Tag - Power over ethernet

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, and temperature can be monitored and improved, among other things. The opportunities for improvement are not just limited to commercial enterprises, however. Already consumers are upgrading their houses with smart thermostats, home assistants, and voice-activated lights. In the future, smart buildings will only become more and more commonplace as technology is integrated into everything we interact with. That’s not to say that the smart building market comes without challenges. Although this market is poised to expand rapidly, there are obstacles to adoption.

Smart Building Trends

As buildings become more interconnected through the Internet of Things (IoT), certain trends have become apparent in smart buildings.One of these trends is the monitoring of indoor air quality. Current non-intelligent methods of monitoring air quality are less comprehensive and less automated.Studies have shown that high concentrations of CO2 in the air correlate to decreased cognitive performance. Businesses concerned with increasing worker safety and productivity will want to monitor air quality to make sure it is at optimal levels.With IoT, the air quality of a building can be automatically monitored in real time for increased efficiency.Another trend on the uptick is increasing energy efficiency. Most buildings today only have manual meters to gauge energy efficiency. This lack of information can cause various oversights and inefficiencies in energy usage.Smart buildings can allow for the real-time monitoring of water, gas, and electric meters. Not only can the entire building be evaluated, but individual spaces and rooms can be assessed too.This in-depth monitoring and data collection will allow buildings to effectively appraise their energy consumption, giving businesses the information they need to increase energy efficiency and lower costs.Besides the addition of sensors, another major trend is the usage of Power over Ethernet (PoE). PoE uses a single cable to provide a device with both data and power. This functionality provides many advantages over traditional wiring options. First and foremost, PoE is more efficient, as it allows networks to be wired with just half the cabling. This integrates very well with IoT devices, as they all require power and internet connections. With PoE Type 4, each PoE port can provide up to 100W of power, and 70W per device. This increase in power has allowed a much wider variety of devices to be connected, increasing the utility and flexibility of PoE solutions.PoE Type 4PoE has commonly been used with lights, monitors, laptops, and a variety of other devices.  

Growth in the Smart Building Market

As the applications for IoT and smart buildings grow, the market for smart buildings has been growing as well. In 2018, the global smart building market size was 58.1 billion dollars. While this is already an impressive figure, the market is predicted to reach a size of 198 billion dollars by the end of 2025. This amounts to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.1%.To put that number into perspective, the forecasted revenue growth rate of the technology sector as a whole is just 1.9%.Clearly, the smart building market is booming. But what is causing such massive growth? There are a variety of factors that affect this expansion.One of the biggest reasons is the increased demand for energy efficiency. As energy conservation has become more important recently, demand for smart buildings has increased.Eco-friendly and green buildings have become increasingly common, and these buildings contain a variety of smart features. Another reason for the increased growth is industry standards and regulations becoming more supportive. As governments worldwide take steps towards bolstering sustainability and energy efficiency regulations, more opportunities are available to the smart building market. Besides the growth in individual smart buildings, the demand for smart cities has also increased. Governments worldwide are realizing the benefits of incorporating IoT into their cities. As more smart infrastructure is added to cities, the smart building market will only continue to grow.Already, cities such as Barcelona, Amsterdam, Chicago, and New York are adding smart city programs.

Smart Building Challenges

Despite the fact the smart building trends and the market, in general, are growing, there are still difficulties involved with implementing smart technologies in buildings.One problem that may not seem so obvious is the problem of choice. With so many different technologies available to utilize, it can be easy to fall victim to paralysis by analysis. Obviously, it would be cost-prohibitive to attempt to install every single type of smart technology into a building. It is important for businesses to focus on selecting the services they are most in need of. A more obvious problem is the issue of implementation. Building services are not designed to be automated. Installing various sensors, networks, power cables, and other internet-connected devices will be a costly process, especially since most buildings were not designed with the idea of automation in mind. While in the long run, IoT-enabled buildings will save money and increase productivity, short-run costs can dissuade businesses from making the switch.

Conclusion

To summarize, the intelligent building market is a field that is currently experiencing massive growth. IoT-connected devices are becoming more commonplace in businesses as well as homes. Smart buildings can be equipped with a wide variety of technology to automate and increase efficiency, such as air quality monitors, temperature sensors, and energy efficiency monitors. Other technologies like PoE are helpful for providing power and data to IoT devices more effectively. The rise of smart cities and updated standards and regulations have helped to drive the growth of the smart building market. Of course, as with any technology, there are obstacles to implementation, such as installation costs.
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 intelligent environmental control, increasing savings as well as worker comfort.

