Future Focus II: Enterprise Network Trends

Future Focus II: Enterprise Network Trends

We asked Leviton network experts Kirk Krahn and Assef Badder to explain what lies ahead for enterprise networks.

Kirk Krahn
It may be premature to point to definitive trends based on the effects of the ongoing pandemic. However, there are signs that some building owners have accelerated adoption of smart technologies as a response to the pandemic. There are numerous ways businesses are using these solutions to keep building occupants safe.

  • Infrared cameras recently installed at some airports are used to track body temperature, while offices and factories have installed screening kiosks to measure temperature when employees enter a building.
  • With building management systems in larger facilities or factories, issues can be identified and resolved remotely, requiring less human interaction and maintenance.

Many building operations are currently in a state of flux due to fewer visitors or work-from-home adjustments. However, as companies install smart technologies like the examples above to address return-to-work requirements or more building traffic, the right infrastructure will be important to handle added IoT devices and potential increased bandwidth needs over the long term. We recommend using a cabling infrastructure that is optimized for PoE applications. And it is important to consider higher density patching and connectivity to anticipate additional smart devices on the network over time. This creates a much more flexible infrastructure for dynamic environments and the high probability that network configurations will change as a result of the pandemic.

Asef Baddar, RCDD
Copper twisted pair cabling technology is evolving at a rapid pace, not only in performance but also in terms of the applications it can serve. Refinements continue to be made to 4-pair Ethernet systems that improve speed, size, weight, density, and flexibility. Equally important are the enhancements for delivering Power over Ethernet (PoE), with improvements in distance, capacity, and temperature management in cable bundles, just to name a few.

Furthermore, new initiatives are underway to address emerging applications and markets. For example, single pair Ethernet (SPE) standards are in development for commercial, industrial, building automation, and automotive network applications. SPE cabling will complement 4-pair cabling in parts of a horizontal cabling structure. While 4-pair copper cabling channels are limited to 100 meters and 4 connections, the TIA SPE channels will be limited to 400 meters with 5 connections (SP1-400) and 1,000 meters with 10 connections (SP1-1000).

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