Versa Transceiver Technologies Make Multi-Cable Networks Click

Versa Transceiver Technologies Make Multi-Cable Networks Click

Network installers and IT administrators continue the move toward green. To recapture and use existing cabling infrastructures, and allocate the money in their budgets to purchase better devices, savvy thinkers are opting to deploy transceivers. As you probably already know, a network transceiver spans the gap between Ethernet and coax, Ethernet and fiber, and between coax and fiber. It also links single-mode and multi-mode cabling deployments. This article is going to pull together the pieces for a quick view resource. It’s not rocket science, but it is sophisticated enough where a one-stop reference might make life easier.

What is SPF+?

Small Form-factor Pluggable PLUS (SFP+) is a small, second-generation optical transceiver used to convert back and forth between optical and electrical signals. They plug into the SFP port of a network switch. It is used to connect to Fiber Channel and Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) optical fiber cables together in one network. They are plug-and-play devices following the trend toward simplification. They are part of the GBIC transceiver family. They are specificially designed to support 10G performance.

What is the difference between SFP and SFP+?

The primary difference between the two technologies is data rate. The SFP maxes out at 5 Gbps, while the SFP+ is designed to reach 10 Gbps. Both are used in applications for both telecom and datacom.Impedance is better in the plus design.

Why is the faster 10 Gbps speed better?

At present, 1000BASE technologies are still in the 2.5 Gbps to 5 Gbps range, so no apparent difference. Over the next 5 years, though, expect devices to start cracking through that ceiling. The Internet, however, is a different matter.

What is 10 Gbps Internet?

Does 10 Gbps Internet even exist? Blame it on Bitcoin and the mining community because not everyone can afford to pay $300 a month for this kind of service. According to the media outlet Motherboard, ISPs began to offer this type of service sometime around 2016. One man with a radiology based business in Chattanooga TN was one of the first to purchase it.Internet Speed TestTest Your Internet Speed.G.Fast and VDSL2 are going to be the technologies that bring higher broadband speeds into reality. Stay tuned.

What is the difference between an SFP and a GBIC?GBIC vs SFP

Gigabit Interface Converters (GBIC) and SFP, their miniature cousins, are both optical transceivers. They convert signals to and from optical and electrical forms. The perception is that SFPs are an upgrade because their smaller size allows more of them to be deployed on a single switch than the GBIC.If you already have a line card for GBICs, you can continue to fill it with GBIC compatible connections. If you don’t have a GBIC line card, then SFPs are a super-easy alternative.

What is a transceiver and what does it do?

“Transceiver” is a combination of the words transmitter and receiver, and the melding of that capability within a single housing is what you get within these devices. An optical transceiver chip transmits and receives data over fiber instead of wire. Information pulses over light beamed along transparent fibers or cables.

Cable and technology glossary

To simplify this further, here are some of the alphabetical standards and a quick view of what each of signifies.

What does the “X” in 1000BASE-X mean?

The X refers to FAST ETHERNET. Also known as IEEE 802.3z, the X refers mostly to Ethernet transmission over fiber optic cable, although shielded copper is sometimes used. One of the many benefits is the multi-directional ability that this standard provides. You can use 1000BASE-X for both single-mode and multi-mode deployments.Here are what some of the “X” combinations mean:
1000BASE NameCable Specs aka MediaDistances of up to:
CXShielded copper25 meters
KXCopper backplane1 meter
SXMulti-mode fiber/ 770 to 860 nm wavelengthFDDI 220 meters OM1 275 meters OM2 550 meters
LXMulti-mode fiber 1,270 to 1,355 nm wavelength550 meters
LXSingle-mode fiber 1,270 to 1,355 nm wavelength5 kilometers
LX10Single-mode fiber 1,260 to 1,360 nm wavelength10 kilometers
EXSingle-mode fiber 1,310 nm wavelength~ 40 kilometers
ZXSingle-mode fiber 1,550 nm wavelength~ 70 kilometers
BX10Single-mode fiber, single-strand: 1,480 to 1,500 nm downstream, 1,260 to 1,360 nm upstream10 kilometers
The information in this table comes from IEEE 802.3-2008, clause 39.

What does the “T” in 1000BASE-T mean?

1000BASE-T refers to Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat7 Ethernet cable. No surprise there. These are cables that send signals using electrical energy. The same is true for coax. An SFP is needed between Ethernet and coax on the same switch, just to be clear.More alphabet glossary, this time for “T.”
1000BASE NameCable Specs aka MediaDistances of up to:
TTwisted-pair cabling (Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat7)100 meters1
T1Single, balanced twisted pair15 meters
TXTwisted-pair cabling (Cat6 and Cat7)100 meters1
1 These distances are stretched through the use of Ethernet Extender Kits and Injectors.

What does the “RHx” in 1000BASE-RHx mean?

1000BASE-RHX refers to optical plastic fiber.
1000BASE NameCable Specs aka MediaDistances of up to:
RHxPlastic optical fiber15-50 meters

Final Thoughts addition to SFP micro transceivers, Versa Technology offers 100BaseFX and Fast Ethernet 10/100BaseTX media converters. These devices also connect different networks utilizing different mediums.They support a maximum distance of 2km in a Multimode fiber connection and up to 80km in a Single mode fiber connection. Versa Technology’s media converters are fully compliant with IEEE 802.3 and 802.3u standards.Click here to learn more about our Media Converters and SFP devices.
What is 10GBASE-T and Why Is This Technology So Important?

What is 10GBASE-T and Why Is This Technology So Important?

10GBASE-T is a type of Ethernet signaling providing speeds over twisted-pair cabling that go beyond 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) for distances up to 100 meters.This IEEE 802.3an® standard can reach 2.5 and 5 Gbps over Cat5e and Cat6 cabling.  Depending upon the network infrastructure, signals can potentially reach new speeds of up to 10 Gbps. The recent ratification and standardization of 10GBASE-T is the result of focused efforts from the NBASE-T Alliance.

IEEE 802.3anWho are the NBASE-T Alliance℠?

