv6) and will be connected to the internet directly (possibly VIA shared modem, but with unique addresses). Sure you might only have one pipe coming into your house, but each device has a direct connection to the internet.

            That being said, I completely disagree with the author. There is no way that companies want to put all thier servers (not to mention clients) directly on the Internet. Firewalls will always exist for security reasons, and thus so will LANs.
            • Re:WAN, SCHMAN (Score:4, Informative)

              by ThinkingInBinary (899485) <thinkinginbinary@@@gmail...com> on Thursday January 31, 2008 @06:58PM (#22254494) Homepage

              That being said, I completely disagree with the author. There is no way that companies want to put all thier servers (not to mention clients) directly on the Internet. Firewalls will always exist for security reasons, and thus so will LANs.

              Well, there is a middle ground. Most of the "security" from firewalls today comes from the fact that a public IP will have just a handful of ports forwarded to an internal box, and the services on the box will be listening on the LAN IP. Basically, NAT of various sorts protected everything by default, and you forwarded what you want. Once IPv6 becomes widespread, firewalls will simply restrict the data going in and out, rather than redirecting it to different IPs and/or ports. There will still be home routers/firewalls, but (hopefully) all the boxen behind them won't hide behind their (the routers') addresses.

              • Re:WAN, SCHMAN (Score:4, Insightful)

                by sumdumass (711423) on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:15AM (#22257592) Journal
                One of the problems with placing firewalls directly on the devices instead of in a router or something somewhere is that defect in the devices aren't apparent until after they have been successfully exploited. More public Internet addresses means more problems in the end. Your actually doing yourself a favor by hiding hardware that doesn't need to be directly accessible from the internet in a subnet behind another device. There has been more then one virus that effected/infected the OS or services running on the OS that a simple router would have mitigated.

                I don't expect problems like that to go away anytime within the next 10 years. I can see the effects and probabilities mitigated but not removed. A software firewall hasn't always been the best approach either. Sometimes it would crash the system, in situations like with symantec, the firewall itself could be exploited, and so on. Imagine if everyone did a flood attack or actually had a back door into your devices for years/months before it was noticed and patched.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Drencrom (689725)
              Firewalls will always exist for security reasons, and thus so will LANs

              A firewall does not require NAT to be secure.
              You can have a firewall in the router with public IP addresses on both sides and it will still work just fine.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                It does help to keep the bad guys guessing about your layout. Do you have 1 desktop, or a 100 servers? With NAT, they don't know. Makes a difference when deciding where to attack.
          • by DrYak (748999) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @06:45PM (#22254262) Homepage

            Does my TiVo really need a direct connection to the internet, even a firewalled one?


            Yes, of course ! How do you think that they'll enforce even more stupid forms of DRM (that will force RMS to counter writing even more complex versions of GPL) ?

            And how do you think that de government will spy on you, using the RFID tag reader in your fridge and fine you if you don't buy the mandatory 10% corn-based products required by some law that some lobby pushed ?

            In 10 years, even tinfoil hats will be network-enabled.

        • by Sancho (17056)
          The total bandwidth used by a phone is pretty small, even when it's active. When the phone is inactive, the beacons it sends and receives are trivial.

          Compare to trying to stream live TV at "prime time" (after work when everyone finally gets home.) Compare to bittorrent. The amount of data that personal computers send is pretty high, and increasing all the time. Technical innovation can help somewhat, but you eventually hit a saturation point. Reducing range would certainly go a long way, but I wonder h
      • I agree, maybe because I have to deal with that scenario. :) I had to place it in the center of my apartment, if I get furter than 6 meters away from it, the signal gets worthless. And I have to measure the channels from time to time, to find the optimal one. It is just not very stable in this enviroment.

        And the only problem that the next generation(802.11n) seems to solve is bandwidth, while it enhances the other problem because it is a frequency hog.