It is clear that the Internet of Things (IoT) is not going anywhere, and technological integration will only become a larger part of our lives at home and work.

With the rise of smaller electronic devices connecting to the internet, there has become a greater need for power and internet cable networking.

Power over Ethernet fills this role, bringing to the table many advantages over other networking solutions that require two separate cables.

Using just a single cable for power and networking, PoE is more flexible, efficient, and can be more easily installed. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at PoE functions in offices, and specifically the limitations of PoE in offices.

Applications of PoE in Offices

The applications of PoE in offices are only increasing, as technology advances and PoE standards improve. With the advent of PoE Type 4, each PoE port can provide up to 100W, and up to 70W per device. These higher wattages allow for a much wider variety of devices to be connected.

One of the most effective uses for PoE in offices is for lighting purposes. Large networking companies have seen a 50% reduction in installation cost when using PoE-connected lighting systems when compared to traditional AC power systems.

When used in conjunction with LEDs, PoE can be used to install smart lighting systems that can intelligently switch lights on and off when someone enters/exits a room. Additionally, lights can be dimmed and color-shifted to increase worker comfort.

Office Smart Lighting

Besides lights, PoE can be used to install sensors to monitor energy consumption, temperature, air quality, or even occupancy sensors. Taking these measures into consideration will improve worker comfort and productivity, as well as reduce energy consideration.

To improve safety, all building entry points could be equipped with RFID sensors for quick and secure entry. Video cameras can also be hooked up to PoE for fast and flexible installation.

Even monitors and laptops can hook up to PoE, thanks to the large wattage increase that PoE Type 4 brings. Video chats in conference rooms could be networked and powered as well. One of the biggest benefits of PoE is its versatility and flexibility.

However, there are still some important limitations regarding PoE utilization in office buildings that should be considered before moving forward.

Installation Costs

While technology like voice control and internet connectivity already exists, it hasn’t yet been implemented everywhere. Not every single building you enter is smart, even though there are a number of benefits to integrating devices onto a single network.

The technology is there, but even though PoE installation is cheaper than traditional set-ups, it’s obviously not free.

Installing a new network from scratch comes with costs associated. While it may not seem too expensive to upgrade your house with a PoE network, it’s important to remember that office buildings are much larger and have many more devices needing connections.

Introducing a PoE network in a large office building is sure to require a multitude of PoE switches, hubs, injectors, splitters, and cables. These will be needed in order to connect to monitors, laptops, sensors, and other networked devices.

Of course, as time goes on, the demand for IoT connected devices will only increase, and offices will need to purchase more devices to stay up to date.

All the associated costs make it somewhat more cost-prohibitive for businesses to upgrade to PoE networks.

Maintenance

Power over Ethernet can be utilized through two different types of switches. The first type is unmanaged switches. These switches are meant to be totally plug-and-play, requiring no set-up to install and use.

Unmanaged switches are cheaper, but they aren’t complex enough to handle the networking needs of an office building. These switches are better suited to consumer purposes, such as smart homes.

Unmanaged Switch for Smart Homes, Managed Switch for Smart Offices

The other type of switch is a managed switch. Managed switches are more costly, but provide the additional control that is necessary for a complex office network. IT professionals can expertly adjust managed switches to ensure that every device connected is functioning optimally.

However, this maintenance comes at an additional cost. Employing IT workers to manage PoE switches and hubs is another cost that businesses should be aware of when implementing PoE networks.

Distance and Data Limitations

Besides cost, there other factors to consider when installing a PoE network.

PoE cables have a maximum range of 100 meters, after which the signal drops off very quickly. For consumers, that range should be plenty, but large businesses and buildings may run into problems.

Businesses should take care to place powered devices within a reasonable distance from Power Sourcing Equipment. To combat this, a PoE extender can be used to increase range by an additional 100 meters, although a 200-meter signal might not be sufficient if Power Sourcing Equipment is placed too far away.

PoE Extender Application Diagram

Although PoE provides power and data to devices, it is important to make sure quality is not sacrificed in the process. For those looking for heavy network usage, PoE tends to slow the data speed of the network.

This can be avoided by purchasing high-end switches, though.

Conclusion

Overall, PoE is being increasingly utilized to upgrade buildings, homes, and offices, bringing technological integration and the IoT into daily life. In offices alone, there are already a wide variety of uses for PoE, from smart lights to security cameras.

