A recently completed installation physically demonstrated the advantages of fiber-based cables. This installation of a fiber optic network took place in a major international airport. Perhaps the best metaphor for understanding this technology’s advantages over traditional copper cabling is a highway. A superhighway, actually – compared to a single-lane county road.
Passive Optical Network (PON)
Like a multi-lane interstate, Passive Optical Networks (PON, also called Optical Local Area Networks, or OLAN) carry more data, faster, more efficiently and with greater reliability than copper wires. Further, PON can transport data up to 12 miles without degradation. In contrast, traditional copper wire networks require power and cooling infrastructure. This is needed every 300 feet to prevent the signal from petering out and the network from overheating. Goodbye, equipment closets.
The vast capacity and inherent flexibility of PON allows you to connect all your hardware into one infrastructure or network. Say you need to add a networkable audio speaker, information display, or network-capable microphone somewhere along the network. PON allows you to converge a vast range of network services, including voice/data, IP video, wireless access, security, surveillance, environmental controls, and building automation connections where needed. It also all runs on the same system. Imagine how much your business will save on cabling alone.
Since the fiberoptic cabling and light splitters used by PON requires no electrical power to operate, all that’s needed is an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) positioned at the network’s edge. Designed to turn electrical signals to light signals and vice versa, it ensures compatibility with existing in-building systems such as desktop PCs and VoIP phones, IP video cameras, and others. One software platform provides a single point of control that allows network managers to make adjustments from one location, one point of control.
Say you need to add a new device to a specific port at the far end of your campus, two miles away. In the past, you’d have to go through all the switches down the line to make sure it’s properly trunked. With PON technology, a single switching stack operates as one large switch. And it’s all controllable via a simple management interface. You can tell that a virtual local area network (VLAN) is needed in a specific location after a few clicks of the mouse from a distant port, in the farthest building. That same management interface enables remote diagnostic capabilities. This allows resources to be deployed exactly when and where they are needed.
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Contact us to learn more about passive optical networks. We also invite you to download our white paper, “How Enterprises Are Solving Evolving Network Challenges with Passive Optical Lan.” It goes into detail about the value PONs bring to enterprises. All while not forcing them to alter the way they do business. And for additional information about the benefits of using PON in challenging environments, watch our new video.