A switch is an integral part of a network which establishes connectivity among various connected devices on the network such as computers, phones, cameras, and so on. It also facilitates data transmission from source to destination.  There are various types of switches depending on the network such as Ethernet switches for copper cable networks, fiber optic switches for fiber networks, and so on. If you plan to upgrade to fiber optic network or blend fiber optics into your existing legacy network, you will require a fiber optic switch which is compatible with the other devices on the network. This article offers a buying guide on fiber optic switches and many other aspects of network switches.

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Fiber optic network switches are a valuable asset to any high performance surveillance networks. They are analyzed on the basis of several performance factors including switching capacity, forwarding rate, switching bandwidth and more. The switches may not perform as expected if there is any mismatch of parameters. Although each of these terms may appear understandable, they wield a great importance during your selection. What do each of these parameters mean? Read this post to know answers for the same.

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Telecom and data networks, over the last few years, have become expansive and capable of long distance transmissions. Switches are an integral part of all modern networks, and in fact an important hardware device when it comes to upgrading legacy networks. They are either single mode or multimode. Single mode switches are versatile devices on the physical layer of the network. They support several functions such as switching, control, and access. These switches are widely used in fiber optic networks, especially in the telecom sector. They help make the network versatile and flexible, and perform signal routing, and either transmit or redirect optical signals to reach the right destination, in a fiber optic network. They may also block certain signals if required. Optical switches, whether single mode or multimode have a wide range of visible spectrum, and are highly reliable in terms of eliminating crosstalk and noise. This article focuses on single mode switches, their functioning, benefits, and more.

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There has been a surge in fiber optics in recent years owing to the different benefits they offer. Designed for scalability and performance, the fiber optic cables are replacing traditional copper cables in many data centers across the globe. These fiber optic cables are developed such that they help overcome all the limitations of copper cables. Owing to their increasing use, today, these cables are available in different specifications and are named according to their characteristics. They are distinguished into two categories – field terminated fiber optic assemblies and pre-terminated fiber optic assemblies based on their method of termination. Of these, the pre-terminated fiber optic assemblies have gained huge popularity and acceptance in recent years. They are a suitable choice for data centers with pre-defined routes and where deployment times may be of paramount importance. This white paper analyzes the rising importance of these cable assemblies in data center environments and more.

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Gigabit Ethernet is one of the most commonly used networks by various businesses for their internal connectivity. It is economical and sustainable for most home networks and small businesses which require connectivity up to a few meters. To improve the efficiency and transmission distance of these networks, Gigabit network switches are used. They help increase the data rate up to around 1000 Mbps and increase the reliability factor in the network. Gigabit switches are an important device in a network which help establish connectivity of several other devices such as computers, printers, cameras, and so on to a local area network (LAN). They can also be used for advanced and high definition devices such as HD television to connect to the internet without the need for wireless connection. These are typically the higher version of fast Ethernet switches, which means it graduates from a 10/100 Mbps speed of fast Ethernet to 10/100/1000 Mbps or 10G. This article discusses various aspects of Gigabit switches including their features, tips for selection and more.

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The local area network or LAN and private business networks use various networking hardware for building strong connectivity and enabling seamless communication from one to multiple ends. There are several devices on a network, and network switches are integral ones that help establish connectivity, transfer or reroute data packets, and so on. Network switches are termed as a network bridge with multiple ports that help connect the devices within the network effectively. These switches act as the brain of the network as they use media access control (MAC) addresses to receive and forward the data to the destination. Owing to their increasing significance, today, they are available in different configurations in terms of types and number of ports, and automation features. Also, they can be customized to suit specific application requirements. These switches can be simply kept on a shelf or in any compact area. Some of them can be rack mounted, which helps keep them secure in one place and saves space. Rackmount switches have gained immense traction. These switches are widely preferred in high-capacity industrial networks for controlled transmission. In industrial applications like business communications, automation networks, and security and surveillance networks as well as data centers, Rackmount switches are of great significance, mainly because of space constraints. Is that all? Obviously not. This article elaborates on rackmount switches.

