Editor's Picks

Sept. 1, 2011
At the Cisco Live event held in mid-July, Cisco debuted a 60-watt Power over Ethernet technology it calls Universal Power Over Ethernet (UPOE).

Cisco delivers 60-watt endspan PoE

At the Cisco Live event held in mid-July, Cisco debuted a 60-watt Power over Ethernet technology it calls Universal Power Over Ethernet (UPOE). UPOE capability is available in Cisco's Catalyst 4500E switch in what is known as endspan PoE. Midspan PoE, on the other hand, introduces direct-current (DC) PoE into a network cabling system via power sourcing equipment such as a powered patch panel. Cisco says its UPOE technology "can offer twice the power per port over products from competing switch vendors and provides both power and network access to a greater range of devices through a single standard Ethernet cable."

According to Cisco, UPOE expands the market for PoE in the following ways.

  • Using the UPOE linecard and splitter, any device that requires up to 60 watts of power can be powered by the Catalyst 4500E, including Cisco IP phones, personal telepresence systems, compact switches and wireless access points.
  • Cisco is working with IEEE and third-party device manufacturers to standardize UPOE in next-generation, network-enabled devices.
  • Samsung and BT have integrated UPOE into some of their devices. Samsung's NC220 zero client display negates the need for a separate virtual desktop client and wall adapter for powering the desktop components. And BT's Netrix turret, which is used in financial trading room floors, can derive its power from the same Ethernet cable that provides its connection to the network.
  • Cisco has tested other devices that it says now can, via a UPOE splitter, be powered by the Catalyst 4500E. Among these devices are Oracle Sun Ray Clients, which are thin clients that are used for displaying server-hosted virtual desktops.

UPOE uses Category 5e or better cabling and standard RJ45 connectivity. The UPOE line card for the 4500E is available now. The UPOE splitter begins shipping this month. The splitter will allow connections to additional third-party devices with a standard DC input.

Executives from the three device manufacturers that have incorporated UPOE into products had praise for the technology. Samsung Electronics' senior vice president Jeong Hwan Kim said his company "is excited to introduce the industry's first virtual desktop monitor powered by Cisco UPOE. This solution delivers a green workspace, while reducing cost and complexity."

BT's president of global banking and financial markets Andy Nicholson stated, "Cisco and British Telecom are working with our customers to deliver the next-generation trading-floor architecture with leading security, availability and manageability. Cisco UPOE is foundational to this architecture to provide resiliency to the trader desk."

And Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president of Linux and virtualization engineering at Oracle, said, "Oracle desktop virtualization products help customers securely access their applications from anywhere they work, whether it's a conference room, hospital room, clincial office or public kiosk, while minimizing cost and complexity. With Cisco UPOE technology, it is now easier than ever to deploy ultra low powered Sun Ray Client devices in nearly any setting without the clutter from power cords."

Cisco has authored a white paper describing UPOE's benefits, as well as the implications of four-pair powering on the twisted-pair cabling infrastructure. The paper says, "The recommendation published by cabling standards - ISO/IEC and TIA/TR-42 as part of formal liaison committee with IEEE 802.3 - indicates that UPOE can be supported over the same standard cabling infrastructures that conform to PoE Plus requirements. With maximum 51W UPOE capacity, temperature for 100-cable bundle increased 10 degrees. This is as required by PoE Plus cable standard request defined in 802.3at." The paper also includes detail on UPOE operation steps.

IEEE publishes 802.22 Super WiFi standard

In late July the IEEE announced it has published the wireless standard officially titled IEEE 802.22-2011 Standard for Wireless Regional Area Networks in TV Whitespaces. Referred to by many as the "Super WiFi" standard, it "takes advantage of the favorable transmission characteristics of the VHF and UHF TV bands to provide broadband wireless access over a large area up to 100 km from the transmitter," the IEEE explained in a release announcing the standard's publication. The release also stated that each wireless regional area network (WRAN) "will deliver up to 22 Mbps per channel without interfering with reception of existing TV broadcast stations, using the so-called white spaces between the occupied TV channels. This technology is especially useful for serving less densely populated areas, such as rural areas, and developing countries where most vacant TV channels can be found."

