Editor's Picks

June 1, 2018
News, products and trends for the communications systems industry

Carol Everett Oliver joins Siemon as network cabling specialist

Siemon recently announced Carol Everett Oliver, RCDD, ESS joined the company as network cabling specialist for the Southeast region of the U.S., to provide sales, technical support and training. She also will create new business opportunities for the entire company.

“Oliver has more than 20 years of experience in the ICT industry, which includes sales and customer training, technical support and marketing responsibilities,” the company said when announcing the hire. “Most recently, she was the training and technology manager for Legrand Data Communication Division North America, and was also an integral part of their intelligent building strategic team. She spent nine years at Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company. Prior to that she owned a marketing consulting firm, Everett Communications for 10 years, where she published more than 100 technical articles and case studies, as well as coordinated advertising campaigns and events for a variety of manufacturers in our industry.”

Oliver currently serves on BICSI’s board of directors as the association’s Secretary. She also chairs BICSI’s Intelligent Building Standards Subcommittee, and is vice-chair for BICSI ESS standards. She served as BICSI’s U.S. Northeast Region Director from 2012 to 2016. In 2010 she received the David K. Blythe/University of Kentucky BICSI Member of the Year Award, and in 2009 was recognized by BICSI as one of the “Top 25 RCDD Changemakers.” Oliver holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from San Jose State University and resides in Cape Coral, FL.

Dave Valentukonis, RCDD/NTS, Siemon’s technical services group leader for North America, commented, “Carol will be an asset to our sales team with her technical knowledge, but we are also excited that she will expand the company’s visibility beyond the Southeast, by supporting marketing with her expertise in writing articles, as well as utilizing her experience as a seasoned speaker at technical events and representing the company through industry initiatives and committees.”


SES clears Latin America’s path to widespread satellite 4K Ultra HD services

Following major space and ground infrastructure investments and the expansion of its Latin America video neighborhood, this April SES announced the launch of its Ultra HD platform into the region to accelerate commercial 4K rollouts among leading cable, IPTV, and DTH providers across Latin America. The SES-backed antenna program, which led to the installation of satellite antennas at pay TV distribution hubs throughout Latin America, puts SES in a prime position to help cable, IPTV and DTH providers reach 100 percent of the region’s vast audiences with advanced HD and Ultra HD content.

SES is the among the world’s leading satellite operators and the first to deliver a differentiated and scalable GEO-MEO offering worldwide, with more than 50 satellites in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and 16 in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), the company said. SES focuses on value-added, end-to-end solutions in two key business units: SES Video and SES Networks. The company provides satellite communications services to broadcasters, content and internet service providers, mobile and fixed network operators, governments and institutions.

Per a company statement, “Many of Latin America’s leading pay TV providers are already testing SES’s new Ultra HD solution, an all-in-one package of preconfigured Ultra HD content, reception equipment, and satellite distribution that will enable quick and easy Ultra HD deployments over the region. The new SES Latin America Ultra HD solution will open with four Ultra HD channels, including NASA TV UHD, produced by Harmonic, as well as the SES Ultra HD demo channel, an incubator for emerging 4K content producers. SES plans to add new channels and content produced in Brazil, Mexico, and other Latin American countries in the future.”


ForceShield unveils plug-and-play gateway appliance to secure industrial IoT and OT devices

ForceShield has unveiled its GatewayShield, a dedicated plug-and-play appliance that provides dynamic security protection for Internet of Things (IoT) devices and Operational Technology (OT) networks. According to the company, “GatewayShield defends industrial networks from known or unknown threats, and quarantines compromised devices in the event of attacks, offering protection in both directions—from OT to IT, or IT to OT.”

Per a press release, “GatewayShield’s function is to protect industrial networks from vulnerability threats, password guessing, and botnet attacks. Because it uses ForceShield’s Dynamic Transformation Technology, GatewayShield is able to secure network-attached devices without installing an agent or upgrading firmware, limiting risk of exposure from external threats. Dynamic Transformation Technology improves system resilience and increases complexity and cost for attackers while it limits exposure and opportunities for attack.”