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Industrial network switches form the basis of several high speed data networks. These switches are used to connect different devices in a network, and thus are one of the important requirements. The network communications are described in the Open System Interconnect (OSI) model. This model operates on seven layers: Application Layer, Presentation Layer, Session Layer, Transport Layer, Network Layer, Data Link Layer, and Physical Layer. The layer 2 switches operate on the data link layer and the layer 3 switches on the network layer. Among these, layer 2 switches are one of the key requirements for any high speed network. As the converged networks grow in size, and density of data networks increases, the demand for layer 3 switches increases, too. This article explores these two switch types, their typical features, and their applications in modern data networks.

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Media converters are the devices that enable the conversion of data from one form to another. Generally, in hybrid networks comprising copper-fiber transmission media, these devices are of great significance. These media converters convert the electronic signals into optical pulses and vice versa. The media converters can translate and transmit data over different transmission protocols like Ethernet, Internet Protocol (IP), Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), and Power over Ethernet (PoE), etc. Owing to the high-end compatibility of media converters with several transmission protocols, these devices are used in high-capacity networks. These devices are often exposed to high data traffic, return losses, etc which can abruptly damage the converter, and eventually, the network may fail. To reduce the chances of data loss during such conditions, Link Fault Pass-Through (LFPT) function is adopted in modern, high-capacity fiber media converters. The main purpose of adopting the link pass-through function in the media converters is to constantly monitor the copper and fiber links and prevent data loss by taking an action on an incident of link failure.

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Ethernet networks have long been used across industries for meeting the need of high speed data transmission. Green Ethernet or energy-efficient Ethernet comprise several enhancements done to the legacy Ethernet network, and is standardized by IEEE. As the term implies, it helps reduce power consumption in a network when the data activity is low. Before we delve deeper into this topic, it is essential to understand how the Ethernet network has evolved.

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Over the years, Ethernet switches have become a standard in commercial and industrial applications. They are used to integrate different communication channels within the facility or organization for information centralization and management. Although they work with the same concept of transmitting Ethernet frames between the devices that are connected to them, they largely differ in their construction, design, and implementation. First, the industrial switches have a ruggedized construction and they are designed in adherence to industry standards. Today, their utility is proven in various industries in military and defense. The military Ethernet switches, in comparison to commercial switches, assure reliable, safe, and consistent communication in challenging environments. This paper analyzes the differences between military ruggedized Ethernet switches and commercial Ethernet switches. It also focuses on the applications of military ruggedized Ethernet switches and their adherence to MIL standards.

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Today, businesses understand that digital transformation is key to succeed in an increasingly competitive world. This means, they need to support artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and cloud computing while addressing their increasing workloads. This support may demand additional infrastructure costs, resources, and time. There are challenges of obsolete software and hardware further adding to the complexities. This is where hyper converged infrastructure or HCI can help. HCI has gained popularity in recent years and one of the key benefits of this architecture is reducing dependability on different storage and computing systems.

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DIP switches are miniature devices designed to enable dual inline signal transmission function. These manual switches are mounted on electronic devices such as printed circuit boards (PCBs), media converters, computer equipment, etc. Generally, the term DIP switches refer to individual miniature elements inside a dual inline package (DIP). The DIP function controls the flow of electric signals. These DIP switches are commonly utilized to control the signal/electricity transmission in computer peripherals. The media converters have found the great application of DIP switches.  In order to toggle the simple on and off operations, the media converters are integrated with the DIP switches. Commonly, on the unmanaged gigabit media converters, the DIP switches are integrated.
 
Before implementing the DIP function on media converters or choosing media converters with DIP function, it is essential to know what DIP switches are, how they work, and what they offer to media converters. This white introduces you to DIP switches followed by different types of interfaces. Further, it discusses the function of DIP switches and potential enhancement in the performance of unmanaged gigabit media converters due to DIP functions.

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The distribution amplifiers are analog/digital devices that enable the multiplexing of audio or video signals in uniform intensity. These devices have received utmost popularity in the video multiplexing operations in the video production and distribution industry, video security, and surveillance industry, etc. These distribution amplifiers are suitable for amplifying the audio or video signals being transmitted via coaxial copper cables, fiber optic cables, or HDMI cables.
 