        It is obvious why WLANs are popular in homes since you d
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Who the fuck said anything about wireless?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wide_area_network [wikipedia.org]
    • Re:Well, could it? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sm62704 (957197) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:58PM (#22252184) Journal
      I agree, it's a stupid statement. Ethernet may be superceded by newer technologies, but there will always be uses for a local network.

      Some networks, for example, should never be connected to the internet in any way.
      • by somersault (912633) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @05:46PM (#22253118) Homepage Journal

        Some networks, for example, should never be connected to the internet in any way.
        Please don't say such things! What if any Hollywood writers are reading this!? Won't someone please think of the implausible movie scripts? :(
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Warbothong (905464)
        So the assumption is that LANs will go in favour of VPN type stuff over the net because net speeds will be fast enough? I think that's bogus, because people would be doing it now if that's the case. In 10 years time WAN connections will be very fast, yes, but I'm pretty sure LAN connections will be ultra mega fast. Couple this with moves towards thin client type applications being run from a business's server to its desktops and the unknowable crazy application ideas that will spring up thanks to ingenious
    • by JWSmythe (446288) *
      It won't matter after 2012 anyways. That is December 21st 2012, at 11:11. (or was that December 23rd 2012 at 23:23?)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012 [wikipedia.org]

      http://survive2012.com/ [survive2012.com] :)
  • by riseoftheindividual (1214958) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:21PM (#22251402) Homepage
    ... the lan isn't going to disappear, at least not in 10 years. Can you imagine IBM, a defense corp, a huge pharma, etc... ditching their lans for wireless? yeah right, not any time soon.
    • I think he is perhaps alluding to the inevitable fall of LAN to WLAN.
      • by toleraen (831634)
        FTA:

        Reliability is easier to overcome since the Internet is getting more reliable, and if the hardware is cheap enough, I can just get two wireless interface cards, with different carriers, and the computer will load-balance across those links.
        Nope, he's talking direct desktop to WAN connections. Maybe I'm not thinking far enough outside the box, but I can't think of any good reasons (that don't come with several bad reasons) to actually ditch a LAN for a WAN connection.
      • I was assuming that in my response. I don't see the LAN disappearing in the next 10 years for the simple fact that a WLAN is less secure by its very nature than a LAN. Any corporation or entity with information worth stealing, isn't going to be getting rid of their LANs anytime soon. That would be insane. A LAN can have its access points physically secured and tightly controlled and monitored. You go wireless, and you've created a range where people can not only create their own potential access points, but
    • by HornWumpus (783565) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:28PM (#22251580)

      It's not LAN vs wireless, it's LAN vs WAN.

      Running a WAN without using LANs throughout is nonsense. IIRC a WAN is just bridged LANs by definition. Proposing that all the LANs will have one node is just silly.

      Typical Bob Metcalfe of recent years. The man has lost it. Granted I haven't bothered reading anything he's written in a few years.

    • My thought exactly. When I first started working for the company I do now, every one of the workstations on campus had a public IP address. And then all of the sudden people started getting Net Send messages for Viagra.

      I don't want every computer in the world to be able to see my computer, at least not directly. Perhaps I'm missing a point here but seems to me that as long as there is a need for firewalls, there is going to be a need for LAN's.
      • NAT != Firewall. (Score:5, Informative)

        by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:57PM (#22252174) Journal
        There's nothing more to say to you until you get that one, crucial point: Firewalls do not have to be NATs, and NATs don't have to firewall. And you need a firewall whether or not you have a NAT.

        Once you do, understand that NAT is a brutally ugly hack. It's much easier and more powerful to simply be able to open a firewall port than to have to forward ports.

        And you do need a firewall on your computer -- that, or just turn services off. If you don't do one of the two, wireless will bite you someday.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jeremyp (130771)
          NAT is here to stay and it's not an ugly hack. A company like, say, IBM does not want to have to go to ICANN every time it hooks another laptop to its internal network. Nor does the rest of the Internet need to know about IBM's internal network topology. NAT is actually a useful piece of technology to make TCP/IP networks manageable.

