Modern LAN Guest Blog: It’s Time to Start Treating Exceptions as the Norm

By Melanie Turek, Vice President of Research, Connected Work, Frost & Sullivan

Ask most network architects about the local area networks they manage, and they will likely regale you with a clear list of their preferred networking vendors and products for each of their environments. One thing that rarely comes up: the exceptions that lurk within every corporate LAN.

Exceptions are the one-offs, such as that IP phone on the loading dock that is just a little too far away from the nearest wiring closet to connect via standard Ethernet, or using dongles and an existing coaxial cable to plug a security camera into the network. All but the most generic of local area networks contain these dirty little secrets; the network administrators and architects I’ve spoken to will admit to them only grudgingly, with a wink and a nod.

The challenge, however, is that with the convergence of technologies on the LAN—including not only communications and security devices, but a whole fleet of IoT sensors and endpoints—the risks posed by seemingly benign one-off exceptions are all too real. That casual wink and nod could easily turn into a look of dread as more and more networked devices require non-standard equipment to work as desired—and blow up any semblance of network optimization, performance and security in the process. What’s more, administrators could find themselves dealing with scores of unique fixes, without relying on the rigorous processes that are foundational to any successful IT operation.

Helping companies deal with such exceptions is just one of several challenges Frost & Sullivan’s analyst team aimed to mitigate as we developed a new set of best practices for local area networks, which we are calling the “Modern LAN.” The solution: When it comes to dealing with exceptions, it is time to stop treating them as exceptions.

As non-traditional devices become the norm, network architects simply must come to terms with the fact that solutions such as Long-Reach Power over Ethernet (LRPoE) switches must be included as part of the approved network architecture, even if that means deploying new network design techniques and technologies. It also means being open to the possibility of including new suppliers and certifying new products as part of corporate-approved solutions. Incorporating and supporting a wider array of compatible network infrastructure gear gives both architects and the administrators in the field a fresh set of tools to deploy networks reflective of the devices that are making their way into corporate offices, shop floors and remote sites.

“Dealing with Exceptions” is just one of several design best practices incorporated in the Modern LAN. To learn more, read the whitepaper “The Modern LAN: Rethinking Network Design for the Modern Age”, available at https://go.frost.com/Lan

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Government Agency Deploys Major Overhaul of Customs Process Using Modern LAN Principles

Massive Surveillance Upgrade for Government Agency Aimed at Generating Benefits Beyond Security

A Government Agency was relying on an outdated analog surveillance system and wanted to modernize to a comprehensive IP solution. The massive surveillance upgrade would take place across 360 customs offices and border crossing locations, with the objective of increasing their ability to identify risks and reducing response time to threats. The Agency was also looking to improve efficiency by automating most of the processing of imports and exports coming in and out of the country, with the objective of increasing economic growth and foreign trade.

The Government Agency determined that over 10,000 existing analog cameras needed to be modernized to IP but was uncertain how to proceed. The immense scale of the project presented critical challenges:

  • High costs associated with ripping-and-replacing the existing Coax infrastructure, as well as the physical space required to install new IDF closets to support IP cameras in all areas of the facilities.
  • The estimated time of 4 years to deploy the new surveillance system across the 360 locations.
  • Loss of revenue and safety concerns caused by disruption to government import and export operations on a massive scale across the country.

Modern LAN Innovation

Unsatisfied with the traditional approach to network design, the Government Agency delayed the project while they searched for an alternative. A new system integrator was hired to help overcome their barriers. The SI introduced the Agency to Frost & Sullivan’s Modern LAN principles and discussed how this new network design methodology addressed many of the challenges they were facing. The Agency immediately recognized the potential but was skeptical that it would work in their environment.