The project authorization request for 802.22 was submitted in October 2009 and approved in December 2009. The request described the need for the project as follows: "There is a large, untapped market for broadband wireless access in rural and other unserved/underserved areas where wired infrastructure cannot be economically deployed. Products based on this standard will be able to serve those markets and increase the efficiency of spectrum utilization in spectrum currently allocated to, but unused for, the TV broadcast service."

Analyst says fiber industry on the right path

A report recently issued by LightCounting looks at the profitability of companies throughout the optical communications industry, from content providers like Amazon and Google to the optical-component manufacturers that are building the enabling technologies for extremely high-speed information transfer.

The report is titled "State of the Optical Communications Industry: On a Path to Sustainable Profitability." In it, LightCounting describes the dynamics that exist in an industry in which companies like Google enjoy high profits "by taking advantage of the network at almost no charge," and co-exist with other comanies that "are struggling to stay profitable while upgrading networking infrastructure to keep up with rapidly increasing traffic or delivering more efficient and lower cost gear or components for it."

LightCounting's founder and chief executive officer Vladimir Kozlov said, "Average profitability of content providers such as Amazon, eBay and Google doubled in 2010 compared to 2007. Profitability of optical component and equipment suppliers has also improved during the same period, but telecom service providers are yet to find a path to improve profitability, while increasing investments into networking infrastructure." LightCounting adds that consolidation is always one path to profitability, but says that approaches such as charging content providers for delivering bandwidth-hungry videos to consumers are "more innovative solutions" and may become necessary. The researcher also says that in the datacom-equipment market, if Juniper and HP can take some market share away from Cisco for high- and low-end products respectively, such a shift "should have a longer term positive effect on profitability of the whole supply chain."

Also included in the report are examinations of the optical component and module industry in market segments including SONET/SDH, Ethernet, Fibre Channel, WDM and FTTx. The report covers the major transitions that impact optical-network evolution, the company says, including cloud computing, the emergence of super data centers,and flat networking architectures.

Double-tier tray for datacom, MC cable

The new double-tier hand-bendable cable tray from Snake Tray supports both data-communications and MC cable in a single code-compliant system. The manufacturer says the tray is specifically designed for concrete-deck installations with or without integrated concrete pins for loaded shot installation.

Snake Tray says managers of cable plants can save time and money by installing this single tray to manage data-communications and MC cable.

Clip attaches wire basket tray to strut

ERICO's KBT Wire Basket Tray Clip securely attaches wire-basket tray to a strut, the company says. To use the clip, 1) place the basket tray on top of the strut, 2) position the clip over the tray at the desired position, 3) squeeze the clip and 4) slide it in place.

The installation technique does not require any tools or hardware other than the KBT Wire Basket Tray Clip. The clip fits tray wires from 4 to 8 mm.

Singlemode breakout, ribbon cables

Superior Essex announced the availability of four new singlemode fiber (SMF) cables designed for central offices and data centers. Product options include 6-, 12-, and 24-reduced water peak (RWP) SMF breakout cables and a 12-RWP SMF ribbon interconnect cable.

According to the company, the breakout cables consist of 6-, 12-, or 24- 2-mm simplex interconnect cable subunits supported by a central strength element. Each subunit is surrounded by aramid yarns and a flame retardant PVC riser-rated jacket, and is suited for attachment to small form factor connectors.

The ribbon interconnect cable is designed to connect directly to an MPO/MTP-style array connector. It can be used with array connectors on either side for a ribbon jumper cable, or as a transition cable with the array connector on one side and a high fiber count cable on the other. The cable consists of one 12-fiber ribbon surrounded by aramid yarns and a flame retardant PVC riser-rated jacket.

Both the breakout and ribbon interconnect cable designs are fully compliant to GR-409, Issue 2 and ICEA-596.

High-capacity outlet box

Siemon has announced the launch of its high-capacity 5 Square telecommunications outlet box. Providing 50 percent more useable space than traditional 4 square boxes and featuring an exclusive internal cable management system, the company says the 5 Square box was specifically designed to support today's high-performance copper and fiber optic cabling systems.

Delivering 64 cubic inches of space versus just 30-42 cubic inches for standard boxes, Siemon says the 5 Square box is designed to simplifiy installation and, combined with its integral cable management system, helps to maintain larger bend-radius requirements of high-performance systems such as Category 6A and Category 7A copper and 10/40/100Gb/s optical fiber while leaving room for future expansion.