    • Not to mention those wireless LANs (yes, they're still a LAN!) have to connect back to wired at some point.

      And once you get into a large corporation or datacenter, LANs, VLANs, and subnets multiply, they don't shrink.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by m50d (797211)
      You think their LANs are secure?

      Seriously, in a corp that big, your machines need to be as secure as if they were on the internet anyway. You can't and won't secure that much cable, building and personnel.

      I think LANs will continue to exist out of sheer practicality though. What's easier, wiring up every computer in the building to the internet, or wiring the building computers together and then getting internet to one of them?

    • HIPAA [wikipedia.org] exist, medical offices, dental offices, chiropractor offices, psychiatrist offices and many others in the same fields will not change over to wireless. I firmly believe that even with the advances in wireless encryption and a greater focus on security, wireless offices in the medical field (especially those in dense city regions) should not be installed.

      Plus, due to the "sue happy" mentality that exists in the United States of America these days I would not put it past someone to break the wireless

  • by AltGrendel (175092) <ag-slashdot@@@exit0...us> on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:23PM (#22251452) Homepage
    People and businesses will always want to keep some things privately networked.

    Or at least, they should, but then people do some pretty stupid things sometimes.

    • by owlstead (636356)
      Since I don't see how AES is going to be cracked within a few decades. Seriously, that should be enough protection for a while. It is very possible to create VLAN's relying on cryptography on a wireless network.

      Of course, there are a lot of other reasons why a LAN might be a better idea than WLAN, but network separation might not be the biggest issue.
    • by DigitAl56K (805623) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @05:15PM (#22252514)
      LAN's are not only about privacy and security, but also:

      * Putting you in control of your own infrastructure
      * Ensuring quality of service (e.g. bandwidth that is not shared with the rest of the world)
      * Managing your own costs .. and more. Of course, as far as privacy and security is concerned, if the LAN goes away and we use an open network, the Government is going to be free to snoop on whatever traffic they like. Queue the "encryption" fanatics...
  • by Adambomb (118938) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:24PM (#22251466) Journal
    Don't trust any spec over 40.

    wait...
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      Offtopic for the article but on topic for your comment, I'm old enough to remember when they said "Never trust anyone over 30".

      They were right. They should have added, however, that you shouldn't trust anyone under 31 either.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Don't trust any spec over 40.
      Really? In that case:

      I pronounce imminent the death of:
      ASCII
      UNIX
      the mouse
      the QWERTY keyboard
      RS-232
      SMTP

      and lots of other completely useless technology.

  • thus business isn't going there.
  • LAN or WAN (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lthown (737539) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:25PM (#22251492)
    doesn't matter what you want to call it, two computers connected to a local router/hub is a LOCAL area network.
    • No, it is called am "On Ramp".

  • Yawn... (Score:5, Funny)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:26PM (#22251516) Journal
    Yes yes, and we'll have flying cars and robots cooking our meals.

    Prognosticator didn't used to be a synonym for clueless shithead. Thanks to Dvorak, that has changed, and looking at the clueless shitheads he's spawned.
    • by Lumpy (12016)
      I have had cars cooking meals for years. Many times when Winter offroading we would wrap hotdogs or other items in tinfoil and plop them on the headers after a run. Cooks the hotdogs really well. I even did it on snowmobiles mufflers several times. Cars cooking meals is actually the easiest way.
  • ...have been greatly exaggerated, methinks.

    From TFA:

    Firms are finding that they can skip cabling and adopt wireless networks. The next step is to give each machine a direct Internet connection, with appropriate security technology, skipping the LAN, he predicted.


    Nice caveat..."appropriate security technology"...that one reason is why this move to the "huge WAN" won't be happening anytime soon.
    • What he's describing is merely an infrastructure change, not fundamentally different than going from co-ax to twisted pair. Yes, it will be via WiFi, but it's still in a LAN. One of the branch offices I administer has an access point for a notebook and a few computers located where it would be difficult to get Ethernet into, but they're still on a LAN segment. If I decided tomorrow to pull out all the Ethernet save between the access point and the router, they'd still be on a LAN segment.