“As the number of OT devices connected to the Internet rises, so does the threat of automated attacks,” notes Yu-Min Lin, ForceShield’s cofounder and CTO. “ForceShield is the only security provider transcending the barriers between IT, IoT, and OT. Dynamic Transformation effectively changes the security paradigm from reactive to proactive, even on industrial networks with legacy devices.”


Clearfield doubles ruggedized idle port splitter density in FieldSmart fiber distribution cabinets

Clearfield, Inc. announced an enhancement to its WaveSmart Ruggedized Splitter that the company says dramatically reduces the space needed for deployment. Backwards-compatible to Clearfield’s entire line of FieldSmart fiber distribution cabinets, the addition of an optical staging plate feature now provides the option to either reuse existing space for placing the idle splitter legs or doubles the density of that same area.

According to the company, “Designed with performance in mind, the new, highly dense WaveSmart Optical Staging Plate allows for quick install and removal of splitter legs using adapters that support quick ‘red-light’ port testing or identification. The Clearfield WaveSmart ruggedized optical splitters are designed for hardened outside plant environments and ship from the factory equipped with either SC or LC connectors on the ends of the splitter legs. The ruggedized splitters, available in 1:32, 1:16 or 1:8 configurations, are used in all FieldSmart PON Cabinets, Wall Boxes, PON-in-a-Ped and PON inserts.”

“Service providers today are looking for options that increase fiber-optic density in cabinets of all types so that they can have greater flexibility in deployment, enhancing their return on investment when deploying fiber in the outside plant,” comments Johnny Hill, chief operating officer and cofounder, Clearfield. “Consistent with Clearfield’s long-standing excellence in ruggedized design, the WaveSmart Ruggedized splitter uniquely addresses environmental and human handling issues associated with outside plant environments.”


Vertiv identifies the 4 primary edge networking archetypes

Vertiv, formerly Emerson Network Power, recently released “Defining Four Edge Archetypes and their Technology Requirements,” a global, research-based analysis of network edge use cases, resulting in the identification of four main archetypes for edge applications and the technology required to support them. For the analysis, Vertiv edge experts, in conjunction with an independent third-party consulting firm, identified more than 100 use cases and refined the initial list to 24 considered to have the greatest impact on businesses and end users, based on projected growth, criticality and financial impact.

According to a press statement, for the project Vertiv’s experts identified data-centric sets of workload requirements for each edge use case and corresponding needs for performance, availability and security. They examined specific performance requirements, including latency, availability, scalability and security, in conjunction with the need for encryption, authentication and regulatory compliance. They also looked at the need to integrate with existing or legacy applications and other data sources, while considering the number of edge locations in a given network.

“The primary goal in this analysis was to help those involved with edge data centers and hubs understand the needs of the digital ecosystem by identifying the characteristics and requirements of the top edge use cases,” said Gary Niederpruem, chief strategy and development officer at Vertiv. “Recognizing commonalities of the archetypes is a step toward providing an optimized infrastructure.”

According to Vertiv, the four edge networking archetypes are as follows. 1) Data intensive—This includes use cases where the amount of data makes it impractical to transfer over the network directly to the cloud or from the cloud to point-of-use due to data volume, cost or bandwidth issues. Examples include smart cities, smart factories, smart homes/buildings, high-definition content distribution, high-performance computing, restricted connectivity, virtual reality, and oil and gas digitization. 2) Human-latency sensitive—This archetype includes use cases where services are optimized for human consumption, and it is all about speed. Delayed data delivery negatively impacts a user’s technology experience, potentially reducing a retailer’s sales and profitability. Use cases include smart retail, augmented reality, website optimization, and natural language processing. 3) Machine-to-machine latency sensitive—Speed also is the defining characteristic of this archetype, which includes the arbitrage market, smart grid, smart security, real-time analytics, low-latency content distribution, and defense force simulation. 4) Life-critical—This archetype encompasses use cases that directly impact human health and safety. Consequently, speed and reliability are vital. Use cases include smart transportation, digital health, connected/autonomous cars, autonomous robots, and drones.