However, in order to utilize these devices in an industrially or commercially operating network, it is essential to understand what exactly the video/audio amplifiers are, and how do they work. Since there are multiple types of amplifiers are available, it is important to select the appropriate one for the applications. This white paper introduces you to these amplifiers, their types, working principle, industrial significance and offers a few guidelines to select, install and troubleshoot the amplifiers.

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Ethernet networks are not a new concept and today they are widely adopted across the globe. Domestic, commercial, and industrial communication very much relies on Ethernet networks. Modern Ethernet networks can be copper-based, fiber-based, or hybrid (copper-fiber). Based on the requirements, the type of transmission media such as fiber optics, copper cables or combination can be chosen. Similarly, based on the requirements, the transmission protocols such as internet protocol (IP), transmission control protocol (TCP), and so on, can be preferred. All this consideration is not only limited to installation. Since Ethernet communication networks are used for critical communication such as business communication, security and surveillance data transmission, etc, the network requires active monitoring, changes in configurations, troubleshooting, and overall management. Adopting these steps in a network management cycle can prevent abrupt network failure, security threats like third-party intrusions, and data loss.

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Fiber optic networks have gained popularity over the years. These networks use fiber optic devices and are known to offer benefits such as low electromagnetic noise, high data transmission rates, increased security, and so on. Nowadays, legacy copper networks are being slowly replaced by fiber optic networks in various industrial applications. Although you may get these fiber optic devices easily, designing a network may not be easy. There are several factors that you must address to ensure the overall integrity and performance of the network. Fiber loss in network is one such factor that is often overlooked, while laying the fiber optic network. This mainly happens due to ignorance of engineers involved. Fiber loss is a term for signal loss, which affects the reliability of the transmission. Thus, calculating fiber loss and taking appropriates steps is important. This post offers insights on calculating the fiber loss and tips on how to reduce fiber losses in the network.  

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Serial devices play an essential role in Ethernet networks. The serial to Ethernet connections consists of devices like serial to Ethernet connectors. The serial to Ethernet connections plays a crucial role in modern networks. Industrial operations like process automation, power, and utility, security, and surveillance, transportation, etc are a few industries that rely on serial to Ethernet connections. The failure of serial to Ethernet connections is absolutely intolerable due to the criticality of applications in these industries. The failure of serial to Ethernet connections can result in major losses, accidents, and security issues in certain industries. Therefore, it is essential to have an Ethernet network with reliable redundancy when failure cannot be tolerated.

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Ethernet networks are expanding and their designs are evolving and getting complex. The high capacity wide area networks (WAN) networks are introduced in telecommunication, business communication, industrial automation, and many other types of networking applications. However, owing to the intricacy of such networks, periodic maintenance, troubleshooting, upgrades are performed in different phases. The networks are built in layers to ease maintenance-related issues. Multiple layers consist of different devices integrated together. The layers of networks may consist of devices like transmitters, receivers, media converters, network switches, etc. Out of all the devices, the network switches play important role in managed Ethernet networks. The switches contribute to directing the data and are responsible for the transmission of signals to the addressed devices only.

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Ethernet is today perceived as a game changing technology. It is a choice for networking and interconnecting devices in a LAN or sometimes different LANs. Ethernet is primarily a wired network technology used to connect a group of computers in a local area network (LAN). This is done to fulfill basic requirements such as sharing of data which is central to all workstations or a particular workstation. An Ethernet cable is one that you can connect to your modem or router with the other end connected to your standalone computer. In case of a network, an Ethernet cable offers direct Internet connectivity to computers and other connected devices. It’s one end is connected to the router and goes up to a good length such as 100 meters. There are various categories of this Ethernet cable which has been in use from the last 40 years or so. This white paper discusses the different Ethernet category types and why they are still useful in today’s age of advanced wireless network technologies. It also throws light on choosing the right network devices, such as switches and routers, with SFP modules, and the ones which are compatible with Ethernet as well as fiber optic cables.