The NBASE-T Alliance is a group of experts. They come from companies across the industry with the expressed purpose of facilitating 2.5G and 5GBASE-T Ethernet product development and deployment. Founded in 2014, the alliance builds consensus and helps streamline the development of new standards. The original standard, IEEE 802.3bz, was approved in record time in September 2016, is compatible with specifications published by the NBASE-T Alliance. 10GBase-T is a refresh and further development of these capabilities.In a nutshell, the goal for 10GBase-T is to allow companies to develop and deploy 2.5G and 5GBASE-T products faster.The alliance now focuses on publishing optimizations to the specification, facilitating interoperability and educating the market about the multiple applications of the technology.Customers need faster wireless and content transfer speeds. Speed is essential to client enterprise, industrial, home and service provider environments.

Why is this 10GBase-T refresh such a big deal?

For the data center, this new capability will help make 10G on the desktop a reality in the not so distant future. Increase bandwidth opens the door for developers to grow essential applications. File compression, additional memory, and network cards will eventually become unnecessary.

What technologies are hogging all of this bandwidth anyway?

Because online content is a key component of the online environment, it is driving bandwidth consumption. And the biggest pull comes in the form of video.
The speed of software halves, or out-bloats the capacity of hardware, every 18 months.

Moore’s law also known as Gates law

People want to watch movies. They want to watch sports and tutorials. They like to play games that are becoming more and more life-like. None of this is new to the Versa reader. Though written information definitely has its place in the education ecosystem, more consumers are turning to video to learn about products and services.Some ways video is being delivered to end users:

1. Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality video streaming (VR/AR)

VR/AR ViewingThere is a very high probability that unprecedented levels of data will have to move across the network and in some cases be cached locally to ensure low latency. Immersive experiences with 360° video applications require a lot of data. Networks will need more storage at their data hubs.[....] if you want the best “retinal” 360° video experience (as you get watching a 4k TV), as much as 600Mbit/s is required.Last mile networks will need intelligent traffic management solutions, compression algorithms, and very low-latency, high-throughput capabilities to handle the demands of VR content.

2. Gaming

Current speeds are approximately 10Mbps. Since gaming is steadily moving toward the VR/AR niche, the data requirements will most likely move in tandem.

3. Teleconferencing

Video streaming services include a storage buffer of approximately 1/10th GB to help with latency issues. Depending on the number of participants and the screen resolution you require, you can expect to add 0.5 Mbps inbound and 0.8 Mbps outbound per participant. Some services recommend having up to 50% headroom per communication channel to ensure maximum performance.
10GBASE-T:Video streaming services include a storage buffer of approximately 1/10th GB to help with latency issues.

Image Courtesy High-Speed Internet

Other speed guzzlers

Other data consumption comes from Cloud-based platforms and data storage. To deliver all of this throughput on demand, larger networks absolutely need to reach speeds of 1Gbps to 2.5 and 5 Gbps, especially at the enterprise level where many users are consuming data intermittently, making peak times difficult to anticipate. For this advancement to be effective, the 10GBASE-T Alliance forum has unified efforts in the specification and product development process. Consensus, something we are seeing in other areas like cryptocurrency and blockchain, can bring about interoperability across the industry.Broad adoption of solutions is actually helping all stakeholders save time and serve the public better by providing simplicity and ease of use.With 10GBASE-T technologies, NIC cards will be able to auto-negotiate between the various Ethernet speeds. That’s an extraordinary benefit. Some even predict NIC lifecycles with 10GBASE-T will be longer than fiber lifecycles. Hardware changes will become unnecessary when migrating between speeds. The ISO cabling standard for 10GBASE-T moves to Cat7.The only published cable standard supporting 10GBASE-T for a full 100m is the ISO standard for Category 7/class F in 11801 (which was published at the same time as the Category 6 standard). Crosstalk elimination could also make Cat6A systems a viable alternative to Cat7. I believe this solution is in the works.

Going Forward

10GBASE-T is still in its early stages. Other advancements, no doubt, have yet to be developed. But if Morse’s law holds true, software will lead the charge, and hardware developers will continue their scramble to provide better and better IT networking devices to support it.
Is Ethernet King?

Is Ethernet King? You Bet It Is, And It’s Only Getting Better

The Ethernet Alliance (EA) recently announced the 45-year anniversary of the Ethernet movement. And just for the record, they’re only getting started. The benefits of delivering low power and data delivery over one cable have not diminished. In fact, it’s safe to say these advantages are just as relevant in the age of green as they were back in their earliest days of development. The EA incorporated in 2005, in the State of California. This article will discuss some of the takeaways from their May 2018 Global Consortium in Pittsburgh PA. The discussion about continuing interoperability centers on five areas.
  • Automotive
  • Enterprise
  • Cloud
  • Building and industrial
  • Service providers

Ethernet interoperability

As a review, interoperability is an industrywide standards-practice whereby consumers can interchange components from different vendors seamlessly. You’re not tied to one manufacturer. You have to give the manufacturing community credit for their practical boldness. Anyone reading this who is old enough to remember the VCR versus the Betamax video player will understand the cost and frustration that resulted from multiple video player formats. Proprietary thinking eventually backfired on SONY. While other manufacturers adhered to the VCR format, the Japanese tech giant watched their video player die a slow and painful death, despite the valid argument that Betamax video quality was better.

The importance of having one standard

One standard saves much grief. Industry-defined Power over Ethernet (PoE) certification ensures that all equipment is not only interchangeable, but also those performance standards are kept high.Performance is only the half of it. The Ethernet Alliance has also led the charge on the naming and labeling for each generation of new Ethernet technology. They have provided an industry-defined test plan that ensures that when a customer reads IEEE 802.3, they know they are getting the quality guarantee of PoE rated technology.Further, each of these labels gives insight as to the type and class of equipment a buyer is getting.Now let’s move on to the industries where these advances are playing out.

IEEE 2018 Ethernet Roadmap

Ethernet in automotive

By 2019, the EA forecasts an impressive 500 million ports of Ethernet will ship in 119 million vehicles. Ethernet will allow all of the systems to “talk” to one another, and most especially the automated systems. That means, a lot of speed and a lot of throughputs to synchronize all systems together.
What is Gbe?
Gbe is short for Gigabit Ethernet. It is a version of the Ethernet technology used in discussions of local area networks (LANs). It breaks down rates for transmitting Ethernet frames at 1 Gbps. This term describes that backbone in most networks, including behemoth enterprises found in large organizations.
 Ethernet is expected to surpass 400 Gbe. Essentially that car will be its own LAN reaching data speeds of 400 x the current 1 Gbps rate. Impressive.

