Tag - PoE

The Intelligent Building Market

The Intelligent Building Market

The intelligent building market, also known as the smart building market, is a field that is rapidly growing and developing as innovations in data and power transfer push the boundaries of what is possible.

Smart buildings are integrated with technology and energy systems, and their possibilities are endless. With the right equipment, security, lighting, energy consumption,

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Limitations of PoE Technologies in Office Buildings

Limitations of PoE Technology in Office Buildings

As technology for consumers and businesses alike advances, the concept of smart buildings is becoming less science fiction and more science fact.

Nowadays, consumers can already purchase products like smart thermostats, voice-activated lights, and home assistants such as Alexa and Google Home.

Businesses can also benefit from these new innovations. Smart lights and temperature sensors allow for more

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PoE Challenges in the Healthcare Industry

PoE Challenges in the Healthcare Industry

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a scalable, cost-effective, and efficient networking solution for the 21st century.

There are plenty of useful applications for PoE technology in the healthcare industry, especially when coupled with the Internet of Things (IoT).

Rather than having to install both a power and data cable for every device on the network, Powered Devices (PDs) can be operated with just a single PoE cable.

PoE – despite its many benefits – still suffers from its own limitations as well. In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the problems PoE aims to solve, and some of the PoE challenges in the healthcare industry along the way.

Networking Obstacles in the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry faces many obstacles, specifically with regards to IT and networking. Today, IT personnel in the healthcare industry are tasked with:

  • Ensuring patient privacy
  • Using energy efficient hardware
  • Leverage technology for a competitive advantage
  • Boost overall network performance

Our modern society is more connected than ever before – the world is going digital, and the healthcare industry is no exception.

Patients’ information and records are now largely stored digitally. Although new technology often helps us, it can also create new security risks.

Security breaches can result in the theft of sensitive personal information. The theft of medical records and, worse still, social security numbers or bank information can ruin lives.

Cybersecurity aside, healthcare company mergers can also prove problematic for hospitals and healthcare providers, especially when networks must be integrated together.

Network mergers take time – this is especially true in the healthcare industry, as the networks are dealing with sensitive information and they are relied upon by both doctors and patients alike. An unreliable network could, in some instances, cost lives.

Lastly, old networks in healthcare facilities probably aren’t operating at peak power efficiency, nor is it easy to work with old networks that rely on outdated switches or hubs.

Healthcare PoE Solutions

Luckily, PoE solves many of the problems listed above. Power over Ethernet is a powerful tool – it is scalable, flexible, efficient, secure, and best of all, it’s cheaper than traditional networking alternatives.

Moreover, PoE can solve many of the networking issues healthcare facilities are facing today, especially when coupled with the power of IoT.

Security

A managed PoE switch can be used to set up IP security and surveillance cameras, Wireless Access Points (WAPs) and VoIP telephones. Additionally, many managed switches can be used to create secure VLANs, which are more secure than a traditional network.

Since VLANs segment a network, they create several different broadcast domains, each of which permits isolated traffic to each domain. Simultaneously, the network’s bandwidth, availability, and security are increased.  

Energy Efficiency

PoE switches and PoE hubs can be used to monitor, reduce and control power usage, offering network administrators a huge opportunity to easily reduce energy consumption and, as a consequence, cut costs as well.

Flexibility

Like many other settings, flexibility is crucial when it comes to networking.

Since PoE-enabled computers, WAPs, IP Cameras, and other PDs don’t need to be connected to a power outlet, they can be installed in any location where they are needed. Furthermore, moving a PoE computer proves equally painless.

IoT Technology

IoT is also becoming ever more prevalent in the healthcare industry. For example, IoT based medical devices – such as an infusion pump, also known as a smart pump – are being used to administer medication without the presence of a doctor or a nurse. Electronic patient monitors are another prime example of IoT applications in healthcare.

All of these IoT devices can be easily powered and operated via PoE.

PoE Limitations

Evidently, PoE has a whole host of benefits – it is a scalable, reliable, and efficient way to establish a secure network in a healthcare setting.

Unfortunately, even PoE technology has its limitations. Here are some of PoE’s main drawbacks:

Installation Cost

Even though PoE is cheaper than traditional networking methods in the long run, healthcare facilities will still have to bear the brunt of the initial installation cost.

An old network relying on non-PoE switches would have to either:

  1. Trash

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PoE Challenges in Hospitality & Retail Industries

PoE Challenges in the Hospitality and Retail Industries

Voice-controlled devices – including  Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri – have become commonplace in many homes around the world.