The SI introduced the Government Agency to NVT Phybridge’s Modern LAN enabling technology to prove the solution. NVT Phybridge recommended the Ethernet over Coax (EoC) solution and arranged a free no-obligation proof of concept to prove Modern LAN design and the technology in Agency’s live environment. After a few simple setup steps, the CLEER24 (Coax-Leveraged Ethernet Extended Reach) managed switch, with SmartPathPoE™ technology, transformed the existing and reliable Coax infrastructure into a power-packed IP/PoE backbone, capable of supporting the new IP cameras with up to 6,000ft (1,830m) reach – 18Xs farther than standard Ethernet switches. The CLEER24’s repeatable, predictable and scalable deployment methodology would ensure that upgrading the 360 sites would be simple and fast.

The Government Agency was impressed with the solution and was confident that Modern LAN design would allow them to achieve a simple, secure and cost-effective upgrade to IP surveillance. The customer was completely satisfied as they leveraged Modern LAN principles 2, 3 and 4 to achieve incredible results.

Principle #2: Create a secure and robust local area network – The Agency established a secure and robust Power over Ethernet backbone for their new IP surveillance system by leveraging their existing and reliable Coax-based infrastructure. The CLEER24’s patented SmartPathPoE™ technology allowed the customer to maintain a physically separate and cyber-secure point-to-point IP network for surveillance, ensuring zero disruption and risk to the core network.

Principle #3: Use new long-reach PoE innovations to maximize ROI – by leveraging the existing surveillance infrastructure and avoiding an extensive infrastructure overhaul, the Agency reduced their infrastructure costs by over $3 million and accelerated the deployment time by 80%.

Principle #4: Modernize to IP using IoTG environmentally responsible framework – by avoiding the traditional rip-and-replace upgrade model, the Agency prevented over 60 tons of e-waste from their digital transformation. The Agency also avoided installing a single IDF closet thanks to CLEER24’s long reach capabilities; reducing the organization’s ongoing energy consumption. IoTG (Internet of Things to the Power of Green) measures and recognizes organizations that modernize to the Internet of Things with an environmentally responsible process. The Government Agency has received the highest rating, 5-stars, for their exceptional transformation.

The Agency’s new IP surveillance system, now consisting of over 10,000 new IP cameras, delivers high-resolution viewing and recording capabilities; providing officials with better recognition and identification of potential safety threats at over 360 key customs and border crossing locations. The Agency was also able to leverage new business intelligence and technology to implement a new automated customs process. The integration of QR readers within the import and export locations has allowed the Agency to:

  • Reduce the average time spent by an individual at a border crossing location by 50%.
  • Reduce the amount of paperwork required during the import/export process.
  • Eliminate personnel interaction; further increasing safety and labour cost savings.

A Better Return on Investment

The Government Agency took a pro-active approach to find new and better ways to support their modernization objectives in a financially and socially responsible manner. By applying Modern LAN principles and innovative PoE technology, the Agency achieved incredible results.

  • Reduced infrastructure costs by over $3 million, reallocating the savings to more IP applications to improve the project’s ROI.
  • Eliminated risk and disruption of import and export operations.
  • Reduced the project’s impact on the environment; avoiding over 60 tons of e-waste.
  • Accelerated the deployment by 80%.
  • Built a cyber-secure and robust PoE platform for their enhanced IP surveillance system.

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Global Cruise Line Prevents Over 15 Tons of E-Waste During Communication Upgrade Using Modern LAN Principles

Save the Waves®

Save the Waves is the philosophy by which the cruise line operates as it corresponds to environmental stewardship. Starting as a company-wide recycling program, Save the Waves has become a holistic approach to environmental responsibility guided by four key principles: reduce/reuse/recycle wherever possible, pollution prevention, go above and beyond compliance and continuous improvement through innovation. As a global leader in the hospitality industry, the cruise line recognizes the tremendous responsibility they have to the communities they visit and the oceans they sail in, which are at the very essence of their business. When it came time to modernize their fleet to IP phones to provide a better guest experience, environmental impact was top of mind.