Ethernet enterprises

The bulk of all PoE purchases occur in business and campus settings. Hundreds of millions of ports ship each year, including BASE-T products. One clear advantage for implementing Ethernet in longstanding structures is the reuse of existing copper cabling found in the walls from the big telecom era.An added 70 billion meters of cable has been deployed between servers and networks over the past decade-and-a-half through the use of twisted pair cable.
What is BASE-T?
BASE-T is a type of Ethernet networking technology. The leading number indicates transmission speeds. For example, 10BASE-T means transmission speeds are 10 Mbit/s. BASE denotes signals of a near-zero frequency range. The T indicates twisted pair cable, where twisting reduces electromagnetic interference and crosstalk between pairs.

10BASE-TEthernet in the cloud

Cloud providers have adopted 10Gbe servers on a large scale. High-speed network connectivity allows seamless redundancy at a moment’s notice. Server redundantly spread across far-flung geo-locations will enable providers 100 percent uptime when disaster hits.
What is cloud technology?
Cloud technology is another name for remote networking over the Internet. The way it works is that instead of running programs and storing data on local servers, end users run everything over an Internet connection to servers farms and software service provider platforms.
Ethernet in the CloudGigabyte speeds continue to increase. Current networking architectures within these warehouse-scale data centers have driven multiple multimode and single-mode fiber solutions at 100, 200, and 400 Gbe. Demands of hyperscale service providers are rapidly expanding.
What is hyperscale?
Hyperscale computing distributes networks across far-reaching facilities and efficiently provisions data from just a few servers to thousands as required by the customer. Hyperscale computing is big in the data and cloud computing disciplines.

Ethernet in building and industrial applications

Lean manufacturing continually looks for ways to measure performance. Cameras and sensors play a significant role. Installing these remote low-power industrial devices is why PoE continues to gain ground in this sector. The goal is always increasing customer value. Ethernet brings greater efficiency with fewer resources. That’s what is driving the adoption of PoE in the industrial space.The EA projects robust sales of 165 million ports in this sector for 2019.

Ethernet used by Internet service providers

The credit for increased Ethernet speeds rests squarely on the shoulders of the ISP provider. To enhance their competitive advantage, telecoms are also driving the integration of optical transport and wireless solution development. As a result, Ethernet technology developers continue to strive for higher speeds, throughput, and distances to meet these demands. It all boils down to one thing—customers want to stream video, and that appetite will only continue to skyrocket bandwidth consumption for the foreseeable future.

Final thoughts on Ethernet development

Along with reviews and discussions of current projects, and the installation of team members, the EA launched two new task forces during the consortium:
  • IEEE P802.3ck 100 Gb/s, 200 Gb/s, and 400 Gb/s Electrical Interfaces Task Force – specifying electrical interfaces based on 100 Gb/s signaling
  • IEEE P802.3cm 400 Gb/s over Multimode Fiber Task Force – defining lower-cost higher data rate and density optical solutions
It will be interesting to watch these new projects unfold and witness the advantages from an end user perspective that these refinements will bring to these 5 sectors.If you would like help putting together an equipment list for your client installation, feel free to contact us.
PoE Smart Applications for Home, Business, Healthcare & Manufacturing

PoE Smart Applications for Home, Business, Healthcare & Manufacturing

Power over Ethernet (PoE) facilitates network deployment wherever a power outlet is absent. PoE is not only economical in enterprises and vertical markets, but the technology also offers benefits in the home and industrial environments.If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you may be aware of the exciting advances that LED lighting over PoE networks is bringing to the home and workplace. Here are some of our recent posts: LED lighting is becoming more beautiful, versatile and ultra-low power because of significant gains in popularity over recent years. It’s only going to get better. Manufacturers are prioritizing development of LED technology and the PoE power-and-data solution that supports it. But PoE lighting installations are only one aspect of smart automation. The sensors and controls that allow the remarkable range of lighting solutions also provide security monitoring and network access to an ever growing range of smart devices.In this article, we will expand on how PoE applications benefit people in 4 distinct environments: home, business, healthcare, and manufacturing.

Smart Home Automation

Let’s start at the place where the heart is---the home. The term smart home is really another way to describe the network-connected side of where people live. Connected devices help keep families safe in well-lit, comfortable areas so they can live well. PoE supports a full range of lighting capabilities, but that’s just the beginning.PoE also allows homeowners the option of placing devices like security cameras and motion sensors at the front door, driveway, backdoor, and in the yard without the need for a power outlet installation. Voice command devices like Alexa and Google Home can read data from sensors to activate lights and scare off intruders. They can monitor your property on camera and alert you when there is strange activity on your property.A homeowner can also remotely turn off lights accidentally left on, preventing waste and diminishing their carbon footprint.The same systems that allow remote lighting control may also be used to lock doors and check room temperatures. Controlling a thermostat may even include remotely closing or opening the louvers of blinds. The beauty of PoE is that it scales so easily as you add new devices. One twisted-pair Cat5e or Cat6 cable delivers all the power and data a PoE device needs and power levels are now reaching 90W as Type 4 technology comes online. Smart meters can also alert homeowners as to how much “juice” they are using each month. That knowledge will allow customers to conserve energy accordingly.

Smart OfficesPoE Smart Office

Similarly, LED lighting systems provide healthier work conditions by introducing natural light to support workers. PoE technology paves the way for better lighting and money-savings on utility bills, but also allow other smart devices within an office to work cohesively.Again, connected systems allow organizations the ability to precisely control the use of energy and other resources by turning off unnecessary lighting when floors are unoccupied. Some operations are even using that information to prioritize cleaning within large work areas. Spaces that are used more frequently get cleaned more.Sensors, such as the ones connected to LED lighting systems, have unique IP addresses. IT admins and employees can adjust lighting or temperatures to make their work more comfortable. Sensors can trigger the shut off of lights and other unnecessary resources during off-peak times.

