Ethernet Switch Showdown: Commercial vs. Industrial

August 10, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

An Ethernet switch is a great way to create a Local Area Network (LAN) to share resources. Ethernet switch LANs can allow an entire office to share the use of printers, servers, Internet connections and other Internet Protocol (IP)-based applications.

 

For decades, Ethernet switches were limited to climate-controlled IT closets and buildings for use in commercial and office networks. In recent years, their use has expanded to include Ethernet-based industrial IP networks for manufacturing, automation and process industries.

 

Here, we’ll look at the major features of commercial and industrial switches and how they differ from one another.

 

Commercial Ethernet Switches:

  • •   Designed for desk or rack mounting in controlled environments such as IT closets        and data centers
  • •   110V-240V AC powered
  • •   Limited operating temperature range, typically between 50° F to 95°F
  • •   Cannot withstand shock and vibration
  • •   Single Point of Failure (SPOF): many commercial grade switches depend on               cooling fans and other components that can compromise the entire switch if they         fail 
  • •   Most have lower Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) than industrial switches

 

Industrial Ethernet Switches:   

  • •  Designed for harsh environments with extreme temperatures, vibration, dust and        moisture
  • •  Typically used in manufacturing facilities, mining, oil production, power plants,            waste water treatment plants and other extreme environments
  • •  Usually do not have any moving parts, such as fans (SPOF)
  • •  Conformal coating used in damp environments to cover PCB and protect                    components
  • •  Wide operating temperature range, typically from -40° F to 167°F
  • •  DIN rail mounting and small form factor allows switches to take up minimal space
  • •  Safety Extra-Low Voltage (SELV): accepting 24 V DC power makes industrial switches safer than higher powered switches
  • •  Many have an Ingress protection (IP) rating which allows the switches to resist dirt, dust and wash down
 

Read All About It: PoE White Paper

August 3, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a revolutionary technique that provides both power and data in one Ethernet cable. PoE equipment eliminates the need to run power to remote network devices, which allows for greater flexibility and is ideal for remote locations where traditional power sources are not available. PoE can save time and money and is becoming more frequently used in wired and wireless connectivity applications with network devices such as wireless access points, switches and IP cameras.

 

Our white paper takes a deeper look at PoE, its history and how it is used in today’s telecommunications networks. Topics covered include:

 

History of PoE

  • -          How the IEEE was called upon to create the 802.3af standard to help the growth of the PoE market with a unified standard              to rely on
  • -          Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE)
  • -          Powered Devices (PD)

 

PoE Details and Variations

  • -          Mode A vs. Mode B
  • -          Mode A: Combining power via Phantom Powering
  • -          Mode B: Power over Ethernet spare pairs

 

Click here to read our PoE white paper.

 

All of our free white papers are available from our website by clicking here.

 

Video Blog: Solid vs. Stranded Center Conductors

July 27, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

All cables have either a solid and stranded conductor, no matter if they’re Cat5e, Cat6 or any other category rating. To figure out whether a solid or stranded cable will work best for your application, you’ll need to look at the advantages and disadvantages of both.

 

A solid cable’s conductors are made of solid metal, usually copper, making the cable more rigid.  Solid cables are typically used as infrastructure cabling in walls, ceilings and conduit where flexibility isn’t necessary because the cables aren’t moved after installation. They are also cheaper and transmit better over long distances with lower attenuation than stranded cable, but they are more likely to break if bent repeatedly.

 

Stranded cables are much more flexible because their conductors are made of thin metal wires that are twisted together to create a larger, thicker conductor. These cables are frequently used as patch cords and in shorter network cable runs that need extra flexibility.  Stranded cables are typically more expensive than solid cables, but they work well for shorter distances and can stand-up to repetitive bending without breaking.

 

There are other factors to take into consideration when choosing a cable. For more information on which cable type is best for your application, watch our video blog.

 

Standards Showdown: 802.11 Standards Side-by-Side

July 20, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

The IEEE is almost always working on another new amendment to the 802.11 Wi-Fi standard. We now have nearly as many 802.11 standards as there are letters in the alphabet, and keeping them straight can get confusing. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of all of the 802.11 standards, old and new, for easy reference. 

 

White Paper: Layer 3 Routing at the Network Edge

July 13, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

Implementing Layer 3 at the edge of a LAN can have many benefits including increased network security, greater availability and improved network utilization, but it’s not always clear where Layer 3 routing should be used in the LAN. Traditionally, Layer 3 routers were at the core of the networks and acted as gateways to the Wide Area Network. As technology, pricing and availability have changed, Layer 3 routing has moved closer to the edge of the network. 

 

Our white paper discusses when to employ a Layer 3 switch at the edge of a network and gives definitions and applications for several widely used routing protocols including RIP, DVMRP, PIM and OSPF.

 

Topics covered in our Layer 3 white paper include:

 

Layer 2 Switching vs. Layer 3 Routing

 

Defining Layer 3 Routing Protocols

    -      Routing Information Protocol (RIP)

    -      Open Shortest Path First (OSPF)

    -      Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP)

    -      Dstance Vector Multicast Routing Protocol (DVMRP)

    -      Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM)

    -      Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP)

 

Layer 3 Routing Applications

    -      Assigning static IP routes to VLAN/Sublets

    -      Routing between Layer 2 VLAN

    -      Routing on high-speed uplinks to the core

    -      IP multicast routing with IGMP and DVMRP

    -      PIM-DM multicast routing in the LAN

    -      PIM-SM multicast routing protocol

    -      OSPF to route IP traffic through LAN into the core router

    -      VRRP in the LAN

 

Click here to read our Layer 3 Routing at the Network Edge white paper.

 

All our free white papers are available from our website by clicking here.

 

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