In spite of that, PoE is not without its challenges. Although cheaper than alternatives, it can be costly to implement and maintain. There are also range and data limits to take under consideration when designing a PoE network.

Enabling PoE Technologies in Office Buildings

Enabling PoE Technologies in Office Buildings

Power over Ethernet delivers both electrical power and communication signals via the same Ethernet cable. This advancement in technology opens the door to a whole host of new networking possibilities, particularly in commercial settings such as office buildings. As the Internet of Things (IoT) is being adopted at an increasing rate, PoE is being utilized by the most advanced networking professionals around the world to power devices in a plethora of different scenarios, from hotels and retail stores to office buildings. Why?PoE is far superior to traditional networking solutions that require two separate cables – one for power, and one for data – as it is faster, more flexible, efficient, and lastly, easier to install. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the applications of PoE technology in modern office buildings – more specifically, how engineers are utilizing the technology to increase building efficiency while simultaneously making a safer, more comfortable, and more productive working environment.

PoE Adoptions in Office Buildings

PoE is being used to power and operate LED lighting systems, HVAC controls, cameras, and other network devices such as Wireless Access Points (WAPs), VoIP phones, door access systems, and more.PoE DevicesIn fact, the latest and greatest smart building concepts designed to bolster energy efficiency and boost productivity are driven by PoE technology. Looking to the future, operational technology (OT) is only going to continue making use of PoE in a plethora of different commercial settings, from offices and factories to warehouses and power plants. Architects, engineers, and builders are working in conjunction with information technology (IT) personnel to bring PoE networks to the forefront of everyday life in commercial environments. The forward-thinkers in the networking space have recognized the benefits of adopting PoE infrastructure, as it is a key asset for the proper implementation of IoT in smart buildings. These advanced technologies are responsible for network connected lighting solutions, in addition to the increased energy efficiency and the manageability of automated commercial networking systems.

100W PoE in Office Buildings

Thanks to the adoption of the new IEEE 100W PoE standard, a ton of new PoE applications have emerged, as more power-hungry devices are now compatible with PoE technology. By utilizing all four twisted pairs in a PoE cable, the 100W PoE standard can deliver more power than traditional PoE and PoE+, with improved efficiency and reduced channel losses. Multiple devices can be optimized with the low-voltage PoE cable infrastructure by linking them together in a daisy-chain, further reducing power consumption and installation overhead.  Through the use of 100W PoE, devices like digital signage displays, point-of-sale systems, LCD televisions, and computer monitors can be powered with PoE cables.100W PoE DevicesEvidently, these devices are commonplace in modern offices.

PoE Applications in Office Buildings

PoE LED lighting fixtures are transforming the way engineers and electricians install lighting systems in offices and other commercial settings. Conveniently enough, even legacy lighting fixtures in old buildings can quickly and easily be retrofitted with LEDs and sensors that are compatible with PoE smart control features. Moreover – since PoE networks don't require the installation of power outlets near each device endpoint – installing a PoE system is much faster to install and deploy than legacy networks. This means commercial buildings are ideal candidates for PoE lighting and automation, as it can be quickly installed and easily retrofitted into existing network configurations. For example, smart sensors connected to the building’s network can be used to turn lights on and off when someone enters or exits a room, when a door opens or closes, or even via pressure sensors in the floor. The possibilities are endless. Furthermore, PoE technology also improves the quality of the light with smoother intensity dimming functions and dynamically adjustable lighting color options to provide a more comfortable and productive working environment. Further still, building operators have full access to sensor-based occupancy reporting, air quality, temperature, real-time energy consumption metrics, and other environmental monitoring. Additionally, PoE allows for easy convergence and integration with existing automation systems in older buildings. Engineers even have the ability to implement digital zoning of different sections of the building. This provides the flexibility necessary to optimize the building zones for different use cases and facilitates easy re-zoning for different use cases further down the line. Thanks to PoE’s ability to distribute power and network signals to devices, lights, motorized blinds, sensors, and other devices are now becoming digital devices that can be configured, grouped together, and controlled in one central location on the network. As far as manageability is concerned, network controlled lighting with PoE and IoT allows building operators to take full control of their lighting systems. The ability to seamlessly migrate lighting controls to an IP-based framework is a tremendous advantage. Lighting is being transformed into a service that IoT-enabled buildings can control along with other building functions. PoE switches are being used to power and connect sensor nodes, wall dimmers, luminaires, and other local devices in an office building. Each switch is connected to these devices with a traditional Cat 5 or Cat 6 cable, which makes for easy power distribution to local devices.Better control aside, the synergistic integration of PoE lighting into the building’s network also leads to colossal energy savings, improved occupant comfort, and even improved security. Thanks to PoE lighting’s outstanding output per watt of power, using PoE LED lighting fixtures to replace traditional fluorescent lighting is incredibly cost effective when compared to other lighting technologies.