Commercial PoE Applications

PoE reduces log jams for organizations because it doesn’t take a huge budget to expand needed capabilities. Things like physical entry point to secure areas, expansion of Wi-Fi networks, and the addition of thin clients, can be more easily funded because Power over Ethernet is more cost effective to install and run.
  • Controlling access to rooms and facilities with retinal scanning devices
  • Surveillance door cameras with speakers beef up security in sensitive areas
  • Expanding Wi-Fi networks in lounges and cafes allows people to meet informally in different spaces on campus
  • Monitoring room occupancy and usage helps facilities teams keep data secure
  • VoIP & SIP trunk phone systems save money
Automating these processes by adding controls reduces stress on IT departments so they can focus on other concerns. Installations have never been easier.

Healthcare Environment Applications

A healthcare environment is a highly complex system of connected devices. Energy efficiency is essential to keeping down the rising costs of good healthcare.This ultra-high device density will increase as healing professionals begin to rely on data and ai to diagnose illnesses and find alternative, better ways to get and keep people healthy. Thin clients attached to platforms link Watson will become standard. One hospital in Sarasota Florida employs an impressive network of audio speakers in a very unique way. No matter where you are in the hospital when a baby is born, patients, doctors, and visitors all hear the opening strains of Brahms Lullaby. It’s a heartwarming feature, enhanced by the placement of speakers all over the grounds of the multi-building complex.

Industrial PoE Applications

The manufacturing community is turning to digitization to stay competitive. And, manufacturers are taking advantage of incentives and moving manufacturing back to the United States. The use of robotics on manufacturing floors and heightened online tracking to ensure manufacturers adhere to lean practices means near and remote sensors are being installed in all sorts of areas around facilities. Have the capability to use one twisted pair cable without the need for additional power outlets is enabling manufacturers a simpler, more economical path to get their operations up to speed.PoE is a key ingredient in the Internet of Things and Versa technology offers high-quality, efficient solutions for your clients or business. Feel free to contact us today. Don’t forget to follow us on Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook for the latest news and resources on Power over Ethernet!
What is the difference between a PoE injector and a PoE splitter?

What is the difference between a PoE injector and a PoE splitter?

The difference between an injector and a splitter is that a PoE injector sends power to PoE equipment that receives data through existing non-POE switches. A splitter also supplies power, but it does so by splitting the power from the data and feeding it to a separate input that a non-PoE compliant device can use.

What is Ethernet technology?

Power over Ethernet (POE) technology sends 10/100/1000 Mbps of data and 15W, 30W, 60W, and up to 90W of power budget to devices over Cat5e and Cat6 Ethernet cables for a maximum distance of 100m.

What is a PoE injector?

 A POE injector, a device also commonly known as a “midspan,” introduces or injects power onto an Ethernet cable. The injector adds power to data that is coming from a non-PoE switch or “endspan.” It has an external power supply.Injectors allow admins to populate and properly support LANs with both compliant and noncompliant devices.

What is a PoE Splitter?

 A splitter, another frequently used power device, goes in the opposite direction of the Injector. It has two output cables: one supplies data and the other power. It is used to deploy remote non-PoE devices with no nearby AC outlets.A splitter allows a non-compliant device to upgrade to POE. By plugging into the network connection, it can pull power, and convert it into low-voltage ranges as required.

What is a PoE power budget?

A power budget is the total amount of power a device can send through an Ethernet cable.

What levels of power are PoE injectors and splitters able to deliver?

Both the injector and the splitter deliver power according to each of the 4 types of power. Check manufacturer specifications. The newer the device is to the PoE product list, the higher the level of power will most likely be needed. Type 3 is the current mainstream. Type 4 products are emerging fast.
Levels of PowerIEEE StandardWatts Supplied
Type 1IEEE 802.3afUp to 15.4W
Type 2IEEE 802.3atUp to 30.8W
Type 3Ultra PoE / 802.3btUp to 60W
Type 4IEEE 802.3btUp to 90W
 That means a power budget of 90W and the capability to support the newest generation of devices.

What types of devices are supported by PoE injector and splitter?

The right injector or splitter for your job will be clearly indicated by the IEEE 802.3 extension provided by the manufacturer: .af, .at, Poe Ultra, and .bt.

How PoE injectors and splitters save money?

First and foremost the PoE injectors and splitters save money by allowing IT pros to combine legacy devices with newer, more efficient PoE networking components.They also allow organizations to add remote devices without having to install electrical infrastructure. Injectors and splitters are designed to provide power to and from non-PoE compliant equipment.These inexpensive units will add years to a legacy system and can literally save thousands of dollars by bypassing the installation electrical outlets in remote locations.If you would like some assistance with incorporating injectors and splitters into your system, read more here.
Advantage of Power Over Ethernet (PoE)

What Is The Main Advantage of Power Over Ethernet (PoE)?

The main advantage of Power over Ethernet (PoE) is delivery of data AND power over one Cat5e/Cat6 Ethernet cable. PoE ends the need for AC/DC power supplies and outlets. A remote installation costs less than fiber as no electrician is required. Ethernet cable costs less and is often already installed buildings.This article will explain the many advantages PoE has to offer. What began as an effort to squeeze more speed and power out of existing cabling has become a force within the IT networking marketplace. Millions of dollars annually are being channeled into its development. The green movement is definitely saving technology some green.Increased network efficiency allows organizations of any size to design the benefits of Power over Ethernet into their networks. 

When to use PoE

PoE allows you to add a device in awkward or remote locations. It is great for wireless access points, CCTV camera placements, and digital signage on the tops or sides of skyscrapers. It is suitable for IT network installations as well. Cables for IP devices and small, out-of-the-way networks can be boosted for distances beyond 100 meters/ 300 feet for a single device through the use of PoE injectors.PoE ApplicationsPoE can be used over existing copper telecom infrastructure. 

When not to use PoE

PoE is not recommended for sending network data over long distances, or for extreme temperatures unless industrial designation is present. 

Frequently Asked Questions About PoE

One cable for data and power does not presume quality is thrown aside. On the contrary, the reason this technology wave is gaining such traction is that ample power and data speeds are being improved on with each new standard. 