    • by Znork (31774)
      Uh huh. I find it more likely that we'll see a huge advance in on-site corporate cell and wireless blockers, to prevent exactly that 'each machine with a direct internet connection'. They didnt build and implement all those pesky internet filters just to have the employees stick an cell card in their laptop and bypass it.

      Not to mention that comparatively, wireless is about as fast as a dial-up modem used to be ten years ago. You can live with it. If you have no other choice.

      Personally I need/want gigabit s
    • Nice caveat..."appropriate security technology"...that one reason is why this move to the "huge WAN" won't be happening anytime soon.

      So what's the advantage of a LAN? NAT?

      Erm... If you're just using a NAT as a firewall, why not use, I don't know, an actual firewall? Router/firewall doesn't have to imply NAT.

    • by ivan256 (17499)
      Since there are still plenty of Gigabit Token Ring networks in existence, prediction of LANs demise should come from somebody who doesn't think Token Ring is dead for it to be credible.

      10 years after the last RS232->Dumb terminal network is retired, *maybe* we'll see the retirement of the last 10base-T Ethernet LAN. Maybe. Entrenched technology doesn't die, no matter how much you wish it would.
  • Could the LAN actually be nearing the end of its lifecycle?

    Pending some fantastic breakthrough, it will always be cheaper and easier to send lots of data across a small distance than to send lots of data across a long distance. Thus LAN technology will be faster/cheaper and continue to exist.

  • going away? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:26PM (#22251540)
    Could the LAN actually be nearing the end of its lifecycle?

    Not as long as they let me control my own home network...
    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by dpilot (134227)
      They came for the xxx, and I said nothing, because I was not xxx.
      Then they came for the yyy, and I said nothing, because I was not yyy.
      etc, etc, etc

      Then they came for the home networkers, and I couldn't complain, because there was no route available...

      How many subnets in your home does it take to qualify?
  • by Linker3000 (626634) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:29PM (#22251588) Journal
    Let me count the ways:

    Infanet
    ARCnet
    10Net
    Appletalk
    Token Ring
    Ethernet: Thick/thin/UTP/STP/fibre/wireless

  • 'LAN' ? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Stavr0 (35032) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:29PM (#22251592) Homepage Journal
    "Are you from the past?" -- Roy, The IT Crowd

    We call that 'Intranet' nowadays.

  • ...do NOT miss our ARCnet-wielding overlords.

    DIP switches to set the address, and without a list of existing addresses, was a recipe for disaster for fresh installs. In addition it used coax, which some of the older field techs here can probably attest to having seen crimped with pliers. Terminators on both ends.

    Bleah.

    Yup, it's much better to network today.

    • ...do NOT miss our ARCnet-wielding overlords.

      Compared to NO NETWORK, ARCnet wasn't bad.

    • by Lxy (80823)
      Terminators on both ends

      You're supposed to terminate ARCnet? That explains a lot......

      OK, so a testament to ARCnet. Our ARCnet implentation looked more like a TV coax set up. Need to add a computer? Just Y the coax off again. Somebody sold a 3 way splitter gizmo, as long as you used it in combination with the repeater/hub it worked. Well, sort of.

      I wonder how well it would have worked had we actually terminated it.
    • by Stavr0 (35032)
      CoAx? Luxury!

      I had to install a 50 workstation LAN with UTP cabling and hand-crimped 50 ohm terminating resistors onto RJ11 plugs.

      Uphill.

      Both ways

      • by rickb928 (945187)
        Yeah, but did you have to terminate everything while on a ladder, above the ceiling grid, no flashlight, and a defective flourescent ballast putting 80VAC on the metal, sweating away in 105 degree heat?

        And make your own resistors out of tinfoil and old pencils?