Conclusion

All in all, PoE technology in combination with IoT is revolutionizing the commercial industry, especially in office buildings. Installing PoE technology is cheaper, more efficient, and more effective than legacy networks. PoE also is instrumental in creating safer, more comfortable, and more productive working environments in office buildings. Even better, engineers can use the data aggregated by sensors in different building zones to optimize the network, which can then be used to further improve the network and reduce power consumption.
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.PoE Cable 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 Pumpinfusion 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 their existing infrastructure and reoutfit their network with PoE compatible switches
  2. Install PoE hubs to continue using their existing infrastructure
A network that’s already relying on non-PoE switches probably shouldn’t get rid of their existing infrastructure entirely, as it would prove to be too expensive. Rather, it is cheaper to use PoE hubs, which can take the data from a regular switch, inject it with power, and send a PoE signal down the line to the network’s powered devices.PoE Hub ApplicationKeep in mind, however, that despite PoE’s upfront installation costs, it’s still far cheaper than installing a non-PoE network. Rather than having to run both a power and data cable to every device on the network – not to mention installing power outlets in hard-to-reach places – a PoE network only requires technicians to run a single cable from the PoE switch (or hub) to the device.

Range

PoE suffers from some distance limitations, which is probably one of its biggest downfalls. Since PoE technology relies on traditional CAT Ethernet cables to deliver power and data, a PoE network is going to be limited by the effective range of traditional cables. Range varies depending on the access point and its required voltage, in addition to the amount of voltage provided by the Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE). The quality of the cable is also going to have an effect on the maximum effective range. The IEEE 802.3af and 802.3at PoE standards have a distance limit of 100 meters (328 ft), which is the limit of data transmission for Ethernet cables. Luckily, is a solution to this problem: You can buy PoE extenders and connect several PoE cables to them, significantly increasing their maximum range. Still, this won’t last forever. The farther away a device is from your PSE, the weaker the signal will become.PoE Extender ChainIn large hospitals and other big healthcare facilities, PoE switches and/or hubs may have to be installed in several different locations throughout the building.

Compatibility

Some devices on the network may not be PoE compatible, meaning they require one connection for data and another for power. In this instance, you won’t be able to run a PoE cable directly to the device. This may seem like it defeats the purpose of using PoE in the first place, and it does – kind of. Fortunately, there are a few easy solutions. You could get rid of the device and replace it with a PoE compatible device, but that would be pretty costly and a waste of a perfectly good device. This becomes even more problematic if a lot (or most) of your devices aren’t PoE compatible. Instead, you can use a PoE splitter (which is the opposite of a PoE hub/PoE injector, by the way) to connect a non-PoE device to a PoE cable. Basically, a PoE splitter takes the power/data signal from a PoE cable and splits it into two – one cable supplies power, and the other data. This way, you can still connect a non-PoE device to a PoE network without having to run separate power and data cables to the device.PoE Splitter ApplicationFurther still, using a PoE splitter eliminates the need to install power outlets in inconvenient locations, which reduces both installation time and cost.
Enabling PoE Technologies in the Healthcare Industry

Enabling PoE Technologies in the Healthcare Industry

The rate of progression in the medical field is increasing exponentially – new technology is emerging all of the time, and with IoT (Internet of Things) on the rise, automation is making its way to medicine as well. In fact, IoT in healthcare is taking off, as hospitals and senior living centers around the globe are beginning to use smart healthcare with IoT to better operate their facilities. Using IoT – powered by PoE – keeps patients safer and more comfortable than ever before. In addition, PoE surveillance systems help to keep healthcare facilities safer, both inside and out.

Benefits of IoT in the Healthcare Industry

Healthcare providers are always trying to monitor patients to the best of their ability. They want to make sure patients are as comfortable as possible while providing the best treatment at the same time.

Faster Diagnosis

Healthcare professionals can use IoT to automatically monitor things like their patients’ heart rates and blood pressures. The data is sent to a cloud, where it can be sorted and analyzed to give healthcare professionals a better idea of what’s going on. Thanks to IoT, doctors can make faster, more accurate diagnoses – which, in some extreme cases, can mean the difference between life and death.