1. What type of data speeds does PoE offer?

PoE costs less than fiber and is delivering higher and higher data speeds.Thanks to widespread adoption of IEEE 802.3bz technology, manufacturers are spending more on product development. Data delivery rates are now at 1 Gbps (10/100/1000 Mbps) over Cat5e and Cat6. The new IEEE 802.3bz standard has the capacity to deliver speeds of 2.5 to 5 Gbps over 100m with an immediate view toward 10 Gbps.High-definition streaming only requires 400 Mbps. A network could easily stream a training video while others work and check email.PoE has more than enough data speed to support devices in a small LAN. 

2. What levels of power can PoE deliver?

PoE does not require an additional power supply. All over one cable.The previously developed standard—IEEE 802.3at—provides 30.8W of power. The most recently developed standard—IEEE 802.3bt—provides 60W of power.IEEE 802.3 Standards 

3. What type of devices does PoE support?

PoE DevicesPoE can support a huge range of devices, and that list is expanding. In fact, manufacturers are developing network devices with the convenience of PoE in mind.PoE technology works indoors and outdoors. In places where there are extreme temperatures, installers keep cables and devices in protected areas like under the eaves or in the shade.Even the latest standard, IEEE 802.3 bt supports legacy devices. These are devices not manufactured to PoE standards. These devices may be added to a PoE network inexpensively through the use of a splitter.PoE at devices include things like video-phones, speed dome cameras, and WiMax wireless access points.PoE bt devices include things like thin clients, point-of-sale (POS) systems, laptops, and digital signage

4. What types of cost do I expect with a PoE installation?

PoE costs less to install than fiber beginning with the cabling. Cat 5e/Cat6 Ethernet cable, which appears in many existing infrastructures, as well as, the more recent Cat6a cable are considerably less expensive than fiber over the scope of an installation.Since both the PoE networking equipment and compatible devices are also becoming plug and play, PoE is making network upgrades feasible from both a budgetary and IT resource perspective.And because power delivery is through the cable there is no need to hire a contractor to install an electrical outlet for a remote device.From a technological standpoint, PoE is as green as you can get. It all started in an effort to get better signals on existing wiring.If you’d like to learn more how this fascinating technology got its start, click here.
Spotlight: George Zimmerman of Ethernet Alliance Tlaks Ethernet Technology Infrastructures and More

Spotlight: George Zimmerman of Ethernet Alliance Talks Ethernet Technology, Infrastructure & More

We’d like to thank George Zimmerman of the NBASE-T and Ethernet Alliances, for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about his journey from the NASA SETI project and how solving the problem of noisy signals helped lead us to the Ethernet technology we have today.

Opinions expressed here are his own and not those of the IEEE-SA or the Ethernet Alliance.

For the last 7 years, Zimmerman has served as president and principal consultant at CME Consulting, working on high-performance wire communications technology and solutions, specializing in wireline communications. He is also serving as a chair within the IEEE P802.3cg Task Force Group and is tasked with building consensus to fill out the low end of the BASE-T1 single-pair ecosystem.George kindly identified an old article we needed to update and in the process---much to our delight---consented to an interview. Lesson: be willing to learn. You will inevitably meet great people who have something worthwhile to share. Following is our discussion. We thought this would give the professionals who follow our blog some insight into both Power over Ethernet and Wireless and why we’re at this stage of development. Enjoy!


My whole career has been figuring out how people can use lousy channels to get great signals,” George says pragmatically. Though he has much experience he could boast of, that isn’t what comes across. He’s simply one of those people who love what they do.I have a doctorate in communications theory from CalTech. I taught there for a little while, and worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for about 10 years, doing deep space communications. Among other amusing things, I was the systems engineer for the SETI program looking for extraterrestrial signals. The whole thing about looking for signals from extraterrestrials is how do you avoid the interference that’s out there? So, fast forward and I leave JPL for a company Pairgain Technologies, in 1995, as Henry Samueli was stepping out to go found Broadcom. If you said Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) to somebody in those days, they looked at you funny. They didn’t know what you were talking about.I spent the next 5 years doing a bunch of the primary work for broadband access: All of the original DSL standards that ended up getting rolled outthat was the kind of thing that I was involved inand it’s the same kind of a problem. That is: we’ve got all these lousy telephone wires out there in the ground, and nobody’s going to spend the money it costs to rip them out, so let’s do something with them. It costs a fortune to dig a trench.How do you repurpose the wires? You apply some computing and some signal processing at either end of the link. And that’s what I do for a living—is computing and signal processing for communications.In a nutshell:
  • You correct signals.
  • You build models of the wire.
  • You equalize them, which is simply a way of expanding the bandwidth of them.
  • You reject the noise that you get over the wires.
And lo-and-behold, you’ve got higher data rates. So instead of having better wires, you actually have better signal conditioning.

Repurposing Infrastructure aka building better delivery and deployment over old equipment

The thing is, why did all this matter? This will tie to Ethernet. This actually goes all the way back to the time that I was at JPL. The way that a lot of communications had been set up in the past, telephony or deep space communications like with Voyager 1 and 2, was based on how much computing you could do at the time.Back then, if I had an 8086 processor on a spacecraft, that was a good computer. Your smartphone runs circles around that.But we developed ground systems that we’re able to do 100,000 times that type of computing between the time we launched the spacecraft to Jupiter, and the time it got there.So we’ve learned to build really good computers and condition signals. And in the process, we learned that the boundaries we carefully defined for computing didn’t really exist.The world changed because now we have fast computers. Go to DSL and chips that are going into line cards or modems and we find that the computations that go into a modem are on the order of the same speeds that go into a 486 processor.So again, it’s computing applied to the channel.

Take this principle and now apply it to existing copper

In 2001, at the peak of the telecom crash, I left Pairgain to start my own company. The objective I took on was: how to apply these techniques to Ethernet? The same dynamic happened. You have copper wires. Early 1990s saw Cat5e cable [and some Cat6] put into buildings all over the place. Once it’s there and it’s hard to replace. They generally don’t replace it as easily as they put it in.So the problem to solve became let’s make 10Gb Ethernet work on existing wiring. That was 10GBASE-T. I founded a company called SolarFlare Communications, which was the early player in 10GBASE-T. The guys I work with now at Aquantia, chip makers, were later players that came in.I got into Ethernet because I’m a communications guy at heart, and Ethernet was the biggest market around. For me, it’s all about existing wires. How do you use the fact that you can compute faster and faster all the time to get more out of your existing infrastructure?Lately, I’ve been working on 25Gbps and 40Gbps problems---that’s using the new cable, Cat8.Most of Ethernet is the Cat5e and Cat6 that you see everywhere. There’s not much Cat7 and Cat8 isn’t out yet.