Aligning with the Four Key Principles

The cruise line is continuously innovating and retrofitting their ships to operate more efficiently and with less impact on the environment. However, the customer was concerned with the high costs, long deployment times, business disruption and potential e-waste associated with traditional network design methodologies.

Unsatisfied with the traditional approach, the customer discovered Frost & Sullivan’s new Modern LAN design principles and the PoLRE® long-reach PoE innovation. By leveraging Modern LAN principle #4, a project plan was designed to minimize the impact on the environment.

  • The cruise line was able to 100% reuse existing infrastructure, preventing over 15 tons of e-waste while upgrading two luxury liners to IP communication. Leveraging the existing cables also saved on-going fuel consumption with every trip, as the proposed replacement wiring was approximately 3Xs the weight
  • By using new long reach Power over Ethernet innovations, the customer eliminated the need to install new server closets, which will reduce on-going fuel consumption with every trip
  • Over 6,000 legacy phones were modernized to IP across two cruise ships. These smart devices have energy saving capabilities that will reduce the customer’s carbon footprint even further
  • The simplified solution allowed the customer to deploy over 3,000 new IP phones in each ship during the originally scheduled one-month dry dock period, an accomplishment that the customer never thought was possible.

IoTᴳ (Internet of Things to the Power of Green) measures and recognizes organizations that modernize to the Internet of Things with an environmentally responsible process. The cruise line received the highest rating, 5 stars, for their exceptional transformation.

A Better Return on Investment

The cruise line took a pro-active approach to find new and better ways to support their IP modernization objectives in a financially and socially responsible manner. By applying Modern LAN principles and leveraging innovative switch technology, the customer:

  • Reduced infrastructure costs by over $3 million
  • Eliminated risk and disruption
  • Reduced the project’s impact on the environment; preventing over 15 tons of e-waste
  • Deployed over 3,000 new IP phones in each of the two ships within the originally scheduled one-month dry dock period
  • Built a secure and robust PoE platform for their enhanced IP communication solution

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Hayuelos Shopping Center Prevents 100,000ft of Cable from Entering a Landfill During Security Modernization

Hayuelos Shopping Center is one of the largest commercial hubs in the Colombian capital, receiving more than one million visitors each month. Today the mall is host to a wide variety of shops and spaces throughout its 120,000 square meter facility, including a supermarket, a gym, a movie theatre and an indoor go-kart track. Due to the expansion of the mall and the surrounding population, the analog surveillance system that was in place could not accommodate the growing demands of the mall, nor could it meet security and control challenges. Hayuelos Shopping Center required a modern IP surveillance system to ensure the safety of all staff and visitors.

Hayuelos Shopping Center is committed to environmental responsibility through their Haystacks program, which includes energy and water saving initiatives, wastewater treatment from food areas, and disposal sites for electronic waste. While planning the modernization of their surveillance system, the mall became very concerned with the project’s potential impact on the environment, especially ripping-and-replacing several tons of wiring throughout the building. Hayuelos required a solution that shared the same commitment they have to the environment.

Environmental Stewardship

Hayuelos Shopping Center created an environmentally responsible plan to modernize the surveillance system. By leveraging Modern LAN design principles and PoLRE® long reach switch innovation, Hayuelos was able to:

  • Reuse 100% of the existing and reliable wiring infrastructure, which prevented 100,000ft of cable from entering a landfill. Eliminating the need to rip-and-replace also significantly reduced the amount of materials consumed and waste generated by the project.
  • Prevent the installation of new intermediate server closets by using innovative long reach PoE technology; reducing material and ongoing energy consumption from power and cooling devices.
  • Reduce the deployment time by 30%; decreasing the amount of travel to and from the mall during the modernization and minimizing the harmful emissions to the environment.
  • Install 166 new IP cameras inside and outside the building; providing complete surveillance coverage and high-resolution footage to ensure the safety of all staff and visitors.