Preventative Care

Data collected from IoT devices can be used to help doctors diagnose a problem more quickly – in the same way, the data can also be used to base treatments off of predictive-analytics. Looking to the future, there will be more personalized treatments for patients thanks to IoT data.

Patient Comfort

Even little things in a hospital – including its lighting – can have a big impact on a patient’s experience. PoE lighting is now being used to illuminate technologically progressive hospitals, but only when necessary. For instance, hospitals can be nerve-wracking by themselves; if the room lights up every time someone walks in or out, it can be hard to sleep and even more stressful than the experience should be.IoT coupled with PoE lighting can be programmed to make the environment more comfortable for the patient when they’re sleeping, and less distracting as well. Rather than turning on at full blast automatically, patients will only be exposed to dim lighting (only what’s necessary) while they’re trying to rest.PoE Lighting in HealthcareHospitals and nursing homes could even program the lighting to turn on when patients leave their bed in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, and turn off again when they lay down again. The possibilities are endless. A well-rested patient is happier, healthier, and less stressed out as well.

Security

PoE surveillance systems are used to monitor the healthcare facility’s activity 24/7, helping to maintain a hospital or senior living center’s security protocol. Healthcare providers can assign zones to each part of the hospital, and even track individual personnel in the building. This is only the beginning of IoT security use cases.

PoE and Healthcare Use Case

All of the IoT devices that must be connected to the hospital’s network also need a power source. Rather than routing two cables – one for power and one for data – to every IoT device in the hospital, PoE is used to cut costs and increase efficiency. The former option is far too expensive and quickly becoming a way of the past. PoE enables IoT data and electricity to travel through an Ethernet cable. Devices on the network can securely send data (without range limitations or interference) to powered devices on the network.PoE & Healthcare Use Cases In a hospital especially, it’s imperative that data is transmitted reliably. If doctors can’t access vital information due to system failure, people could die. That’s why PoE is a great fit: It’s cheap to install, but it’s also reliable, secure, and efficient. Actually, PoE makes it easier than ever to reap the rewards of IoT in healthcare due to its simplicity; both installing and using PoE is relatively simple. The hardest part is running PoE cables from your PoE switch to a powered device. In the near future, everything in a hospital will be connected. From the second you walk in the front door, everything will be smoothly communicating, operating at peak efficiency. Every patient’s monitor will be sending data to a cloud which can be examined by doctors in real time, and the data can be used to determine what’s wrong with them. For example, crash carts can be tracked via PoE’s asset tracking functionality. Staff will be alerted immediately when something is moved out of its designated zone in the hospital, ensuring everything remains in the right place at the right time. Aside from equipment tracking, PoE asset tracking can be used to monitor staff as well. Each staff member will automatically be granted certain permissions according to their position in the hospital. Only top-level doctors can enter certain rooms, janitors can have access to janitorial closets, etc. In senior living homes, falls are a huge concern. IoT technology can alert facility staff when a patient leaves their bed, doesn’t return, and there isn’t any other motion detected for an extended period of time. This will make response times quicker and senior living homes safer. As you can see, PoE opens up the door to a whole new world of possibilities, especially in the healthcare industry.

Why Use PoE?

PoE is a simple, cost-effective way to upgrade your healthcare facility’s technological infrastructure, getting it ready for the future. Technology is advancing at an exponentially increasing rate. IoT and automation are the future of many industries, healthcare included.Rather than having to route two cables to each IoT powered device on the network, PoE can be used to supply data and power to every device in a healthcare facility in a cost effective manner. Only a network using PoE will be ready for the coming technological revolution of the 21st century. Will you be ready?
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, hotel guests are beginning to expect the same advanced technology in their hotel rooms. Guests have a more satisfactory stay when their rooms are outfitted with IoT technology.Likewise, thanks to the emergence of e-commerce powerhouses such as Amazon dominating the market, retail stores are doing everything they can to retain their customers. Outfitting their stores with new technology is a fantastic way to keep shoppers coming back, despite the growing popularity of online shopping.The Internet of Things market is already large and is only expected to grow. In addition, IoT devices are powered by PoE technology, whose market is also going to expand in the coming years. Unfortunately, despite PoE’s many benefits, it has some downfalls as well. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of PoE’s real-world complications, specifically in the hospitality and retail industries.