Why Cat5e and Cat6 have such longevity

People don’t realize how big getting an appreciable amount of the existing wiring infrastructure replaced is. It’s a 10-year cycle just to replace Cat5e and Cat6 with Cat6a, and Cat6a was introduced in 2006. It’s happening, but 10 years is along the order of what I’ve seen in cabling industry studies.That’s why there’s such a push to get more out of existing wiring.It’s also why there’s a move toward wireless. Their technology is developing a lot faster--from .11N to .11AC in 3-4 years. We’re already at .11AX now, like 3-4 years later.It’s moving a lot faster. Wired had to keep up.Wireless SpeedsTo connect the wireless in, we went back to lower speeds, but using the Cat5e and Cat6 cabling already installed. It started only a few years back first with the NBASE-T Alliance, and then in IEEE and IEEE Now, NBASE-T and IEEE 802.3bz are essentially merged. NBASE-T took the technology base that had been in 10GBASE-T, modified it a little bit, lowered the rate, applied some lessons learned, and proposed a solution that would run 2.5 and 5 Gbps on existing wires.They then brought that to IEEE, and said, “We want to have an industry standard on this.” And the industry worked through the consensus process and architected it so that, in the end, they had a standard (802.3bz) and NBASE-T spec that were interoperable.In fact, most of the specs are identical. That’s because the same people worked on both standards, and they developed the specifications with that in mind. There are some differences, but they are fine points. We’ll end the discussion here.

Final Thoughts

George and the IEEE working group have done a great job. Again, Versa would like to thank him for his generosity in sharing his time for the interview. It was really fun hearing about Ethernet from an insider.Power over Ethernet (802.3bz) and even aspects of wireless technology (802.11ax) have grown from an effort to preserve existing infrastructures. They are the technological embodiment of the green movement. The preservation and repurposing of valuable assets have, in some ways, forced us to look at problems differently. They have inspired collaboration and dared us to push through boundaries and achieve things we didn’t think possible.If you have questions or would like a custom quote, please feel free to reach out.
VX-GPU2626 L2+ Managed PoE Switch

Product Release: VX-GPU2626 L2+ 24-Port Managed GbE UPOE Switch (2200W)

Switches like the VX-GPU2626 l2+ 24-port managed GbE UPOE switch, solidly place networks in the Power over Ethernet (PoE), Type 3 (IEEE 802.3at/af) category by providing 60W of power per port. This power cushion makes expanding or combining the latest device networks easier.It doesn’t matter how “late” your company or your client comes to the (PoE) infrastructure table, now is always a good time to begin. Transitioning to this technology allows your customers to save money in lower installation costs because only one cable is needed to provide both data and power.What does this newer standard offer?Fire, HVAC, lighting, video cameras, wireless access points, and other systems often operate on individual networks, requiring separate administrators to manage and control. With new advances in IP infrastructure, isolated networks no longer have to be the norm.                                        Power Electronics News, Power over Ethernet is in your future.The added power at port allows the inclusion of many more devices on the same PoE network.We’ll put our answer in context with the heftier grade of devices that are being released in the IoT movement. Higher or universal PoE offers twice the power per port as its predecessor, the Type 2, making possible a more sophisticated grade of device.First, let’s take a minute to review the standards.

PoE redefined—PoE, PoE+, and UPoE

In a steady move toward higher and higher power levels, Power over Ethernet is solidly planted within Type 3 thresholds and advancing toward Type 4. Universal Power over Ethernet (UPOE) multiplies the power per port by 2. In other words, Type 2 / 30W per port has jumped to a solid Type 3/ 60W per port.There are still some overlapping features as these capabilities are developed but here is a good synopsis of the 4 Types of PoE.

IEEE 802.3 StandardsDevices Supported by UPoE

Having 60W per port for 24 ports and data is a game changer in terms of network configurations. No more silo-ing of device networks. What types of devices will this switch support? Just about anything that requires high power PoE with power and remote network management capabilities.

1. Pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) / IP Cameras [and speed dome smart cameras]PTZ IP Camera

Hi-definition IP Cameras connect to the Internet and offer fine resolution so your client can monitor campus. These save storage by relying on motion sensor activation. That saves energy and storage, as HD consumes massive amounts of space and overwrites once it reaches capacity...not good when you need to check back for unusual activity.The PTZ camera capabilities allow one unit to capture a lot more real estate. These features also require additional power. That’s why a better camera on 60W per port can actually save money. The PTZ makes it possible to cover large areas and zoom in on activity hot spots.

2. Wireless Access Points (WAPs)

As more devices connect, the demand for more responsive, higher capacity Wi-Fi coverage will continue to increase. Dual radio frequency WAPs can link together easily on this 24-port managed switch.

3. Biometric ClocksBiometric Clock

Biometric time clocks used by employees at entrances in high security areas allow companies to monitor activity. These units are also used to clock in and out using a fingerprint scan or other means.

4. Thin Clients

Thin clients are computers that do not have an internal disk or operating system to boot from. Instead, they connect to a server upon bootup to download a desktop OS. Thin clients have smaller footprints and require lower power.Think of an Apple TV or Amazon FireTV acting as a computer. Versa has worked with large operations that use PoE switches to power thin clients.

5. Digital SignageDigital Signage

Signs placed on the sides or tops of skyscrapers connect easily through the use of PoE injectors and extenders to receive 60W of power at port.This type of switch adapts to your need with full data and power requirements. The beauty of a managed switch is you can turn off individual ports. This capability helps to access remote technology like digital signage.Nobody wants to climb down a building in the middle of the night because a sign is malfunctioning.These UPOE devices are moving us steadily into a connected ecosystem. Here are some specifics and features you get with the VX-GPU2626.

