Gigabit Ethernet--The Core of the Network
Picture this: Ten prepress personnel are all working on separate files. One is retouching color, a second is manipulating images, a third selecting fonts, a fourth is scanning art and formatting the art on a template, and so on. All 10 people are gaining access to the server at the same time through a traditional server route.
"Imagine 10 people all trying to sip 10 ounces of water per second through a thin straw. And each of those 10 straws is connected to another main straw, which is connected to the water source," 3Com's Marshall suggests. "Now, imagine your server is the water source, with all these different workstations tapping into it for data. You are going to need one very fat straw connecting all these smaller straws to the water source—otherwise, only one out of 10 employees will work productively."
Gigabit ethernet is one fat straw. For example, with gigabit ethernet in place, printers and service bureaus with multi-platform sites can enhance the efficiency of transferring large files, thus dramatically increasing prepress performance.
"Gigabit ethernet is a technology targeting the prepress environments of the Top 500 commercial printers in the United States and beyond," Marshall adds. Based in Santa Clara, CA, 3Com offers larger printing companies a range of chassis-based switches for the core of the network, including the CoreBuilder 9000 and the CoreBuilder 3500. For the medium- to small-sized printer backbone or the large company workgroup, 3Com offers a range of gigabit ethernet stackable switches, including the SuperStack II 9300, 3900, 9000 and other fast ethernet switches with gigabit ethernet uplinks.
"As more and more of publishing production and the printing process go digital—and are further challenged by issues like CTP, digital workflow and content management—top executives at publishing and printing companies are going to recognize the need for a digital infrastructure to support such a digital effort," Marshall says.