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10 gigabit Ethernet: 6 reasons businesses should upgrade

10 gigabit Ethernet (or 10 GB Ethernet, 10 GbE) is the most recent advancement of the networking technology.

What is 10 gigabit Ethernet?

“Ethernet” is the shorthand term for the manner in which one can physically connect computers and devices using an Ethernet switch and the appropriate cables. This relatively small, local area network is referred to as a LAN. LANs can be made of only a few pieces of hardware in a home office, or they can be large enough to encompass an entire retail store or college campus. 

Traditional Ethernet, with a speed of 1 gigabit, has been used in various networks for decades. This speaks volumes about its usefulness and ease of application. 10 gigabit Ethernet, often abbreviated as 10 GB or 10 GbE, is ten times the faster than its predecessor.

Why your small business should upgrade to 10 gigabit Ethernet?

Making upgrades to any established network takes careful consideration, budgeting, and planning. Here is a list of six ways that an upgrade to 10 GB Ethernet can help your small business grow and compete for years to come:

1. 10 gigabit Ethernet is faster

Small businesses and data centers have become increasingly virtualized, connected, and dense with computers and other hardware required to stay constantly connected. In many offices, congested networks of speedy, high-output devices have outpaced their network infrastructure. An upgrade to 10 gigabit Ethernet removes the network bottleneck and allows for faster communication between devices thanks to its added speed.

2. Make your small business more flexible

10 GB ethernet grants small businesses the headroom required to expand operations without obstacles and without compromise. A network foundation built on 10 GB Ethernet is the smartest way to ensure smooth sailing with regard to network growth and density as the new technology is designed for scalability.

3. 10 gigabit Ethernet takes up less space

Even the most well organized data centers can use a little breathing room. 10 GB Ethernet switches provide far more power in a physically compact package. Entire cabinets of traditional Ethernet switches can be exchanged for only a few 10 gigabit models. Fewer switches means less cable, and less clutter in general means that your data center can benefit from better airflow, less maintenance, and more efficient temperature management.

4. You can keep up with data requirements

Data requirements double at a rate of every two years. The new standard of HD video, the increasing prevalence of 4K streaming content, and employees often using their own personal devices at the office has resulted in a huge impact on office data usage. Electronic door locks, security cameras, and card readers are also easily forgotten when it comes to considering how much data your network will generate. Businesses that migrate to 10 GB Ethernet networks are able to sidestep drag on their LANs and still manage more bandwidth and deeper connectivity.

5. You can probably use a lot of what you already have

One of the biggest financial and logistical obstacles when it comes to major upgrades is that you can rarely replace one component without then needing to replace those associated with it. To take advantage of all that 10 GB Ethernet has to offer, you need Cat 6 or higher cables. Another option is a full upgrade to fiber cables. This is a significant obstacle in the way of updating, but many manufacturers have accommodated this by offering 10 gigabit Ethernet switches that support different speeds across different cable types. Purchasing a switch with this option allows businesses to build a new 10 GB network without necessitating a simultaneous, full scale cable replacement.

6. 10 gigabit Ethernet has become more affordable

The cost of an upgrade has to be weighed against the business gains. 10 GB Ethernet has become more affordable partly because of the availability of refurbished switches and hardware. Many refurbished switches still have warranties in place, and there is also an advantage in using equipment that has already been tested in the real world. Not being an early adopter allows you to avoid many of the bugs and surprises associated with a brand new, untested product.


Businesses everywhere strive to improve efficiency and maximize output. The advent and application of 10 GB Ethernet is an important step forward in achieving your small business goals.

An upgrade to 10 GB Ethernet for your small business:

  • Allows for greater network speed and reliability
  • Future-proofs your small business for growing data demands
  • Ensures a less cluttered and cooler data center
  • Permits unhindered network growth


Derek Walborn
Derek Walborn
Derek Walborn is a freelance research-based technical writer. He has worked as a content QA analyst for AT&T and Pernod Ricard.

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10 gigabit Ethernet: 6 reasons businesses should upgrade