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In IT, the old and new have to be reconciled

By Donna Donnawitz
September 25, 2012
There's this great moment in the movie "The Last Samurai" when Tom Cruise's character is given his sword and it is inscribed with text saying "I belong to the warrior, in who the old ways have joined the new." This inscription is a sentimental nod to the clash of tradition and innovation in Japan at the time of the movie's events, pointing to the value of moving forward without losing what was good about the past. But as an IT person, I think about this as a reminder of what engineers and technicians are doing all the time - balancing legacy technologies with state-of-the-art solutions.

A recent Network World report explained this situation well when it said that the ever-changing nature of IT is among the most interesting parts of the industry. Technology is shifting all the time and monumental changes that alter the IT landscape can happen multiple times within a decade. At the same time, legacy technologies that work well and still get the job done are often used for years beyond their initial deployment and support pattern because these old solutions still have a valuable place in the data center.

The news source said that when companies build a new data center, for example, they often spend extensive amounts of time designing and implementing the facility for optimal results, but then have to do a logical redesign a few years later because technology has changed. However, certain systems may remain the same throughout a data center's lifecycle, and even into a new facility, even though they are classified as legacy equipment.

This is especially clear when you look at the networking landscape. Let's face it, fiber-optic cabling infrastructure is increasingly necessary throughout many parts of the data center because bandwidth demands are rising at an unsustainable pace. However, there are still elements of a configuration best suited to connecting with copper cabling, especially since the format is much less expensive and can be a durable solution.

Because of this, IT managers have to find a way to balance the old and new, making copper and fiber work in conjunction with one another to meet many current and expected future requirements. Fiber to Ethernet media converters can play an instrumental role in this process, as the technology streamlines integration between diverse parts of the network and enables IT to mix and match copper and fiber infrastructure as needed.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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