Nov 4, 2021
On October 19th, 2021 Corning brought together industry leaders to discuss the benefits of implementing a future-ready network during the Smart Building Summit III. These industry leaders used Corning to deploy a fiber to the edge technology to enable the convergence of information technology (IT) & operational technology (OT). Today, there are more connected devices than ever before. There are an average of 7 devices per person today, and this is projected to double by 2030. Connectivity has become the 4th utility, it is just as crucial as electricity, water, and gas. This reliance on technology is going to continue to accelerate as there will be an ever-increasing need for more bandwidth and power. Companies will continue to deploy more services onto their networks, so it is important to ensure the network 20 years from now can handle future technologies without having to rip and replace the network infrastructure. During this summit, industry leaders showcase how Corning technology helped get their networks ready for the future.
Corning’s recently renovated headquarters in Charlotte is a great example of how companies should build their network infrastructure with the future in mind. The first thing you will notice as you walk into the 180,000 square foot building is that only one network closet displayed in glass is used to house the Corning Software Defined LAN (SDLAN) that provides connectivity to all devices that make the building a state of the art smart building. Composite cable, which is comprised of single-mode fiber and copper power conductors, replaced legacy copper structured cabling, significantly reducing the amount of cable and the size of the cable trays throughout the building. Originally Corning installed Wi-Fi 5 but was able to easily upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 without pulling a single new cable. This design showcases the benefits of building the network infrastructure to ensure minimal upgrades to the wiring in the future and enables long-term flexibility in potential network add-ons.
Companies may be wondering how important it is to future-proof their network now. The cost to upgrade your network is an expense that can’t always be easily justified. Management often deprioritizes capital expenditures that they believe can wait a couple of years to be implemented. Consider this, in January 2020, no one could have predicted how quickly the network infrastructure would have to change to overcome the challenges faced during the coronavirus pandemic. Companies that already had the network technology in place to conduct their business virtually could quickly and easily pivot to a virtual environment. In reviewing network performance at the height of the pandemic, IT directors soon realized the flexibility and scalability of the network infrastructure became a critical determining factor as to how they could run their business. Many school systems did not have the network technology or equipment to enable virtual learning during the pandemic. Students missed a significant amount of school and fell behind on academics. School systems, like The Clinton Public Schools in Connecticut, were able to use the Corning Fiber to the Edge SDLAN technology they implemented in 2019 to keep students, faculty, and staff connected during unprecedented times.
Omni Data’s founder, Frank Kondor was one of the panelists that discussed how we helped Clinton Public Schools save 20% in network upgrade costs and created a network ready for the future. In partnership with Frank Rossi at Clinton Public Schools in Connecticut, they shared their journey. Here’s a breakdown of all of the benefits of the upgraded network:
- Reduction in materials: Omni Data removed 120,000 feet of copper cable and replaced it with 30,000 feet of fiber. That is a 75% reduction in materials just from switching from copper to fiber!
- Reduction in labor: Less material equates to a massive reduction in labor and time spent on the upgrade. Omni Data was able to reduce the required installation team required by 50%.
- Reduction in total upgrade cost: The reduction in labor required reduced the time to completion by a few weeks at cost savings of 20%.
- Reduction in space needed: Omni Data was able to reduce the number of closets needed from 3 to only one closet. The entire school’s infrastructure now runs from a single closet in a single 42 U cabinet that is only 75% full. They were able to give back classroom space that had previously been used to house legacy network electronics.
- Major increase in network capacity: Copper-based cabling has bandwidth and distance limitations. Fiber eliminates these limitations.
- Increased flexibility: There are three important ways this technology increases the flexibility of the network:
- Reduction in space for more equipment in the future: Fiber cable takes up much less space than traditional copper cabling, therefore we can reduce the number of closets and space required for network infrastructure.
- Ability to add new features quickly: With an IP-based system, we can much more easily add features onto the network such as intercoms, cameras, and more access control systems.
- Future-proofing to prepare for the unknown: Creating a network ready to handle a large increase in capacity sets your organization up for future success from the unknown.
- Increased diagnosis ease and troubleshooting: Fiber enables companies to get extremely granular, which helps us to quickly troubleshoot and identify which port is causing issues. This saves time and money without having to test the wire and run new cables.
- Increased efficiency: As a result of the decreased time to diagnose issues, there is a major reduction in network downtime. Less power is needed for cooling since the equipment load has been reduced.
- Significant reduction in carbon footprint: Eliminating linear cable drastically reduces emissions. For example, if a company eliminates 225K feet of linear cable, that will reduce CO2 emissions by 16 metric tons! That is equivalent to 14 road trips across the US! Reducing network electronics will also cut CO2 emissions by 34 metric tons in a single year. That’s the equivalent of 41 acres of forests in the US.
This story is very similar to stories other industry leaders shared during the Corning Smart Building Summit. All of these examples showcase how we can start preparing our networks for the future. Today, Wi-Fi 6 enables about 10 Gbps download speeds which seems extremely fast compared to network technology from just a few years ago. Wi-Fi 7, is estimated to begin its rollout over the next two years, with estimated speeds of 40 Gbps. Wi-Fi seven’s ultra-low latency will allow the signal to travel faster between the user and the cloud. By upgrading your network’s infrastructure to SD LAN, you will not need to worry about costly upgrades to your cable plant for decades. Companies can simply switch out the electronics with the latest technology, greatly reducing total upgrade costs.
Disappointed that you missed the live event? No problem! Check out the recording of the event here. Omni Data is featured in the K - 12 Education link.
Interested in how we can help you achieve all of the above? Reach out to Omni Data at 203-387-6664 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Omni Data LLC
West Haven, Connecticut
T: 203-387-6664 | W: www.myomnidata.com