Gartner Research

Local Area Networks

Published: 13 September 2005

ID: G00203153

Analyst(s): David Passmore


Although wireless local area networks (WLANs) have garnered the most publicity, significant advancements have also occurred with wired LANs. Declines in 10 Gigabit Ethernet prices, the imminent approval of the 10GBASE-T standard, and growing use of Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop have given network managers additional choices. Burton Group has updated the Reference Architecture Technical Position, "Local Area Networks," to reflect these changes and provide guidance for network managers.

Table Of Contents

Decision Point

Typical Requirements

  • Access Network
  • Backbone Network
  • Logical Traffic Segregation
  • Electrical Power Distribution


  • LAN Type
  • Switched vs. Shared LANs
  • Logical LANs (VLANs and ELANs)
  • LAN Electrical Power

Future Developments

  • Standardized Ethernet Jumbo Frame
  • 802.3as Frame Expansion
  • Power over Ethernet Plus
  • 802.3aq 10 Gbps on Multi-mode Fiber

Evaluation Criteria

Statement & Basis for Position

  • LAN Access Position
    • Workstations and servers will be connected to the network via dedicated 1,000 Mbps switched Gigabit Ethernet for network access.
    • Workstations and servers will be connected to the network via dedicated 100 Mbps switched Fast Ethernet for network access.
  • LAN Backbone Position
    • Deploy a 10 Gigabit Ethernet backbone link between the pair of switches/routers.
    • Deploy a Gigabit Ethernet backbone link between the pair of switches/routers.
  • Logical LANs (VLANs) Position
    • Use VLANs to allow roaming among WLAN access points.
    • Use VLANs to provide security for VoIP.
    • Use VLANs to isolate traffic for security reasons.
    • VLANs should not be used.
  • Power over Ethernet Position
    • Implement 802.3af PoE.
    • PoE is not required.

Relationship to Other Components

Revision History

©2020 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and its affiliates. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartner’s prior written permission. It consists of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization, which should not be construed as statements of fact. While the information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartner research may address legal and financial issues, Gartner does not provide legal or investment advice and its research should not be construed or used as such. Your access and use of this publication are governed by Gartner’s Usage Policy. Gartner prides itself on its reputation for independence and objectivity. Its research is produced independently by its research organization without input or influence from any third party. For further information, see Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity.

Already have a Gartner Account?

Become a client

Learn how to access this content as a Gartner client.