If the analysts are correct, corporations will soon be retiring their routers and getting ready exclusively for Ethernets.

"Routers were designed to handle routing of multiple protocols, provide speed matching between relatively high-speed LANs and slow-speed WANs and convert between LAN and WAN technologies," says Bob Hafner, a Gartner analyst. "When it’s all Ethernet and all IP, these functions will no longer be required." Hafner spoke at Gartner Spring Symposium IT Expo 2001 in Denver.

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