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Media converters essential bridge between legacy, contemporary technologies

By Donna Donnawitz
January 8, 2014

IT departments often face the brunt of cultural and schematic changes in an organization, and the reason is simple - businesses depend on IT to give them the technology they need to get the job done. Well, companies are increasingly jumping on the technology outsourcing bandwagon to control costs and, as they do, making life difficult for IT professionals. The issue here is that outsourcing plans, at least in most cases, do not replace internal IT employees. Instead, they eliminate many of the hardware management tasks that present a major challenge in the data center. However, they do not remove all of the hardware and, in many cases, what's left becomes incredibly challenging to manage.

Cloud computing is central to the IT outsourcing movement and, if you've read much about the cloud recently, you probably already know that there are a few clear limitations of the technology. One of them is that the public cloud is not always suitable for mission-critical applications or high-performance workloads. The other is that the legacy applications and the cloud rarely get along. As such, many businesses that try to outsource their cloud efforts end up leaving their IT departments to not only play a strategic part in managing cloud initiatives, but also trying to manage a data center made up of hardware that does not go well together.

IT managers that want to ease this burden can benefit substantially from investments in fiber to Ethernet media converters.

Balancing contemporary and legacy demands in the data center
The problem with maintaining legacy applications and systems alongside high-performance workloads is that the different systems create distinct architectural challenges. High-performance storage and server systems, for example, can push network demands through the roof. This, combined with the increased bandwidth coming in from external sources, makes fiber a key consideration in many parts of the network, not just backhaul.

However, the primary reason many legacy applications do not work well in cloud environments is because they do not function properly in a virtualized hardware setup. As such, bandwidth requirements are not nearly as severe and traditional Ethernet infrastructure with copper cables will often get the job done.

Going all fiber and using various adaptors can work from a theoretical perspective, but the cost makes that a non-viable option. At the same time, all-copper can work as advanced standards enable copper to support high-performance architectures, but such a setup can create excess complexity. Media converters can enable organizations to use fiber and copper interchangeably, balancing performance and cost at an optimal ratio.

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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