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Automated material handling (AMH) systems like Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS), Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) systems, etc are integral parts of industrial automation. Often such automated material handling units are controlled, monitored, optimized, and monitored remotely. Wireless networks and software-based controlling tools are used for remote operations of such material handling units. That is why wireless networks for AS/RS, AGVs, and other AMH systems are adopted across the industries. No matter what type of material handling it is, unit loading-unloading, inventory management, conveyor systems, etc all are being automated at a larger scale. However, the on-field operation of certain units may hold security risks, hazards of accidents, etc. To prevent certain accidents, a wireless network for AS/RS, AGVs, and other AMH systems is adopted. This way, the operator can remain inside a cabin still operate the entire AMH unit remotely. However, to achieve such industrial operational freedom, automation units must be configured with monitoring and controlling software over wireless networks.  
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Copper cables and fiber optic cables are two popular types of cables known to us. Copper cables have been there in the market for several years now. On the other hand, fiber optics although not totally new, has gained momentum over the last few years. According to many research reports, the fiber optics market is estimated to grow steadily for the next five to ten years at a good annual growth rate. There are multiple reasons why fiber optic networks are gaining traction despite being expensive. There are a number of benefits including the use of fiber optics in existing legacy networks. Fiber optic cables also offer many advantages such as improved bandwidth and extended geographical distances in a network. While copper cabling is still used in many places, both copper and fiber optic cables can be used in sync with each other, especially in case of existing networks. Also, copper cabling still may be beneficial in case of small networks restricted to just one building or so. This white paper discusses the differences between fiber optic and copper cables, pros and cons of each, and why fiber optics may become essential for even small to medium networks in the future.

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Fiber-optic has been a source of information transfer in different communication networks for a long time. Telecommunication, analog data transmission, etc are the communication networks that are utilizing fiber optic communication technology currently. However, network video was primarily and conventionally dependent on copper cables. Now with the advancement in fiber optic technology, network video systems have adopted fiber optic communication technology.
This white paper thoroughly gives an overview of the network video system, the use of fiber optics communication technology in network videos, and further installation requirements.

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Fiber optics technology has paved its way to almost every industrial sector. The industries like defense and military, aerospace, geophysics, etc widely employ fiber optics in their applications. All these industries are known for their mission-critical applications that are exposed to harsh environments. This means the fiber optics cables and fiber optic connectors are also exposed to elements like dust, dirt, moisture, high-temperatures, oil, water, and even chemicals. Yet utilization of fiber optics cables and fiber optics connectors cannot be overruled in such industrial applications. Therefore, the expanded beam fiber optic connectors are designed and developed specifically for fiber-based applications under harsh environments.

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Designed and standardized by IEEE and based on 802.3 guidelines and rules, 10G Ethernet has been in use for more than a decade. In fact, there has been astronomical developments in terms of speed, data rate transmission reaching even over 50G. Therefore, 10G is still used in most legacy networks and is even combined with fiber optics using a fiber optic cable, 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches, media converters, and other related network devices. Here, in a blended network, the 10 Gigabit switch and the media converter play a crucial role. Often we see a 10 Gigabit industrial managed switch being used in such networks for businesses, but people are largely unaware of their working and other features. This white paper offers a comprehensive overview of these switches, their working, and also offers tips for their selection.

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Fiber optic cables form the core of various cable infrastructures. These cables have gained immense popularity over copper cables owing to several benefits that they offer such as the ability to transmit signals to long distances. Owing to their popularity, these cables are now available in various types, thereby making the selection difficult. This paper aims to simplify this selection by offering a short and handy fiber optic selection guide.
 
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Fiber optic transmission technology has evolved over the years to meet the requirements of high bandwidth and fast data applications. This becomes quite evident from the increasing use of fiber optic devices in data centers, LANs, MANs, and so on. Fiber optic cables and fiber optic connectors form the base of such fiber optic networks. Owing to their increasing popularity there is a wide range of cables and connectors to choose from. Of these two elements, fiber optic cables are the most discussed ones, while connectors are the least discussed ones. The topic of fiber optic connectors is comprehensive and may span across documents. This white paper primarily focuses on two popular fiber optic connectors – SFP SC and SFP LC transceivers, which have gained immense popularity in recent years.

