Advantages- The biggest advantage is cost. In many buildings there is cabling, PBX equipment, telephones, equipment rooms, and staff to engineer, maintain, budget, plan, manage change, etc., to support the voice infrastructure. Then there is cabling, routers, switches, computers, equipment rooms and staff to engineer, maintain, plan budgets, plan strategy, manage change, etc., to support the data infrastructure. If these two environments, voice and data, could be provided over the same infrastructure, the savings would be immense. Moving voice and data services to a common network allows enterprises to access data faster. Another benefit is efficiency. Network convergence enables management of multiple protocols throughout the data center from a centralized management console. Network convergence fully complements virtualization initiatives and provides the foundation for a truly agile end-to-end infrastructure.
Disadvantages- One of the biggest disadvantages is that is creates a single point of failure. Take a sales company for instance. If the internet were to go down, they could still pick up the phone and make sales calls. Converged networks have the cumulative effect of introducing a new risk to data assets that did not exist in the old world of network stovepipes: a “monolithic point of failure”. This is distinct from a “single point of failure”, which indicates a point in an application, system or process where a collapse impacts that particular application system or process. A monolithic point of failure has impacts spreading far beyond a given application, system or process; everything is impacted: data, voice, remote monitoring, manufacturing, and access control. Formerly, one communications system may have been largely unaffected by a failure in another network; for example, the LAN drops so people pick up the phone. Under convergence, a... [continues]
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