Key features of the VX-GPU2626

The 2626 is an L2+ Managed UPOE Switch. Admins can save time and energy with the adaptability of managed switches. When offered a choice, managed switches are definitely the way to go.The L2 feature works with MAC addresses and unique in-network identifiers, while L3 works with IP addresses. This switch offers the best of both. Since the IoT is ramping up, L3 features will become a critical functionality for moving data to and from devices and the Internet.Static Routing delivers better cost performance and lower total cost of ownership in Enterprise networks via fiber or copper connections.The VX-GPU2626 supports IEEE 802.3at/af standards, PoE Types 2 and 3 using RJ45 connectors.VX-GPU2626 Power SupplyThe unit also includes two 1100W power supply units with the option of purchasing an additional power supply unit to use as a backup power supply.

Other Features for Enterprise-Class Deployment

  • HW performance and environmental flexibility for SMBs and Enterprises.
  • Comprehensive security: IP source guard and ACL to guard your network from unauthorized access.
  • Easy to Install, Configure and Troubleshoot Through the Device Management System (DMS)
  • DMS provides embedded functions to facilitate devices management at anytime and anywhere.
  • Intuitive for those who hate reading manuals. :) Simple to use, and lower total cost of ownership.
  • Energy-efficient. Reduces power consumption and lower the TCO with IEEE’s 802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet features.

Final Thoughts

As end-users have realized the efficiency both of installation and operational savings, they continue to find themselves drawn to the PoE and now UPOE solution more and more. Getting management to sign-off on purchase requests and work orders is so much easier when the costs savings are so good.The manufacturing community has also capitalized on this connected technology in order to stay competitive and are delivering better products. That’s what is now funneling into the IoT.The VX-GPU2626 offers the next stage of Ethernet ---Universal PoE at up to 60W of power per device along with data over the same Cat6 and 6a [4-pair].Click here, if you are considering a purchase of the VX-GPU2626, and need a spec sheet.
PoE Lighting Offers Better Light for Less Money [& Other Powerful Benefits That May Surprise You]

PoE Lighting, Circadian Rhythms, and the Benefits Beyond Efficiency

Better quality lighting systems have become much more affordable and easy to use. Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology is the perfect support for automated home systems as it sends both power and data to any device in a home network over a single Cat 5e or Cat 6 Ethernet cable.Because PoE supplies power, homeowners won’t need to hire an electrician to put in additional outlets. Hubs, switches, and injectors comprise networks for a wide variety of devices. All of the latest smart system technologiesvirtual assistants, security systems, smart TVs, WPAs, and PoE lighting systemscan be powered through PoE and PoE Ultra technology. This article will focus on LED lighting and some of the powerful benefits end users can expect from their wise use.

Basics about light and color

Light changes color based upon light wavelengths. The chart below nm = nanometers. These can be measured on a spectrometer. Visible Light SpectrumThe 2 colors at the opposite end of the spectrum are red and violet. Red light has the longest waves (in the 700 nanometer (nm) range), while violet the shortest (400 nm).Violet waves have the most energy of the visible spectrum. As wavelength decreases, frequency increases and, so does the energy that a wave carries. Another way of saying this is: short waves have the most energy. The shortest waves are found midday when the sun is the highest. The light that is less intense, with longer waves, is found at the beginning and end of a day.Visible light may be described in terms of wavelength, it may also be described in terms of frequency and temperature. We’ll jump right to temperature because that’s really what consumers look for when choosing lighting technologies.

Light Temperatures

Lighting temperatures are based on the ranges required to heat metal to the required temperature KELVIN to achieve specific colors of light. But we don’t have to make it too esoteric. The designers of these bulbs had real world effects in mind.
  • Bulb settings at 7,500 to 7,000K resemble the softer end of a bright, sunny day.
  • Bulb settings at 1,900 resemble the light you’d get off a candle.
The closer the depiction of light to that found in nature, the greater the benefit to the people who use it.

LED Light Temperature ChartLight affects the functioning of the human body

Warm light promotes the manufacture of Melatonin, which promotes healthy sleep rhythms.Cool light promotes the manufacture of Cortisol, which activates anti-stress and anti-inflammatory responses, and balances immune functions.These frequencies can be mirrored within working or living environments to pattern the effects found in nature at precise points during a day. The effects of these natural types of light are proving to be advantageous in many ways. Homeowners and companies, too, are bringing these discoveries to play to make the light in environments more conducive to the activity that goes on there.

1. Light frequencies can be harnessed to increase productivity

Can light enhance learning and boost business? The answer is yes. Unfortunately because of legacy building designs, natural light doesn’t always get into the spaces where people need it. Adjustable LED lighting can help. Middle-intensity light is proving beneficial for people who need to carry out routine business. Without being over-stimulating, it is still more calming than the higher light temperatures of daylight while producing enough energy to help people stay active.

Middle Intensity LED Lighting2. Light can promote better concentration

High-intensity light helps a team or an individual focus better. Test groups, think-tanks, and labs are the types of environments where people benefit from the deployment of highest frequencies.Wherever important work or problems of high complexity are handled, high-intensity light will help promote the intensity of focus that helps people push through mentally. Use the brightest light for the brightest thinkingwherever in-depth learning and troubleshooting take place.

High Intensity LED Lighting Uses3. Light can be conducive to collaboration

Different Light frequencies affect the brain in different ways. Further, as light changes over the course of a day, it begins and ends in a lower frequency range which has a golden appearance to it. That range, as many of you have guessed, promotes waking up and winding down. People tend to be much more relaxed.Sometimes a hostess will light candles on the dinner table so her guests can relax more fully and engage in conversation. Lower intensity light is also suitable for presentations and collaboration. It generally causes people to relax and become calm. Nervousness and self-consciousness die out. As you can imagine, this type of lighting creates a perfect environment for creativity and brainstorming.

