Officially introduced in November, the TrueNet structured cabling system from ADC is an integrated portfolio of enterprise networking solutions from ADC and recently acquired Krone. Spokesmen for ADC say that the system brings together the best elements of each company's individual offerings.
"Krone always had strong cable technologies as well as connectivity, and lacked in fiber, as well as Voice over IP and Power over Ethernet (PoE) technologies," says Bob Kenny, vice president of global enterprise product management at ADC (Minneapolis, MN; www.adc.com). "ADC is strong in fiber, has a Power over Ethernet product line, as well as a media converter portfolio."
TrueNet brings the two strengths together, he explains, to give ADC a global end-to-end footprint.
The stable of products in the TrueNet system is plentiful, including twisted-pair and optical fiber cable, patch panels, patch cords, Power over Ethernet controllers, media converters, modular jacks, and cable-management products.
"10-Gigabit infrastructure, Power over Ethernet, support for Voice over IP, these are all things that we have today as part of the TrueNet system," Kenny says, "not something we are promising 12 to 18 months from now."
Power over Ethernet is a key technology whose penetration will grow in the next several years, Kenny says, citing one prediction that puts the market at $150 million in 2005. He compares its emergence to that of baluns some years ago. "Power over Ethernet has about a five-year lifecycle bubble that will peak around 2007 or 2008. Some areas of the world will keep the market going after that.
"Studies have shown that there are millions of switches that do not have the capability to support 802.3af [the IEEE's Power over Ethernet specifications]. Today, people want to use WiFi or Voice over IP, and the powering device is placed within the channel. The switch port is plugged into the powering equipment, then it is taken out to the powered device. The standards are based on four connection points. Today most people use two, so a Power over Ethernet device will make it three connections. When adding a connection point, it is critical to make sure it meets the standard - Category 5e or 6."
As for 10-Gigabit, it's a topic that Kenny has been talking about for some time, since then-Krone introduced its CopperTen system several months ago. "Gigabit ports are outshipping 10/100 ports now," he notes. "Switch manufacturers are not making much money on Gigabit-speed switches anymore, and chipset makers are in a race to get 10-Gig product out. Those chipmakers should have something displayable within 24 months. I would be shocked if it didn't happen.
"The real applications that will drive people to 10 Gig are two to three years away, so people have to base wiring decisions on what they will be doing in that amount of time."
That is just about the time PoE is expected to reach its peak. And ADC would tell you it's well-equipped to serve all those needs.