We’ve grown accustomed to controlling our environment with our voices. Temperature, lighting, and even the TV channel can all be adjusted with a simple voice command.

Nowadays,

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Fiber Optic | Maximizing Speed and Distance in PoE Networking

In a previous article, Versa discussed hybrid fiber-and-copper blended cabling and the power-over-fiber cabling options that are in development. These solutions have their place in network deployments, but like anything that is specialized can be costly to purchase.

In this article, we will look at reasons for deploying fiber in segments of an installation, and why this less expensive approach makes sense.

For other parts of an installation, copper is king. It’s a green alternative. It’s also pre-existing and thereby much less costly, which causes less friction for approval within organizations trying to stretch a dollar. Pre-existing coaxial, too, has found a place in the geography of Power over Ethernet (PoE). There remains a position within the illustrious cabling stratosphere, though, that only fiber optic can fill. Because of its speed and resistance to harsh environments, it is especially well suited to ultra-long distances and high-noise industrial deployments.

To begin this discussion, it’s useful to recap some of the main points in Power over Ethernet (PoE) copper cabling and understand its limitations.

Power over Ethernet Using Copper

Electrical signals over copper [PoE] need a refresh at a distance of 100 meters. That means without the use of extenders and other long reach technologies that’s the limit of power and data on a single cable.

IEEE 802.3bt (PoE ++, or Type 3) provides up to 80 watts of power by using all four twisted copper pairs to transmit data and power at a maximum supported distance of 100 meters. Copper is able to transmit power over longer distances; transmitting data over copper, without the use of boosting devices, is limited to ranges of 100 meters.

 

Happily, there are plenty of networking devices allow IT administrators and installers the luxury of sending signals for much longer distances and combining multi-cable networks with ease.

  • Extenders – can be used to extend an Ethernet network up to distances of 6,000 meters. The VX-VEB160G4 (V2) can achieve 300Mbps [downstream up to 190Mbps and upstream up to 110Mbps.]. Extenders also work for wireless and coax networks.
  • Injectors may be used to inject power at midspan for legacy equipment deployments where power needs to be combined with data.
  • Fiber media converters are used to combine segments of a network where fiber and twisted pair cabling appear in the same network stream.

Each of these technologies can add considerable distance to the reach of a LAN. But they aren’t able to span ultra-long distance like fiber can.

Some of the Benefits of Fiber

The optical fiber transmits up to 100 Terabits per second and can easily surpass 100-meter distances. Singlemode fiber can reach distances over 120 km but it’s more expensive than multimode. The primary reason for this is the tightness of the single mode connection required. Connectors have to be ceramic. That makes labor more expensive as installers must finely polish and splice connections.

Multimode is less expensive to install but single mode has a higher capacity.

In either case, fiber outdistances copper and coax dramatically. And they offer speeds that are much faster because they travel over light pulses.

A Side-by-Side Comparison of Features

There are good reasons why single mode and multimode cabling types are so popular. The glass in fiber optic cable is less susceptible to harsh temperatures than copper which can expand or contract significantly. And though glass tends to be brittle, it can also handle loud noise and electrostatic emissions found in industrial environments. Let’s take a closer look at how they work.

Single mode fiber uses the 9/125 ratio in its construction. The core to cladding diameter is 9 microns to 125 microns.

Single mode Fiber

The reason single mode is called “single” is that it carries a single ray of light. At the center of this fiber optic cable is a small diametral core. The core will only allow one mode of light to propagate. As the light transmit down the core, the number of reflections decreases. This also lowers the rate in which a signal attenuates or weakens. The narrowing action propels the signal further. This is what makes single mode ideal for long distance deployments.

Multimode fiber uses the 62.5/125 ratio in its construction. The core to cladding diameter is approximately 62.5 microns to 125 microns.

Multimode Fiber

The reason multimode is called “multi” is because it carries multiple rays of light. At its center, as you probably guessed by process of elimination, is a large diametric core. This allows light to propagate in both directions. The number of light reflections that this additional space allows increases as the signal passes through the core. More data is able to transmit at a time. For the same reason, though, the wider core can also lead to a high rate of dispersion reducing signal quality over long distances. Radio frequencies don’t transmit over multimode fiber.

Power Over Fiber and Copper / Fiber Hybrids

Manufacturers have been busy. Besides copper, coax and fiber there are other options availablehybrid and composite cables. They are nothing new but in a discussion about network cabling, they definitely need to be mentioned.

Hybrid cables

The hybrid factor is based upon the type of fiber being usedusually multimode and single mode. Installers deploy them in contained areas like a campus or premises backbone where single mode may be used in future deployments.

