Segmenting a network is simply separating parts of the network through hubs, switches, or routers. Segments usually divide a network into groups of computers that do the same kind of work and communicate with each other frequently. Segments help keep communications from unrelated or unnecessary devices separate while reducing the number of machines that are all trying to use the entire network simultaneously, resulting in network congestion. Segmentation provides better network performance and a better distribution of bandwidth to component machines.
Ethernet segments are hardwired elements of the network. They use Ethernet cables to connect a limited number of computers through a single access point like a switch, hub, or router. Keeping the number of computers in an individual segment small affects performance, as the network signal passes through the one switch or hub to all the computers in that segment. While wired networks are faster and more secure by definition, connecting too many machines through one switch or hub can still degrade speed and security.
Computers grouped together in segments share information efficiently, but they can also share viruses and malware. One of the benefits of Ethernet segments is that only those machines connected with cables to the switch or hub that brings network connectivity to that segment would be infected. The machines in one segment don’t communicate with machines in another, minimizing the damage from security breaches and attacks.
Segments can be protected with firewalls, access codes, and other methods of ensuring that only authorized machines communicate with other authorized machines. All the hosts on a network take advantage of network connectivity, but they are protected from all devices that aren’t part of their sub-network or segment.
As networks expand, segmenting becomes more imperative to maintain performance, conserve bandwidth, and ensure network security. Using wired connections for at least part of the network will provide these benefits of Ethernet segments for your business. As network administrators and designers add more devices and create additional segments, they can buy cables online to connect additional Ethernet segments to the overall network.