I bought a 4-port hub last week. It's probably that which has skewed the figures..
The server market may have stalled a bit as Intel, AMD, IBM, Oracle, and Fujitsu work through various stages of processor transitions, but the Ethernet switch market is going gangbusters. According to the box counters at IDC, the worldwide market for Layer 2 and 3 switching gear that adheres to the Ethernet protocol accounted …
It's got be a typical case of Everyone Who Wants One Has One Syndrome.
Personally, I expect the reason why nobody is buying any of the lower end gear is because you can pick up professional gear from ebay that's been replaced just because the warrenty's run out.
Apart from the lack of warranties, my home is better equipped than any site bar our head office.
Very true. You can pick up Cisco 3524XL (very old) or a 3550 (old) which are 24 port 100/10 managed switches for next to nothing. Ive seen these running for over 8 years with no problems.
I wouldn't use Catalyst 3500XL's in my home let alone an office. The world has moved on a lot since these switches were released ~15 years ago. A cheap gigabit switch will provide better functionality and use less power. The 3550's are still a pretty good switch if you have layer-3 requirements.
If only I could convince one of our customers who has a large London office with around 20 of them still in use that it was worthwhile replacing the equipment rather than paying for engineering time to try and paper over the cracks....
Cisco is still telling customers they need to replace their switches every few years. Suddenly IOS updates are requiring disruptive restarts versus the no-downtime dual controller firmware updates.... Yes, I am complaining off topic a bit.
Ahhh Speed ..
If you have never played with 40 Gb Ethernet and Solid State Drives, you have no clue what you are missing. Everything happens blazingly fast. File tansfer dialog boxes don't even start up for 250 MB files because the transfer happens so fast. A 1 GB file is fully on your machine from a file share in less than 3 seconds in a standard configuration. It takes that long because the SSD on the server can't give it up any faster. Once Server 2012 hits the mainstream everyone will be able to create file servers that dish up data at blazing speeds without a SAN and even without a switch for a small number of users.
Re: Ahhh Speed ..
"Once Server 2012 hits the mainstream everyone will be able to create file servers that dish up data at blazing speeds without a SAN and even without a switch for a small number of users."
Which universe do you live in?
1Gb ethernet is enough to max out most HDDs in terms of peer to peer.
So unless your desktops are full of SSDs it's a bit overkill.
However, nout wrong with going for it if you have the budget :)