When Flow Control is not a Good Thing
Judging from some of the feedback in the gigabit switch reviews we've published this year—8 Port Gigabit Switch Roundup | $250 Gigabit Smart Switch Roundup—some readers are having problems getting the boost in performance they expected from upgrading to a gigabit LAN.
The problems usually arise when there is a mixture of gigabit and Fast Ethernet (100 Mbps) clients. The problem scenario usually involves simultaneous transfers from a single gigabit-equipped client to a mix of gigabit and Fast Ethernet clients. Figure 1 illustrates the troublesome setup. (The Netgear switch is just used for illustration. The problem is common to virtually all non-managed gigabit switches.)