Composite cables

The composite factor refers to cables that contain both fiber and electrical conductors. This variety is referred to as a powered fiber cable system (PFCS). These cables are grounded for safety.

Note: These cables may be used for underwater tethered vehicles, remote wireless antennas, and CCTV cameras.

Summary | Why Use

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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.

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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 Offices

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

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PoE Remote Cameras | Saving Lives & Solving Crime

PoE Remote Cameras | Saving Lives and Solving Crimes

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that much of the South Eastern seaboard was recently devastated by Hurricane Irma.

While we all wish we could live in a world without natural disasters like these, we have to plan for their eventual occurrence. Being prepared and having the infrastructure in place to ensure civilian safety is of paramount importance.

There are a number of ways that these disasters (and their coverage) can be made a whole lot safer. Remote camera systems with reliable ethernet equipment are pretty high up on that list.

Take hurricane Irma for example.

There was no shortage of “on-the-scene” live reporting during the hurricane, and some of it was actually quite dangerous. If you didn’t catch it, Jim Cantore was in person when the eyewall passed through Fort Myers, and it was tough to watch. Even though the storm had dropped closer to a Category-2 hurricane, one brutal gust still nearly carried him clean across the parking lot.

It’s not hard to see why news networks like having live reporting during these events. One axiom of good journalism is the “Show don’t tell” principle. Viewers would much rather watch an event unfold than get a second-hand report from an eyewitness.

But maybe there’s a happy medium that can be reached with more effective remote camera technology.

Remote Cameras Make Storm Coverage Safer

There’s no doubt that remote cameras can save lives. But the use-cases continue to surprise even us here at Versatek.

We saw some ethernet-driven remote cameras cover plenty of the action during Irma, and it’s clear that it had an impact.

One good example of this, are the images gathered by remote access cameras in Tampa Bay. Winds were so strong that the water had been pushed out of an enormous basin.

Other remotely placed cameras allowed both media and rescuers the opportunity to monitor violent “hot spots” before opting to send people into harm’s way.

Quartz, for instance, offered appreciative readers a list of live feeds where they could watch from the safety of their computers. While much of Florida had no power, family members were able to keep tabs on locations where family members had hunkered down.

Remote weather footage isn’t the only place camera access is simplifying life.

Private Business Security Footage Sharing

It’s not just the weather channel that can benefit from remote camera setups. Law enforcement agencies have leveraged these resources as well.

In Florida, 2 specific Palm Beach law enforcement agencies are reaching out to security-camera owners to tap into this extended visibility to fight crime.

In an article in the Sun Sentinel, the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office and Delray Beach Police have initiated separate programs to make getting crime scene video and footage from areas around the scene easier.

Both groups have asked local businesses with security cameras for “prior permission to access feeds and footage directly from their departments as needed.” That means they’ll be able to gain added visibility to monitor crimes in progress without having to track people down.

Both programs are voluntary of course.

Law enforcement agencies around the country have sought arrangements like these for sometime, so it’s nothing new. Some of you may remember that investigators in Boston took advantage of local security camera footage to track down and apprehend the Boston Bomber.

“‘It is common throughout the country to see cooperation between businesses and police,’ said Caitriona Fitzgerald, state policy coordinator at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which is based in Washington, D.C.”

As you might expect, this pilot program does have its detractors. Privacy advocates are particularly nervous.

“‘But,’ Fitzgerald continued, ‘there’s a big difference between that video being held by a private business … or law enforcement being able to access that video at any time.’”

Digital privacy advocates, like the ACLU will no doubt monitor outcomes from these alliances to ensure things are done properly. On a high note, digital evidence is making straight-forward crimes easier to prosecute.

We’ll have to see how this pans out, but we expect to see agencies and businesses working together. The goal being a symbiotic relationship where law enforcement is a little easier, and business security is more robust.

Wrapping Up

The best part about this technology, is that it’s not as expensive as one might think.

This is primarily due to the fact that there’s no need to install a power source. PoE cabling handles that part.

And what’s even cooler, is that the 100-meter (~300-foot limitation) is easily extended through the use of PoE injectors and Coax Extenders.

Of course, remote camera installations aren’t the only type of setup that can benefit from these recent advances. Our ethernet equipment is equally well-suited to power and enable VoIP phones and remote access networks.

The applications are many, and the benefits just as plentiful. PoE technology continues to change the game on a regular basis and we’re excited to be right in the middle of it all.

For more information on the technology you’ll need to set up remote access security cams, or any other PoE use-case, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’d love to help. Continue Reading ...