        Ah, those were the days. Vampire taps were a blessing!
  • by MavEtJu (241979) <slashdot@mave[ ].org ['tju' in gap]> on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:32PM (#22251656) Homepage
    The LAN as we knew it, the one ethernet cable going through all rooms and being looped on the wall with a small jumper, is already dead for a long time.

    The LAN as we know it, one central switch with a lot of ethernet cables getting out to individual ports in rooms, has been here for ages.

    What didn't go away was the local addressing methods for sending data to all hosts (broadcast) and interaction with higher level protocols (ARP for determining the IP address).

    The LAN as we are going to know it, a bunch of intercepted central-and-not-so-central switches which put you in the right (V)LAN when you plug in your computer to a random port connected to it, is here also if your organisation requires it, but for smaller organisations this is not really necessary:

    and predicts that all machines will be individually connected to one huge WAN at gigabit speeds

    You need a gigabit WAN for that to work, not all smaller organisations have the need for this. But yes I have rolled it out for two customers.
    • by Bandman (86149)
      yadda yadda yadda subscribe to your newsletter, etc etc etc

      Seriously though, I'd be interested in talking to you about methods for getting separate sites networked together properly. I'm just looking for advice to see if I'm doing it the right way. Do you mind if I toss you an email?
  • by ngr8 (504185) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:36PM (#22251756) Journal
    Funny. I'd been talking about this MiniTruth and Token Ring phenomena with a friend just the other day. Whilst being all corporate, actually had an IBM SE come up to me and tell me that I was risking my [redacted big honkin company] through the advocacy of Ethernet.

    Two months later, at a big conference for all True Believers conducted by IBM, actually heard IBM plants in the audience doing the amen corner thing with Greek Chorus of "alas, Ethernet would kill the King" lines.... up to the "802.3 will make it hurt when you pee" level of nonsense.

    The fact that a 3745 [burly iron werken] running remotely was actually running on the backup token ring thingie for a month before it fell over and died because the primary ring had never worked [vague memory of route discovery]was, well, pretty f'n sweet.

    IBM's always been a great company, seriously, but the LAN wars were not its finest hour.
    • by Intron (870560)
      And yet fibre channel loops are essentially token ring and fabrics are switched. High speed networks work better with tokens than with collision detect and you can use a higher percentage of the bandwidth. The problem with collision detect is the idle time waiting to make sure that you are the only one trying to talk. For short packets you lose up to 50% of the bandwidth.
  • unless every computer is running OpenBSD level of security, i wont trust business-confidential and mission-critical systems lying around a huge global WAN with no firewall to offer some level of protection.

    Besides, data requirements will go up, so when our WAN gets to gigabit level speeds, our LAN might approach terabit.

    10 years ago we were satisfied with basic web pages and a couple javascripts. currently we're satisfied with AJAX and that low-quality feed from YouTube. 10 years from now we might need high
  • I don't really think the LAN will ever become obsolete. There will always be unmanaged network equipment that is cheaper and higher speed than that which the Internet provider can supply.

    For residential with a small number of computers and a relatively unsophisticated network layout (a few computers that do minor file/print sharing, a laptop or two, a game console), yes, the wireless gig connection straight to Internet may be the replacement for the LAN as we know it.

    For many in the Slashdot crowd, who have
  • ISPs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by spartacus06 (1121201) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:42PM (#22251874)
    As long as residential ISPs only let you have 1 IP address, there will be LANs. Maybe they will get more generous with IPv6 (yeah right).
    • As long as residential ISPs only let you have 1 IP address, there will be LANs.

      Huh? I have a residential phone line, and residential DSL, all through ATT -- I get 5 IP addresses.
  • Since the rise of switches and demise of hubs, the topological difference between a LAN and a WAN is a lot less important.

    In the old days, the concept of "lan segments" actually had meaning. Barring special redundancy features, a flaky device or a kink in the cable could bring down the whole network. Now it typically brings down just the link between two devices.

