computing, applications required minimal bandwidth and were relatively time sensitive, andtraffic flows were deterministic between dumb terminals and the mainframe. Capacity planninginvolved designing efficient topologies, scaling switches, and sizing trunk lines. These wererelatively straightforward problems, since the application environment was stable and userrequirements were well understood.
Terminal-HostClient-ServerCorporateIntranetTextBursty FilesMixed + MultimediaNetwareGroupwareSAPTransactionNetscapeNavigatorInternetExplorerPointCastOS/400CICSIMSPROFS
Figure 1. Evolution of Corporate NetworksAs networks evolved toward interconnected LANs supporting the client/server model, planningbecame more difficult. Client/server applications were much more bandwidth intensive andextremely time sensitive. Traffic flows were distributed across the entire network, although theywere relatively deterministic. Network managers were faced with the more complex challenge of defining a hierarchy and ensuring that traffic flowed across it, but deterministic traffic flowsaided in the development of applications that successfully addressed business needs.The intranet model is the latest step in the evolution of enterprise networks to a peer-to-peercomputing paradigm. The advent of the corporate intranet is replacing traditional client/serverapplications with new concepts of information sharing and Web navigation. Emerging intranetapplications are both bandwidth intensive and time sensitive, often requiring support for voice,video, and data multimedia applications across a common infrastructure. To make things evenmore challenging, these applications can be deployed by individual workgroups in anunstructured manner without centralized planning. This results in peer-to-peer flows that aremuch less deterministic than traditional client/server applications while consuming unpredictableamounts of bandwidth.The corporate intranet model places new demands on the networking infrastructure: