Case Study: Crown Castle

March 21, 2019 at 8:00 AM

 

Crown Castle is a leading independent owner and operator of wireless infrastructure that also builds and leases towers, rooftops and distributed antenna systems (DAS) for wireless communication in large markets. They pride themselves on being able to provide comprehensive site deployment with state-of-the-art processes and tools.

 

As part of a wireless networking project for Disney theme parks, Crown Castle was facing the challenges of extreme heat and weather. They were in need of a UL-listed, weatherproof enclosure capable of supporting Power over Ethernet (PoE) with an integrated cooling fan.

 

Fortunately, L-com was able to deliver exactly what they needed by creating a customized, UL-listed, weatherproof equipment enclosure. The rugged, fiberglass enclosure featured multiple PoE interfaces, the ability to mount two wireless CPE devices and it was able to be locked for added security.

 

In the end, L-com was able to fulfill all of our client’s needs and this custom product helped Crown Castle offer seamless Wi-Fi access for customers and employees of Disney Parks. 

 

To read the entire case study click here.

 

802.3ca Ethernet Passive Optical Networks

January 24, 2019 at 8:00 AM

 

Today, passive optical networks (PONs) are commonly used as a cost-effective way to deliver optical broadband services to many users. This technology is comprised of point-to-multipoint networks that use an optical line terminal at the central office connected to multiple optical network units placed inside the user’s home via a feeder fiber and an optical splitter. The IEEE has already standardized PONs in the 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps range, Gigabit Ethernet PON (G-PON) and 10 Gigabit Ethernet PON (10G-EPON), now it is setting its sights on standardizing 50 Gigabit Ethernet PON (50G-EPON) with the development of the 802.3ca standard.

 

The goal of 802.3ca is to support the subscriber access networks that use point-to-multipoint arrangements on optical fiber. This standard will provide specifications for physical layers that operate over one single-mode optical fiber (SMF) strand. It will support symmetric and/or asymmetric data rates in these ranges:

  

  • ·       25 Gbps in downstream and 10 or 25 Gbps in upstream (25G-EPON)
  • ·        50 Gbps in downstream and 10, 25 or 50 Gbps in upstream (50G-EPON)

 

802.3ca will also support legacy PON technologies such as 10G-EPON and 10 Gigabit-capable symmetric PON (XGS-PON). Originally, 100 Gbps speeds were going to be an objective of this standard, but that was deemed to be too technically challenging, not economically feasible and not needed for 10 years, so 50 Gbps wavelengths were chosen to be a better technical solution.

 

The IEEE has begun the process of developing 802.3ca by organizing a task force with the mission of determining the specific protocols for the standard. This process is currently underway and is expected to complete in the 2nd quarter of 2020. So, even though we’re a ways out, there is still much to look forward to as the 802.3ca standard evolves.

 

Readers’ Choice -Top Blog Posts of 2018

December 20, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

Our goal for this blog is to provide interesting and informative content for our readers. So we always enjoy taking a look back at the end of the year to see what the most popular posts were. To make sure you didn’t miss anything, here’s a list of the most read posts of 2018. We hope to see you back in 2019!

 

 

1.      Cat6 Cable: Shielded vs. Unshielded


Category 6 Ethernet cable is designed to provide high speed data rates, but how do you decide between shielded or unshielded? Here, we compare them side by side so you can choose which will work best for your application. Read more.

 

 

2.      10 of the Worst Cabling Nightmares

 

We pride ourselves on our commitment to provide the best connectivity solutions for our customers, helping them to manage their data centers. So it always comes as a shock when we see cabling infrastructure that is a complete nightmare. This post has some of the worst offenders we’ve seen on the web. Read more.

 

 

3.      The Advantages and Disadvantages of Shielded Ethernet Cable

 

When it comes to shielded Ethernet cable, there are pros and cons. This post takes a look at both the good and the bad to help you weigh your options. For example, shielding can offer protection from EMI/RFI but its weight and limited flexibility means it’s not ideal for every application. To help decide if shielded Ethernet cable is right for your installation, read the post.

