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Media conversion vital as network demands change

By Max Burkhalter
July 15, 2013

Network requirements are shifting at a rapid pace, creating an environment in which multiple protocols are often necessary to support operational requirements. This leads to a situation in which media converters and terminal servers are becoming incredibly important in a wide range of settings.

Considering traditional media conversion use methods
There's a decent chance you currently think of media converters a niche technology. This isn't really surprising. For the most part, media converters and terminal servers are only really used for extremely specific purposes, such as to extend the length of a network by introducing fiber into the configuration. Terminal servers, on the other hand, have found a solid niche in automation and control networks. These deployment models are expanding, however, and you may want to get ready to use media converters and terminal servers in more places.

Emerging media converter deployments
With the rise of smart grid systems and the internet of things movement, media converters and terminal servers are becoming a necessary component in many industries. Furthermore, automation and control networks are increasingly being deployed in sectors beyond manufacturing, such as to support warehouse management systems, adding demand for serial to Ethernet solutions. On top of this, many data center leaders are turning to optical cabling to support rising bandwidth requirements.

All of these conditions create new usage models for media converters and terminal servers. Instead of fitting primarily as niche technological solutions with fairly standard deployment models, media converters and terminal servers are becoming integral parts of many IT configurations. Subsequently, such systems can deliver considerable strategic value for a variety of companies through theability to streamline network deployment and maximize the technology investments.

Using media converters and terminal servers to create value
Many companies find themselves in a situation in which they depend heavily on network systems to support application, service and data delivery. However, many Ethernet networks can struggle to keep pace with operational demands. This is making optical cabling deployment key in many sectors. The problem is thatfiber is often too expensive to be a viable option across the entire network. Media converters can help companies use fiber where necessary, but still rely on copper in other parts of the network, maximizing the cost-to-performance ratio in the network.

Similarly, many organizations are becoming more dependent on internal microgrids and automation and control networks, making terminal servers necessary to deal with serial to Ethernet interoperability issues.

Network demands are changing and increasing in many sectors, making new technologies vital in many settings. This can create major interoperability issues, making media converters and terminal servers vital.

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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