    Now Ethernet is pretty much point-to-point: device-to-switch/router or switch-router to switch/router along a dedicated connection.

    The local are
    • I woul love to see the MAC lookup tables on one of those world wide switches. it makes complaining about the unrelated jumbo frame buffers seem like small potato.

      But yes long live the World Wide LAN, and the new SAN Stelar area network.
  • but COAX shakes it's copper at you and tells you to keep your computer turned on and stay off it's lawn.
  • So where's the complete list of Token Ring flaws, deficiencies, short-comings, fud, and the rest?
  • by dazedNconfuzed (154242) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:54PM (#22252108)
    That reasoning amounts to expecting every doorway from every room to open onto a major automotive freeway.

    LANs will survive indefinitely precisely because sometimes your data is just feet or yards away ... and because even Internet backbones can't handle the load of routing data for everyone's personal networked printers, storage servers, and media terminals.
  • Reliability (Score:5, Funny)

    by KalvinB (205500) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @04:57PM (#22252172) Homepage
    Until WAN routers are cheap and reliable, it won't happen. I've had the same $30 Netgear router I've had for 5 years without any issues. My Belkin wireless router can't go a day without being unreliable. The Mac Mini had a hard time connecting to web-sites until we switched from wireless to LAN.

    When you need 100% uptime you can go with a $30 router or spend significantly more than that for a wireless router and network card that won't ever drop your connection.

    I'll keep my wires thank you very much.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by deanlandolt (1004507)
      Insightful? Not Funny? Mods, really?!

      That dubya in WAN does not stand for Wireless. It stands for "Wide [wikipedia.org]:, as in, as wide as the internets. That Belkin you speak of creates its own little LAN; a WLAN, if you will.
  • In all likelihood wired local networks will continue to be useful for a long time. Among other things, the fact that the link is tangible makes it good for risk management. Want it disconnected? Unplug the cable. Under those circumstances, there's nothing software can do to re-establish the connection. Likewise, physical security of a data link is much easier to establish if the link is tangible. Home users aren't likely to care about this but corporate users probably will.

    Beyond that, as long as tang
  • One day I'm sure I'll have a fiber optic cable coming into my house, but am I going to connect every machine in the house to its own fiber optic cable? What's going to distribute that high speed connection to all the machines in my house? The blogosphere?

    I suppose you can make an argument that every machine will be addressable from the public network with its own IPv6 address, and thus they're all part of one big happy network. You're still going to have a firewall in between your machines and the rest o
  • I wonder what this "analyst" actually knows about networking and network security... Probably just another futures snake-oil salesman.

    We're just going to put everything naked out on the public Intarweb tubes thingee and do it WIRELESSLY?

    I have two words for that idea.

    MY ASS!

    Why the hell would any sane (and even most of the insane) network administrations trade centralized threat management control for redundant controls on each and every box? I mean, yeah, the power is there to do that. But for Bob's sa

  • by mikkelm (1000451)
    After reading through endless fields of stupidity, I've adopted a policy of ignoring people who make outrageous, yet unsubstantiated claims about technology y while casually associating these outlooks with irrelevant quantities of x.

    If you're going to predict the death of the most ubiquitous layer 2 technology, you damn well better have something more to present than "In the future we'll all be on the Internet directly and it'll be like really fast". What relevance does a pointless and, quite frankly, ignor
  • Well, Token-Ring did have one interesting feature, which was on the other hand poorly implemented as all the rest: an hermaphroditic (or gender-neutral) connector. Each connector would mate with another connector of the exact same shape, rotated in the opposite direction. That would make cable extensions trivial, never having to worry whether you needed a male-male, female-female, or male-female cable: they were all identical! The nice concept was, sure enough, poorly executed; the connectors required addit
  • by gweihir (88907) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @06:44PM (#22254254)
    ...from people that do not unserstand how tese things work. The LAN is not about technology. It is about hierachical organization, proplem encapsulation and cost. These factors will not go away, wery likely not ever.

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