IoTG (Internet of Things to the Power of Green) measures and recognizes organizations that modernize to the Internet of Things with an environmentally responsible process. Hayuelos Shopping Center received a 5-star rating for their digital transformation.

A Better Return on Investment

Hayuelos Shopping Center took a pro-active approach to find new and better ways to support their IP modernization objectives in a financially and socially responsible manner. By applying Modern LAN principles and leveraging innovative switch technology, Hayuelos fast-tracked their IP deployment and saved thousands of dollars on infrastructure that can be reallocated to ROI driving applications.

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Securely Connect Your LAN to the Cloud

What is the Cloud? Simply put – the Cloud is a shared pool of computer system resources that are accessed by users and organizations to achieve economies of scale. We like to compare the Cloud to public utilities.

Take power generation for example. It’s not up to each organization to produce and store the electricity needed to run the business. Organizations use as much power as they need and pay the service provider for the amount consumed.

Like the example above, the Cloud is a collection of remote servers that host and manage data and business applications via the internet. This removes the burden on each organization to install and manage multiple business systems.

Cloud-based services simplify IT management by offloading much of the installation and ongoing management of IoT applications. Service providers can achieve incredible economies of scale, while organizations experience efficiency and ease-of-management.

The Cloud provides convenience, scalability, and mobility to the modern organization. Employees can access their business applications from anywhere, whether they are working in the office, at home, or while travelling.

But how do we bring the Cloud down to earth? By establishing a robust and secure local area network to support the necessary IoT devices, such as IP phones, IP cameras, IP sensors, etc. These smart endpoints need secure and reliable Ethernet and power; often requiring connection via long cable runs to the edge of the network.

The NVT Phybridge CHARIoT series of long-reach Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches, with patented SmartPathPoE™ technology, help organizations achieve a simple, secure, and cost-effective connection to their Cloud-based applications. Using Modern LAN principles, our long-reach PoE solutions create a secure point-to-point LAN topology that is simple to manage – just like your cloud-based solutions. The CHARIoT series of managed, unmanaged, and single-port extender solutions allow customers to leverage their existing cabling and infrastructures to support IoT devices up to 4,000ft (1,220m) away.

Visit https://www.nvtphybridge.com/chariotproducts/ to find the best PoE innovation to securely connect your LAN to cloud-based applications.

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Guarantee Maximum Return on Investment From Your Digital Transformation

Organizations are modernizing to IP communication, surveillance and other IoT (Internet of Things) devices to increase efficiency, improve security and create a better customer experience. Business Insider predicts that by 2025 there will be more than 55 billion connected IoT devices, up from 9 billion in 2017. To support these 55 billion IoT devices, organizations must first establish a secure and reliable local area network.

For over 25 years, NVT Phybridge has been committed to helping organizations maximize the return on investment of their digital transformations. Our CHARIoT series of enterprise-grade managed, unmanaged and single port extender solutions were designed specifically to simplify Modern LAN requirements. Enabled with patented SmartPathPoE™ technology, our solutions significantly reduce the cost to establish a secure and reliable Power over Ethernet (PoE) backbone.

How exactly? By transforming an organization’s existing infrastructure into a power-packed IP platform, with reach capabilities up to 4,000ft (1,220m) – 12 times farther than standard PoE switches. No more “rip-and-replace” and no more reach limitations. The cost savings are substantial considering the immense cost to install new infrastructure:

  • Thousands of feet of wiring to connect all devices on the local area network
  • Equipment to support new server closets or upgrade existing closets; including servers, racks, cooling systems, backup power systems, fire prevention and redundancy equipment
  • Labour costs to rip-and-replace the existing infrastructure and install the equipment mentioned above
  • Material costs to support the construction and renovation work required to install the new infrastructure
  • Loss of revenue caused by business disruption

By eliminating the above requirements, project deployment times are significantly accelerated, further improving return on investment. Reduce infrastructure costs and allocate more of your budget to ROI driving applications.