Snake Tray’s multiple pocket cable manager takes aim at hospital, healthcare IT

Snake Tray has announced the release of its newest cable manager, featuring a color-coded multiple pocket design that is billed as an ideal solution for managing cables in hospital and healthcare environments.

Snake Tray’s new multiple pocket cable manager provides up to 8 separate color-coded pathways to manage and identify a variety of cables. The cable manager easily integrates with a cable tray or mounts to a wall.


CommScope brings AR capabilities to imVision automated infrastructure management system

CommScope announced that it will be demonstrating new augmented reality (AR) capabilities within its imVision automated infrastructure management solution, so customers soon will literally be able to “see” what’s going on in their local area networks. Per a company statement, “The software-based imVision platform already enables IT managers to monitor and control every aspect of their network infrastructure—from tracking down a stranded switch port to troubleshooting a connectivity issue in a matter of minutes versus hours or days.

“Located in a data center or IT closet, imVision can remotely show where ports are located and how they are connected back to the main location,” adds CommScope. “Even with this information, however, users may not be able to physically see the port information or actual connection if it is behind ceiling tiles or walls. That’s what the new AR capabilities in imVision will enable, speeding up troubleshooting and provisioning.”

“What started as an application for gamers and entertainment has now entered the business world, and organizations are beginning to see the value that AR can bring to various industries,” said Ernie Pickens, senior vice president of enterprise solutions, CommScope. “Coupling AR with intelligent infrastructure to ‘see’ cables and connections behind walls and in ceilings is just the first of many uses where we believe customers will find value.”

CommScope adds that “there are endless advantages to bringing the power of AR to imVision. As part of a recent technology assessment, CommScope collaborated with Joinpad to develop several functional AR prototypes based on use cases that are typically performed during cabling administration tasks. The tasks covered implementation of moves/adds/changes, troubleshooting cabling connectivity, and maintenance work on cabling infrastructure in the ceiling.”


Analyst: FirstNet boosts in-building wireless market, but challenges remain

In its newly released report on public safety, “DAS in the FirstNet Era,” ABI Research examines the intersection of the FirstNet/AT&T radio access network with in-building wireless and distributed antenna systems (DAS). As AT&T starts its 5-year multi-billion-dollar National Broadband Public Safety network buildout, also known as FirstNet, in-building wireless is already receiving an immediate boost.

“AT&T has already made its significant in-building resources consisting of more than 6,000 distributed antenna systems and 40,000 WiFi access points available to the first responder community,” said Nick Marshall, research director at ABI Research. “AT&T has made priority and pre-emption immediately available to public safety users on these systems.”

Because more than 80 percent of wireless traffic originates or terminates indoors, ensuring that a strong signal is available to first responders indoors in emergency situations becomes a mission-critical—if not live-saving—service. The new ABI Research report examines the features being implemented by AT&T for FirstNet, discusses the requirements for in-building FirstNet wireless coverage and makes strategic recommendations to building owners/managers, equipment vendors, system integrators, and neutral hosts. For example, early and frequent collaboration with AT&T/FirstNet and the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) is essential to ensure successful indoor FirstNet performance.

“Although the FirstNet buildout has just been started by AT&T, the requirements for in-building coverage have received little attention so far. Overlooking FirstNet standards for in-building public safety may, in fact, compromise the effectiveness of this mission-critical service. In addition, multiple AHJs with differing standards for indoor public safety wireless systems, system ownership and funding are among the challenges discussed in the report,” Marshall added.

In its assessment of this market ABI Research forecasts that public safety system revenue for indoor wireless, excluding signal sources, will reach $1.8 billion by 2021 growing at a compound annual growth rate of 15.8 percent. North America will represent the largest market for indoor public safety equipment growing by 1.5 times its 2017 value. The indoor public safety equipment market in the Asia Pacific region follows North America in size but has the highest growth of all regions at 2.3 times its 2017 value.