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Data Center Cabling Designs and Significant Considerations of Its Operation

Data centers possess an immensely intricate cabling structure. A proper cabling design is integral to the functioning of the data center. A minute error in the data center cabling can lead to structural challenges such as spaghetti cabinets, ill-connection between network switches, and tedious product installation. The complexity of data center cable architecture eventually leads to problems in error-identification, maintenance, and troubleshooting. Adding to it, today’s modern technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, big data, etc. demand optimum access to the highest storage capacity of the data center. Again any errors in data canter cable infrastructure can lead to operational challenges like data loss, insufficient storage, and abrupt breakdown of the data storage system. To avoid these risks, it is essential to integrate data center cabling in specific types of cabling that are called topologies while paying attention to a few significant considerations. This white paper guides readers through ways to perform effective and efficient data center cabling, its considerations, and performance-enhancing strategies.
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Cloud computing is a popular term that has gained momentum since the 2000s. This concept is utilized in almost every sector of business and daily activities. Digital arts, educational data storage, IoT data storage and backup, information management, and many more activities utilize cloud computing. From personal device-based data to business-centric operational data management, most of these activities are driven by cloud computing. Cloud computing basically offers a virtual data center where all the operational data is stored and secured while allowing access to the user via web or mobile applications when needed. The concept that was first introduced in the 1960s has become a part of our daily digital data sharing and certainly, it will be a part of our future enhancement in communication and information transport technologies. Therefore, cloud computing certainly holds huge importance in today’s Internet-driven world.

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An optical fiber or fiber optics has emerged as a leading signal transmission medium in data networking applications. It was first proposed as a technology for light transmission in the 1950s. By 1990s the optical fiber technology has gained traction. By 2010, it has taken over the copper cable transmission. Unlike, copper cables, the fiber optics transmits the signals in an optic format that is in the form of light waves. It offers higher data transmission speed, greater data security, and endurance to harsh environmental conditions in comparison to the copper cables. These cables benefit from their design and construction. The fiber optic cables are constructed by bundling multiple glass strands inside a cladding, which is further protected by a buffer tube, which offers protection against environmental conditions. The optic signals are transmitted through these glass strands by the refraction of light principle.
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Fiber optics or optical fiber technology is popular for use with wide area networks (WANs), telecommunications, and data communication systems, due to the many advantages that fiber optics offers. Excellent data transfer capabilities, electrical isolation, and noise rejection are key characteristics that have led to the widespread adoption of this technology. Today, fiber optic cables are used to transmit all types of data including images, voice, and data  Read More
Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a data transmission technology that has gained immense popularity since the 1990s. It enables data transmission in the form of electronic signals via twisted pair cables, i.e. the copper cables. One of the key advantages of this technology is that a single cable can transmit communication data and electric power at the same time. Out of which, the data packets are transmitted between a transmitter and receiver, whereas the electrical signal powers devices such as Wireless Access Points (WAPs), Voice over Internet Protocol phones (VoIP), Internet Protocol (IP) cameras, etc.

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Ethernet networking is successfully employed in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. For several years, Ethernet networking was all about the power supply. However, with the growth of wireless and IP technologies, meeting the power supply requirements and data transmission through a single cable has emerged as a challenge. This is where PoE technology makes a difference. In the absence of this technology, the civil infrastructure would have become extremely complex comprising lots of cables and various power points. 
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Fiber optics, being a signal transmission technology, utilizes a transmission media. The transmission media in fiber optics technology is fiber optic cables. Typically, fiber optic cable networks are made of several fiber optic cables. These fiber optics are integrated into a network using specific fiber optic connectors. Since cables and connectors are essential elements of a fiber-optic network, it is important to select the right types of cables and connectors for specific applications. However, the selection of these two elements is a complex process due to the availability of a varying range of types, features, and specifications. With the advancement in technology, the fiber optic cables and connectors have evolved with several beneficial parameters, therefore, the selection becomes a little complex.

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