 

 

4.      75 Ohm vs. 50 Ohm – Coaxial Comparison

 

Ohm may sound like something you’d say while meditating, but when it comes to coaxial cables, it is actually a unit of resistance. Ohms measure the impedance within the cable. Impedance is resistance to the flow of electrical current through a circuit. To see how 75 Ohm and 50 Ohm compare, read our post.

 

 

5.      Good Vibrations: Vibration-Proof USB Connectors


Universal Serial Bus (USB) is one of the most widely used technologies to connect and power devices. One fundamental flaw of USB is its sensitivity to vibration, causing the connector to dislodge. In this post we show you some solutions to keeping your USB connected. Read more.

 

Managing the Modern WAN

December 13, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

Today’s enterprise networks are utilizing more and more platforms and services, including cloud and multi-cloud computing. With all of these additions, there is an increasing amount of ground to cover and more challenges to face for today’s wide area networks (WANs). Here are a few tips to managing the modern WAN.

 

The cloud computing services that are becoming increasingly popular are not always easy to navigate. Each cloud operates in its own way and has its own intricacies, so educating yourself on the ins and outs is imperative to being able to successfully managing a modern WAN. When in doubt, jump in feet first. Sometimes the best way to learn how to manage a network in a multi-cloud environment is to just do it. Setting up a lab for research allows technicians to experiment and gather firsthand knowledge, and it’s usually not an expensive investment.

 

When it comes to actually implementing all of the new technology coming to market, integration can get tricky. Making sure that the legacy local area networks (LANs) and the new WAN platforms all work cohesively is a challenge. Fortunately, new products that enable software-defined WAN are also being developed and can be very useful in easing integration difficulties, especially for large networks. In a perfect world, all parts of a WAN would have end-to-end connectivity for seamless integration. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Thus, network administrators need to be able to adapt and be well-versed in alternative connection options such as load balancers, overlay networks and WAN accelerators. With a little savvy, you can achieve the performance goals of your WAN network while also staying within budget parameters.

 

Just like all other aspects of the world of technology, the parts that make up the modern day WAN are also changing. By staying current and educating yourself about new technology, and keeping a few tricks up your sleeve, you can integrate those changes and keep your network up to date.

 

How Network Security is Changing

November 29, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

With more users providing more information on more networks, and some of those networks being breached, it’s no wonder that network security is a hot topic for many people and businesses. In fact, network security is a top concern for many IT administrators. For, as network technology has become more advanced, so have the ways in which those networks can be hacked. Here, we’ll take a look some of the changes happening in network security to counteract those threats.

 

·        Network security will no longer be a small branch of IT, but rather a responsibility that encompasses the entire organization. The network is a part of every aspect of IT and thus it will need to be protected by all administrators. Plus, the network itself should be armed with tools to help avoid attacks by reinforcing network-based security such as firewalls and malware prevention.  

 

·        Today, so many things are being sent to the Cloud, and so will security. Many IT departments will take advantage of cloud-based services that will manage common security tasks as part of a contracted agreement. This allows a simple subscription plan to impart dynamic security measures that once took several hours for administrators to manage. Multi-Cloud security management platforms will also come into play to allow network security to be managed across public and private clouds via a single security control plane.

 

·        We’ve all seen the IT email alert go out warning of an email scam sent to employees to get them to click a link that then installs malware on the network. Because of these types of attacks, end-point security has become a priority. This has extended to include mobile device management for non-corporate owned devices. In the future, many of these end-point security measures will be simplified and condense the number of protection tools in place to provide better overall protection.

 

·        Penetration (pen) testing is a valuable tool used to detect security gaps that might not have been identified by IT staff. Outside firms are often hired to perform this testing for a true outside party perspective, but the service can be costly and needs to be done in a timely manner. With the development of new AI and automation technology, pen testing is becoming easier and less expensive, meaning that it can be done more often, which is especially beneficial to keep up with the increase of new viruses, malware and other cyber threats.

  

With these upgrades in network security, along with an increased focus on overarching enterprise wide security procedures, today’s networks will be able to keep up with tomorrow’s technology and do it securely.

 

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