CompuCom’s new digital campus HQ incorporates full PoE interior lighting technology via Cat 6A, Cat 6 cabling

On April 9, CompuCom Systems, Inc., a provider of managed digital workplace services that is now part of Office Depot, Inc., officially opened a 151,000-square-foot digital campus/global headquarters located in the greater Charlotte, North Carolina area of Fort Mill, South Carolina. Designed to express CompuCom’s vision of the digital workplace, the Digital Campus rests in the middle of a dynamic and diverse workforce and provides access to a highly technical labor market. The campus personifies CompuCom’s “mission of leveraging technology and innovation to drive collaboration, productivity and operational efficiency.” According to the company, “with plenty of room for expansion, CompuCom’s Digital Campus hosts corporate staff, contact center associates—product and service teams—and expects to house up to 3,500 total personnel, in two buildings, over the next five to seven years.”

Designed by LS3P Associates Limited for CompuCom, the company says “the campus is one of the first digital buildings in the world exclusively powered by Power over Ethernet (PoE) interior lighting technology. This modern approach helped builder Choate Construction achieve breakneck speeds—’from trees to keys’—in under 12 months. The campus boasts a state-of-the-art healthcare clinic, modern gym, digital café, firepit and a two-story digital video wall. The building’s entrance leads to a large decorative staircase designed to encourage engagement with the adjacent CompuCom Solution Café, a center for the incubation and advancement of digital workplace technology and services,” added a press release.

According to CompuCom: “Leveraging PoE technology eliminates the need for electrical wiring to every fixture and replaces that wiring with Category 6A cable for wireless access points and Category 6 cable for all other cabling. There are no light switches to be found throughout the Campus since lights are controlled through digital switches distributed throughout the facility, saving CompuCom over $275,000 in electrical labor and wiring. Additionally, eliminating the need for batteries in sensors, alarms and emergency exit signs reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the building. As a result, the campus is 16 percent less expensive per square foot to operate than CompuCom’s original Plano, Texas-based headquarters, with significantly more advanced technology.”


Rosenberger OSI unveils redundant fiber-optic LAN cabling system for office, building Ethernet sector

As a LAN cabling extension to its PerCONNECT data center infrastructure line, and representing “an innovative redundant Ethernet cabling concept,” Rosenberger OSI recently unveiled its EcoFlex’IT platform, aimed at the enterprise office and building sector. The platform is designed to enable an efficient active and passive networking from a single source.

“As a cabling system, PerCONNECT EcoFlex’IT integrates into any work environment without the need of additional space, can be taken out again at any time, is easy to move, and is flexibly upgradeable,” comments Stefan Wiener, product manager of Rosenberger OSI’s LAN portfolio. “EcoFlex’IT is the next step on from PerCONNECT, with active components and an innovative overall concept which focuses on efficient and flexible new and existing network installations.”

A central element in the new system is the active consolidation point (ACP) technology, which is responsible for distributing the Ethernet data. According to Rosenberger OSI, “The ACP is integrated in the system’s backbone with fiber optics and distributes in a close tertiary area (maximum 20 meters) based on copper trunks or patch cables. The special feature of the system: As the ACPs will be installed in raised floors, ceilings or walls, the cabling system can be integrated in any work environment without the need for additional space.” Due to less cabling being deployed, fire risks, cable routing and firewall dimensions for enterprise building and office facilities are also reduced, notes the company.

“The system can be easily expanded and modified in any new or existing networks. In case of a move, the user has an additional investment protection, as all active and almost all passive components of EcoFlex’IT can be reused again,” adds Rosenberger OSI’s Wiener.

The company emphasizes that its PerCONNECT EcoFlex’IT system comprises a ring configuration that is redundantly designed, and can therefore be retrofitted easily without interrupting any operations. “The complete concept can be named as FTT ACP—fiber to the active consolidation point,” adds a Rosenberger OSI press release.

About the Author

Matt Vincent | Senior Editor

Matt Vincent is a B2B technology journalist, editor and content producer with over 15 years of experience, specializing in the full range of media content production and management, as well as SEO and social media engagement best practices, for both Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine and its website CablingInstall.com. He currently provides trade show, company, executive and field technology trend coverage for the ICT structured cabling, telecommunications networking, data center, IP physical security, and professional AV vertical market segments. Email: [email protected]

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