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Token Ring vs. Ethernet on campus

I'm working on a project on a high school campus. I have four computer labs (one that needs high speed communications) that are currently on a token ring network but not connected to each other. Should I connect the labs keeping the token ring or convert to an Ethernet network?

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My suggestion would be to convert to Ethernet. Not that token ring wouldn?t work fine, but Ethernet has become more of the standard being used today. Ethernet has faster speeds available today and much faster speeds on the horizon (1000BaseT and 10000BaseT). Also Ethernet equipment is cheaper. Probably the best reason however, is that Ethernet is a non-deterministic protocol. Token ring on the other hand is deterministic, which means that the data (frames) must pass through every device on the network on its path to its destination. In a large network, this can cause heavy network traffic jams. Ethernet is much more efficient for large networks, which will give you plenty of growth potential for your environment.

This was first published in June 2001

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