Siemon notes that this additional space afforded by the new box is particularly important for the proper management of larger diameter cables such as Category 6A UTP, where adherence to strict bend radius requirements is particularly performance critical and essentially impossible to maintain in traditional boxes.

Early adopters of the 5 Square box praise its combination of space and cable management features for installation of high-performance cabling. "The 5 Square telecommunications box has been very effective in our installation of Category 6A cable," commented Mario Morales of Cerritos College. "The installers like it, and it makes the installation more consistent among different installers. It has become our campus standard, and we are finding other uses for it, such as for A/V."

Siemon says the 5 Square boxes support a wide selection of flexible installation options, including standard and bracket-mount versions with multiple conduit knockout options. Available with single- and double-gang extension rings in depths up to 1-1/4 inches, the boxes are compatible with all US style Siemon and third party single- and double-gang faceplates, as well as Siemon MX-SM Surface-Mount Boxes, Fiber Outlet Boxes and MuTOAs.

Managed fiber patch panels

RiT Technologies (NASDAQ: RITT) has announced a new addition to its line of fiber-optic solutions for managed installations: the PatchView Xlight MPO-MPO tray. The company says the new product helps data centers prepare for migration to a next-generation 40G/100G network by using 12-fiber cabling systems and MPO connectors.

According to RiT, the Xlight MPO-MPO tray allows installers to work with MPO cords, FOCIS 5D standard compliant comprising 12 fibers, is fully compatible with 40G and 100G IEEE 802.3 applications, and is made up of MPO adapters in 1U of rack space (key-up to key-down). When inserting RiT's Xlight MPO-MPO jumper into the Xlight MPO-MPO tray port with PatchView capability, both optical and electrical connections are simultaneously made, allowing the RiT PatchView system to scan all the wiring center's fiber-optic connections and report the connectivity results to the network administrator online and in real-time.

RiT says that the Xlight Fiber Optic product line addresses rising data center demand for higher optical port density and a rapid installation process, a trend which has developed in step with the data center increased use of MPO connections. The company says its Xlight line is designed to bring the benefits of advanced fiber-optic solutions to RiT's intelligent infrastructure management (IIM) concept to state-of-the-art data centers, including, among others, its Automated Provisioning Tool, Active I graphical interface and strong reporting engine.

"We are very excited to launch this important new product, another industry-first in line with our commitment to bring leading hardware and software products to the market," commented Eran Ayzik, RiT's President and chief executive officer.

Indoor/outdoor access-point enclosure

The Model 1025-00 wireless access point enclosure from Oberon Inc. is made of fiberglass and constructed in accordance with NEMA-4. The company says the product is rugged yet aesthetic, and this combination enables network designers to place wireless access points anywhere they are needed, because the Model 1025-00 provides the protection necessary to ensure wireless-system performance outdoors and in other challenging environments.

Oberon explains that the 1025-00's locking cover offers physical security while, like other Oberon access-point enclosures, it is essentially invisible to RF signals and therefore does not provide an interference problem for the access-point antennas stored within it. The company also explains that NEMA, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, rates enclosures according to their ability to protect against hazards like falling objects, water, ingress, and the formation of ice. The Model 1025-00, Oberon says, is designed to meet NEMA 1, 2, 4, 4X, 12 and 13 specifications as well as IP65. It is also UL-listed, and tested to UL508-4X requirements. Two holes in the bottom of the enclosure accommodate data and power cables. When properly sealed, the 1025-00 is NEMA-4-rated for outdoor use.

The ability to protect wireless access points outdoors and in other environments that is tough on network equipment, is becoming more essential, according to Oberon. The company explains, "Network designers face enormous challenges in planning and implementing networks to address growing wireless demand."

More CIM Articles
Past CIM Issues

Sponsored Recommendations

Cat 6A Frequently Asked Questions

April 29, 2024
At CommScope we know about network change and the importance of getting it right. Conclusion Category 6A cabling and connectivity.

Revolutionize Your Network with Propel Fiber Modules

Oct. 24, 2023
Four sizes of interchangeable Propel fiber modules provide the breadth of capabilities for virtually any configuration.

Elevate Your Network with Propel High-Density Panels

Oct. 24, 2023
Propel Series Sliding Fiber Optic Panels

Constellation™ - Explore power and data products

Oct. 24, 2023
Discover the Essentials for Building Your Power and Data System!