When CDN was born, networks were eclectic places. Three primary protocols (IBM Token Ring, ARCNet and Ethernet) were competing for dominance, and network operating systems such as Banyan VINES, Novell NetWare and LAN Manager ran the software side. Even the cabling was complex, with thin and thick coaxial cable (remember the vampire tap?), several types of unshielded twisted pair, and, more recently, optical fibre.
A combination of bad marketing and lagging development, coupled with Microsoft’s standards-based Windows networking and the growth of TCP/IP meant the end of these proprietary stacks, the demise of Banyan and Novell’s decline and subsequent re-invention. Simplified Windows networking meant that networks moved to become a mainstream technology. Wires have given way to wireless in many environments, eliminating one pain point while adding several others. Home networking, once only the province of geeks, has grown as well.