PoE Limitations

PoE and the Internet of Things are the future of the hospitality and retail industries – in fact, some companies are beginning to install PoE in their hotels already. PoE is being used by hotels for several purposes, including lighting fixtures and, more recently, Hilton’s new Connected Room.Rather than having to adjust temperature, lighting, and the TV manually, guests will soon be able to control every aspect of their room with their voice using a mobile app.West Baden Spring Hotel PoE Lighting In addition, many hotels – including the West Baden Springs Hotel – are beginning to use energy-efficient PoE lighting fixtures in their buildings. Retail stores are also beginning to use PoE devices, such as PoE lighting and POS (Point of Sale) Systems. These hotels and retailers, however, have to overcome a few obstacles associated with PoE. Cost, installation, and range are all issues that must be contended with.

Installation Cost

Developing the technology needed for a Connected Room – one that you can control with your voice and/or your mobile phone – has already largely been developed. Thanks to companies like Amazon and Apple working on the Amazon Alexa and Siri, voice recognition software has come a long way. With that being said, developing the technology is not the biggest hurdle for hotels that are trying to implement IoT into their rooms – rather, the problem lies with the cost of replacing their networks with the necessary PoE technology. Although Power over Ethernet is cost-effective in the long run, it can still be pricey to install an entirely new PoE network, especially when you have to replace an existing network. Now, you have to factor in the sheer size of a hotel’s network, which probably has to handle more devices than any other application. Think about it: aside from the guests’ devices, hotel’s have to operate security cameras, dozens of wireless access points, they often have an IP phone in every room, etc. On top of that, growing demand for IoT and PoE enabled devices means, if hotel owners want to keep up with the times – which they’ll have to do unless they want to go out of business – they’re going to have to install even more Internet devices in their hotel. For many hotel owners, they cannot afford to pay the cost of retrofitting a hotel with PoE switches, hubs, and cables.

Limited Range

PoE cables have a maximum effective range of around 100 meters – after that, the cable’s ability to transfer data begins to quickly diminish. Hotels would have to install Power Sourcing Equipment on every floor of the building and purchase either a multitude of PoE switches or PoE hubs to accommodate their large network demand.PoE Hub Application DiagramLarge retail stores with several floors also have to contend with this limitation of PoE. Some transmission inefficiencies have deterred would-be PoE lighting users from installing the technology in their building. If the Power Sourcing Equipment is placed too far away from the lighting fixtures, PoE will not be able to provide adequate power to the devices. That’s why it’s important to place your Power Sourcing Equipment and Powered Devices in close proximity to one another. In some cases, PSE for lighting fixtures can be installed closer to the lights themselves, rather than by the rack of data switches that are often further away. A PoE extender could be used to add an additional 100 meters of range to a PoE signal, though even with a PoE extender, a maximum effective range of 200 meters isn’t that far when we’re talking about a large hotel with devices on every floor.

Lack of IT Personnel

There are two kinds of PoE network switches: managed and unmanaged switches. Unmanaged switches are supposed to work automatically, and they’re best suited for small home or office networks that don’t require any complex configurations. An unmanaged switch’s settings cannot be tampered with, as it’s supposed to be self-adjusting. Unmanaged switches are cheaper, but they aren’t advanced enough to operate a network as large as a hotel’s. If anything went wrong – which is more likely to happen with a network comprised of unmanaged switches – the entire network would crash and it would be hard for IT personnel to alleviate the problem.Unmanaged vs. Managed SwitchesManaged switches, on the other hand, are not as easy to use, yet they provide far more control for an additional cost. IT professionals can fine-tune a network with a managed PoE switch, especially if it’s a high-end PoE switch. Many hotels and retailers, especially those owned by smaller companies, don’t have a large budget for IT. After installing the advanced system, those in the hospitality and retail industries would also have to hire trained IT professionals to manage the network.

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.
Extenders, Injectors, Media ConvertersEach 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 FiberSingle 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 FiberMultimode 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.

Hybrid cable vs Composite cable

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 Different Cables

Connecting together an enterprise network, whether business, governmental, or academic, can be like piecing together a puzzle. The wisdom as to why an installer chooses a particular cable not only rests on its function but also how much it costs to deploy. Keeping costs down has allowed organizations the ability to afford frequent upgrades. One of the most exciting solutions of the present day has definitely been PoE and its satellite components.Along with much repurposing of Cat 5e, Cat 6, and Cat 6a, though, there seems to be a resurge in coax and a steady proportionate deployment of fiber.If you’re piecing together a network of diverse cabling and would like some help in understanding the best option for your deployment, please feel free to reach out.
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.