When network speed, bandwidth and security matter

A local network (LAN) is the computing backbone that enables everything possible with enterprise connectivity. With so much at stake, this begs the question: why are organizations settling for outdated networks that can’t keep pace with today’s technological demands?

More than 40 years ago, copper-based LANs became synonymous with LANs. While it may have worked well in the past, this technology cannot keep pace with today’s needs. According to IHS Markitthe Internet of Things (IoT) market alone will grow from an installed base of 15.4 billion devices in 2015 to 30.7 billion devices in 2020, and about 75.4 billion here 2025.

More devices and more advanced technologies, such as big data, wireless, cloud, and hosted/managed services mean greater demand on the LAN – and the long-term prospects for copper-based LANs are a real problem.

The reality is that traditional copper-based networks are limited in terms of speed, range, bandwidth, and security. They are complex to manage and maintain, and require companies to find piecemeal, short-term solutions to big problems.

For example, every few years buildings have to undergo construction work to tear out and replace old copper wiring in the walls and ceiling in order to install newer, larger and more expensive copper wiring, for example. example CAT3 to CAT5 to CAT6. This is a short-sighted and costly approach.

With ever-changing network needs, sophisticated players are turning to a viable long-term solution. The future of local networks is in fiber optics, with Passive Optical LAN (POL). The adoption of POL is increasing as the benefits of this technology become clearer and more widely accepted as the ideal way to replace legacy copper networks.

The enterprise market, as well as sectors ranging from government and education to healthcare and hospitality, are already reaping the many benefits of this emerging technology, such as:

  • Convergent approach. Convergence of all network services is the main feature of the POL. It converges all services onto a single fiber-based infrastructure, eliminating the need for multiple platforms while delivering highly scalable, high-speed data services to all users. This includes voice, video, data and video conferencing services, as well as wireless access and monitoring services, such as building automation systems, security cameras and building sensors.
  • Reduced capital and operating expenses. POL equipment and fiber cabling are cheaper to buy and install. In fact, the point-to-multipoint architecture means less cabling to purchase and install, which directly leads to lower network construction costs. Additionally, POL offers lower operational costs year over year. Based on centralized intelligence and management, it promotes low human touch, plug-and-play and M2M automation.
  • Unparalleled reliability. POL delivers enterprise LANs with superior stability, high availability, and industry-leading network availability. A POL configuration can achieve a measured network availability of 99.999%, which equates to just five minutes of network downtime per year. A traditional active cable-based configuration is known to achieve a measured network availability of 99.9%, which equates to more than five hours of network downtime per year.
  • Security at its best. POL fiber optic cabling is highly secure and produces no EMI radiation, which is typically associated with traditional copper-wired installations. Additionally, low human contact POL operations mean far less human error or negligent and malicious human activity.
  • Resource optimization. Due to its reduced component requirements and network simplicity, POL requires little time to deploy and maintain. Another time-saving advantage over copper-based LAN is its certification period. Typically, it takes three and a half days of training, compared to several weeks typically required for a copper-based network.
  • Space savings mean more opportunities. Unlike copper-based LANs in telecom rooms, POL uses very little space in a building due to its reduced equipment and cabling requirements and limited power and cooling requirements. This means space savings for businesses that can be cozier areas or income-generating rooms.

With so many notable benefits, POL has made great strides over the past decade and now that the time for digital transformations has arrived, the network you have in place can be the difference between success and failure. It’s time to evolve.

Kevin M. Risinger