Edge Networks: Connecting End-Users to the Core Network


What is an Edge Network?

An edge network is the outer layer of a network infrastructure. Edge networks connect end-users, and the devices they use, to the core network. The edge network enables IP devices and provides access to applications. The edge network includes various components, such as routers, switches, access points, and servers.

What is a Core Network?

The core network is the backbone of a network infrastructure. It is responsible for transporting large volumes of data quickly and reliably between different network components. The core network typically comprises high-speed routers and switches that handle large traffic volumes. Core networks also connect various networks, such as connecting a local network to the internet.

What is Edge Computing?

While closely related, edge computing and edge networks are two different concepts. Edge computing is processing data near the generated source rather than sending it to a centralized location for processing. Edge computing brings computing resources closer to the devices that create and use the data, enabling faster data processing, reduced latency, and improved application performance.

In networking, two frequently used terms are core network and edge network. Although these terms may seem similar, they represent different network components. Understanding the differences between core networks and edge networks is vital in building and maintaining an efficient network infrastructure. Edge computing and edge networks are closely related since edge computing devices often rely on edge networks to transmit data. Edge networks provide the connectivity needed for edge devices to communicate with each other and the core network.

Edge Networks vs. Core Networks

  • Function: The core network is responsible for transporting large volumes of data between different network components, while the edge network connects directly to IP devices and provides access to applications.
  • Location: The core network is located at the central part of the network infrastructure, while the edge network is at the outer layer.
  • Components: The core network is composed of high-speed routers and switches, while the edge network is composed of routers, PoE switches, access points, and servers.
  • Traffic: The core network handles large volumes of traffic. The edge network enables IP devices and real-time applications, which are often latency sensitive.

How Does a Power over Ethernet (PoE) Switch Improve Edge Networks?

Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches are a crucial component of modern edge networks. They provide several benefits that improve an edge network’s functionality and efficiency.

  • Simplified Network Design: PoE switches eliminate the need for separate power sources for network devices such as IP cameras, wireless access points, and VoIP phones. PoE switches simplify network design and reduce cabling costs by transmitting power and data over a single copper cable.
  • Flexible Deployment: PoE switches offer flexible deployment options, allowing devices to be placed in locations where power outlets are not readily available. This provides greater flexibility in network design, as devices can be installed in previously impossible areas.
  • Enhanced Efficiency: PoE switches enable efficient power management, providing power only when required. This means that devices can be turned off when not in use, reducing energy costs and the overall environmental impact of the business.
  • Centralized Management: IT administrators can monitor and manage network devices from a single location, reducing the need for manual device configuration and software updates.
  • Improved Reliability: PoE switches provide a reliable power supply to network devices, reducing the risk of power outages and downtime. This ensures that network devices remain operational and critical services are not disrupted.
  • Cost-Effective: PoE switches are more cost-effective than traditional switches and power sources, especially PoE switches with long-reach capabilities. These devices eliminate the need for separate power sources, reducing installation and maintenance costs.

Improve your Core and Edge Networks with NVT Phybridge

NVT Phybridge has various switches to enhance core and edge networks. For example, the FLEX24-10G switch is a versatile network switch well suited for core networking with its 1-gigabit downlink ports and 10-gigabit uplink ports. However, organizations can also use the FLEX24-10G switch for its edge network to enable IP devices at extended distances. When paired with a FLEX adapter and operating in long-range Ethernet (LRE) mode, the FLEX24-10G switch can provide a 100-megabit connection and PoE + with up to 2,000 feet (610 meters) reach, which is six times farther than traditional switches.

Additionally, the NVT Phybridge CLEER24-10G Ethernet over Coax (EoC) switch is designed for edge networking, delivering a 100-megabit connection with up to 3,000ft (915m) reach or a 10-megabit connection with up to 6,000ft (1,830m) reach. Using an EC adapter, both modes deliver PoE+ over a single long-run coax cable.

Not All PoE Innovations Are Created Equal

NVT Phybridge PoE switches and extenders provide several benefits that improve the functionality and efficiency of edge networks and are a valuable investment for organizations looking to deploy IP devices.

Thousands of organizations trust the performance of NVT Phybridge Power over Ethernet technology to improve IP migration projects and support IP devices. See the performance results for yourself! Select and compare our PoE technology against the industry-leading Cisco Catalyst switch and the competition.

If you have an upcoming IP migration project, we would love to help! Click below to book a one-on-one meeting with one of our Digital Transformation Consultants.

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