Organizations that leverage their existing infrastructure to establish a robust PoE backbone are also creating a more cyber-secure network. Establishing a network today that can minimize susceptibility to cyber-attacks may save your organization millions of dollars in the future.

Visit www.nvtphybridge.com/chariotproducts to learn more about PoE innovations available to help you maximize the ROI of your digital transformation.

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Eliminate Business Disruption During Your Digital Transformation

Business disruption is a major concern to organizations when planning a modernization to IP and the Internet of Things (IoT). In fact, it’s one of the largest barriers that prevent organizations from achieving their digital transformation objectives.

The issue lies when applying traditional LAN design to an IoT modernization project. The traditional approach to network design was established when PC devices were the only endpoints being connected, and therefore does not address the modern-day reality of connecting different types of IP/IoT devices.

The traditional approach involves ripping-and-replacing an organization’s existing network infrastructure to establish a Power over Ethernet (PoE) backbone to support IoT initiatives; causing significant disruption to staff, management, IT teams and customers. The rip-and-replace process can disrupt business operations for months, even years, with on-site construction, network outages and building modifications. So how can organizations avoid this headache?

The answer is simple.  Apply the Modern LAN principles developed by Frost & Sullivan and design a network that addresses your needs today and into the future. One principle is to consider new innovations in Power over Ethernet technology as well as network design philosophy. Long-reach PoE innovations, such as the CHARIoT product series, leverage single pair UTP, coax and multi-pair UTP to create secure IP paths leveraging existing and new infrastructure. No need to throw away your existing and reliable wiring infrastructure.

For example, the PoLRE® solution allows organizations to transform existing voice infrastructure into a robust PoE backbone for new IP phones; eliminating disruption and network downtime.  PoLRE delivers data and power over a single pair of wire with 4 times the reach capabilities of a standard PoE switch.

Visit www.nvtphybridge.com/chariotproducts/ to learn more about PoE innovations available to help you eliminate disruption as you successfully upgrade to IP.

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Accelerate the Deployment of Your Digital Transformation

Organizations are modernizing to IP communication, surveillance and other IoT (Internet of Things) devices to increase efficiency, improve security and create a better customer experience. Business Insider predicts that by 2025 there will be more than 55 billion connected IoT devices, up from 9 billion in 2017. To support these 55 billion IoT devices, organizations must first establish a secure and reliable local area network.

However, depending on the size of the enterprise, some organizations spend years establishing the necessary infrastructure to support their IoT objectives. Enter NVT Phybridge, the global leader in long-reach Power over Ethernet technology. Our CHARIoT solutions are specifically designed to reduce infrastructure requirements and deployment time.

How? By allowing organizations to leverage their existing infrastructure, eliminating the time-intensive process of ripping-out existing cables and installing new wiring and equipment. This process is especially lengthy due to the construction work required to access the cables and patch up after the work is done.

Many organizations may require permits or other authorizations to modify the buildings they operate in. This process can take multiple months (even years), especially if the building is of historical significance.

Organizations looking to deploy IoT devices far from the central server closet (for example, to support IP cameras in a parking lot) may need to install intermediate server closets. The CHARIoT family of products, with SmartPathPoE™ technology, can extend power and data up to 4,000ft (1,220m). With 12 times the reach capabilities compared to standard PoE switches, CHARIoT reduces (sometimes eliminates) these server closet requirements – significantly reducing deployment times.

Visit www.nvtphybridge.com/chariotproducts/ to learn more about PoE innovations available to help you accelerate the deployment of your digital transformation.

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Create a Cyber-Secure Network Platform

As more and more organizations adopt the Internet of Things, cybersecurity has become a top concern. Companies of all sizes and in all industries are at risk of malicious activity; especially individuals and groups attempting to steal consumer and company data. The Ponemon Institute found that 7 out of 10 organizations believe their security risk increased significantly in 2017.

In the connected world of the Internet of Things, each “thing” on the network represents a possible entrance for a hacker. In DarkTrace’s Global Threat Report from 2017, it was determined that hackers gained unauthorized access to networks through various IoT devices including smart artboards, thermometers, and server rooms.

The NVT Phybridge CHARIoT series of long reach Power over Ethernet switches, powered by our patented SmartPathPoE™ technology, are designed to combat these modern-day security threats. Our technology allows customers to leverage their existing endpoint cabling; creating secure point-to-point network pathways. The long reach capabilities of our solutions eliminate the need to install additional IDF closets, further reducing the number of possible entry points for malicious activity. Connect your edge network back to the core at a single convergence point with a robust firewall for maximum network security or keep devices and applications completely separate. The flexibility of choice is yours.

It’s not enough to secure data only where it’s stored. The modern enterprise needs complete end-to-end security and control of IoT data. Our enterprise-grade managed switches include an intuitive web GUI to help protect your data. The software provides tools to monitor network traffic and lock down any unused ports, ensuring network access is only provided to approved connected devices.

For more information, download the Get Physical with Cyber Security Threats whitepaper.

Visit www.nvtphybridge.com/chariotproducts/ to learn more about PoE innovations available to help you establish a cyber-secure network.

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Modern LAN Guest Blog: Reduce, Reuse, Refocus Applies to the Network Too

By Michael Brandenburg, Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst, Connected Work

We have entered the era of corporate responsibility and sustainability: Organizations of all sizes are being asked to think much harder about the environmental impact of the products they produce, from manufacturing to disposal. Environmental responsibility also extends to the corporate office, moving well beyond “don’t print this email,” signatures to sustainable construction, smart buildings and the deployment of IT.

Indeed, thanks to scheduled rollouts, standard “rip and replace” practices and the planned obsolescence of computer and network infrastructure, corporate IT departments are a significant contributor to electronic waste. As part of our in-depth research into local network design, it became clear to us here at Frost & Sullivan that environmental sustainability simply must be an important consideration when deploying today’s business networks, what we call the Modern LAN. The Modern LAN principles, developed by Frost & Sullivan, seek to develop a new set of best practices around local network design—and in the process, focus on sustainability.

In our research, we have discovered that the local network, with all the cabling and infrastructure to support it, is an excellent place to start. The traditional way of building networks applied a “one size fits all” approach to network architecture, and whenever the network is upgraded to the latest speeds and feeds, a lot of older switchgear gets turned into e-waste, even more new cabling gets shoved into the walls and some devices, like IP phones and IoT sensors, receive more bandwidth than they really need.

In contrast, our Modern LAN includes sustainability as a best practice, rather than a vague goal to strive for: “Develop an environmentally responsible framework around LAN design and deployment. Re-use and repurpose existing endpoint cabling infrastructure, reduce IDF closet requirements and adopt energy-efficient PoE switches and end points wherever possible.”

What this really means

  • Reduce e-waste by replacing only the network and infrastructure that is absolutely necessary. PCs and servers may need the latest gigabit and above speeds, but those phones, security cameras and smart building sensors do not. Break the rip and replace cycle on network endpoints that won’t take advantage of the upgrades.
  • Reuse and repurpose network and cabling infrastructure, because not every network device requires brand new CAT6 cabling to operate. Many robust and reliable Long Reach Power over Ethernet (LRPoE) solutions on the market today let IT reclaim that long-lost twisted-pair and coax cabling to support any number of IoT endpoints.

Achieving sustainability in IT may seem like a daunting task, but it really just takes some out of the box thinking and a willingness to take advantage of what it is already in place. Environmental sustainability is just one of several design best practices incorporated in the Modern LAN. To learn more, read the whitepaper The Modern LAN: Rethinking Network Design for the Modern Age

Thank you, Michael, for your expert insight into Modern LAN design. Keep it locked on the NVT Phybridge news page for more industry analysis into the Modern LAN principles.

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