Low LED Intensity Lighting Uses4. Light frequencies promote faster healing

On average, people can spend up to 93% of time indoors. Getting the right type of light can offset adverse effects on the brain including things like depression and sleep deprivation. Supplemental light is especially important for shift workers, who spend a good percentage of daylight hours for their sleeping time.Full-spectrum of light that adjusts over the course of a shift will promote healthier circadian cycles. Reflecting what happens in nature is a fantastic guide to getting people on track who are regaining health or diminishing stress.Benefits businesses have seen are:
  • Improved productivity
  • Fewer accidents
  • Higher levels of mental performance
  • Better morale

5. LED lighting bulbs actually cost less to use

Healthier, happier workers is a primary consideration but better lighting can actually cost less. Here’s a quick side-by-side glance of what it costs to purchase, run, and how long they last.Light Bulb Comparison ChartThat’s no longer the case. A recent online search showed that LED bulbs are actually coming down in price. Some of the higher end models are still pricey, but it took a little bit of searching to find the $29.99 unit.Even a year ago it was easy to say that even though LEDs were more expensive to purchase, they would pay for themselves through lower operating costs and longevity. This technology is becoming more affordable and price less of a deterrent.

Final Thoughts

PoE LED lighting systems definitely pay for themselves over time because of cost efficiency. Combine that with the other benefits smart lighting provides and making the move to buy or have a system installed is really a no-brainer, at home or work.Nuanced lighting temperatures:
  • Improve mental focus
  • Promote better sleep patterns
  • Enhance recovery in health situations by reducing stress and promoting better sleep
  • Increase creativity and learning
  • And the bulbs actually last longer
PoE in general powers home-automation networks efficiently and without costly visits from licensed electricians. Whether you’re an installer and need help piecing together the right network or a homeowner upgrading your automation, be sure to reach out for a custom quote for PoE technology or one of our other technologies. We are delighted to help you achieve a great PoE system.
Machine Learning & the Development of Self-Driving Cars

Self-Driving Car Technology Advances & Machine Learning

Most of us are watching the development of the driverless car with more than a little curiosity. If you don’t live in Pittsburgh or close to Silicon Valley in Northern CA, you probably haven’t seen too many of these babies while driving around your town.In their newly released VLOG: What Uber Learned from a Year of Self Driving, Wired discusses some of the challenges of taking this emerging technology to the streets of Pittsburgh PA. One big hurdle, which they have by no means cleared is customer trust. Understandably, people have a few safety concerns when it comes to letting a computer drive. Uber, of course, has provided a human driver in each of its units to ensure passengers stay safe despite the everyday hazards drivers tend to encounter on the road. But how can a car without a human driver at the wheel really be safe? The answer is found, to greater-and-greater degrees, with the advances made in machine-learning and self-driving car technology.In this article, Versa will take a look at what machine-learning is, how it’s changing the driverless game, and could actually make the roads a lot safer in the long run.

What is machine-learning?

Aylien gives an excellent definition:“A subfield of computer science and artificial intelligence (AI) that [....] can learn from and make decisions and predictions based on data. [....] it enables computers to act and make data-driven decisions rather than being explicitly programmed to carry out a certain task.”Machine-learning is why things like self-driving cars, and speech and facial recognition systems are now possible. It is possible to teach computers through the use of neural networks, which classify information the way a human brain does. Algorithms make “decisions” based on data-driven predictions and degrees of certainty. They also rely on feedback loops for confirmation whether decisions they make are either right or wrong. Based on feedback, the computer adjusts itself to this refined understanding for future decisions.Machine Learning Definition

How machine-learning works in the driverless car

One thing that a computer will not do is panic, so when faced with sudden events like pedestrians suddenly walking into the street, it responds “calmly,” often faster than a human might. Learning does take trial and error. One Pittsburgh resident who enjoyed the FREE rides Uber is giving while they “train” their cars had this criticism—the ride is bumpy! Apparently, the Uber driverless car has not fully learned how to drive around potholes. Back to the drawing board.On things self-driving cars have learned is how to change lanes on their own. They recognize cyclists and can “make good guesses” on how they will behave.The fleet has clocked approximately 1 million miles in the year that Uber has been busy developing the project. Driving that many miles in a year has got to amount to some pretty hefty learning. And not surprisingly, the cars are actually getting good at doing some of the more basic driving functions:
  • Accelerating
  • Braking
  • Turning
  • Stopping

Basic Driving Functions of Autonomous CarsHow the team communicates with cars

Humans prepare for and adjust to changing circumstances is through non-verbal cues intuitively. Teaching a computer to decrypt body language has moved things forward.The development team communicates through the use of video examples of incidents on the road. Engineers mark points in the video to “explain” what different behaviors mean. The machines actually get better-and-better at “interpreting” behaviors.Non-verbal Driving SignalsCars don’t always “get” what’s happening. When failures do happen they are subject to deep scrutiny to ensure the safety of the public is maintained. Things can also occur when software updates and upgrades are sent. Uber does stringent follow up testing to ensure that nothing has “broken” when these types of housekeeping adjustments take place. A strict series of protocols is followed and the cars are tested before returning them to the streets.

How adopting machine-learning will improve road safety

Computers don’t get tired. They don’t get mad or distracted by something going on in the car or something that happened earlier like humans might. They also don’t drive while under the influence. So removing the human element may potentially eliminate some of these types of accidents we see now and actually save lives.But the day when fully automated cars swarm the road with any meaningful density is still future. How soon might that be?

Other companies have a horse in this race

Uber isn’t the only company leveraging Machine-Learning to develop the driverless car. Others have launched their own pilot programs.

Autonomous Driving Leaderboard 2017Photo courtesy Business Insider

Ford launched a 5-week, driverless car pizza delivery program in association with Domino’s Pizza in Ann Arbor back in September of 2017. GM has invested in self-driving cars development programs which includes a $500 million in Lyft in January 2016. Their purpose is to create a network of ride-hailing, self-driving vehicles. According to Business Insider, there are up to 15 others across the globe diligently piloting the driverless car. Many others developers at least have a project in the works.

Final Thoughts

Last October, The San Francisco Mercury News published an article entitled Self-driving Cars without Drivers Could Come to California Roads before June. At that time, California Motor Vehicles unveiled a new version of proposed rules for self-driving cars. How fast the public will adopt these cars may not be so much about the reluctance to adopt new technology as it may to spend money on luxury items. We shall see.In the meantime, companies like Uber have invested a tremendous amount of money and equity to iron out the bugs in the driverless space. Their efforts will no doubt yield the company a proportionate return on the investment.If you’d like to know more about our technologies or need help with a custom quote, please reach out.