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Media converters in unexpected places - meeting rising network demands

By Donna Donnawitz
September 24, 2013

The network has traditionally been a relatively secondary technology consideration. For the most part, companies have been able to let the network operate as a background function and only make upgrades once every decade or so. This is especially true for businesses in highlyspecific sectors that may have unique technology demands. However, the network is becoming more important, and you may soon start to see media converters popping up in unusual places because more businesses are using fiber to support rising network demands.

Understanding the growing need for fiber
Bi data, cloud computing, virtualization and mobile devices are all transforming the network. Furthermore, these trends are taking hold in a wide range of industries, forcing companies that have historically been able to skimp on the network to make strategic upgrades. The end result is a situation in which fiber to Ethernet media converters are becoming important in places where they may not have typically been used.

Some unexpected places where you may stumble into media converters include:

The data center
Generally speaking, you'd only run into media converters in the data center if you explored the bowels of the facility and started checking out the backhaul infrastructure- this is beginning to change. The rise of virtualization and big data have created major bandwidth challenges. At the same time, you also have to deal with the cloud leading to a major increase in communication between systems in the data center. These factors combine to make fiber more prominent throughout the data center, leading to increased use of media converters to resolve interoperability issues.

Industrial settings
Industrial operations have traditional been a haven for serial connections. Let's face it, if you want zero-latency, reliable network connectivity for automation and control infrastructure, you generally need serial. However, many companies find that they can get away with Ethernet in more areas, and are doing so.

However, using Ethernet in such settings can be limiting because many industrial organizations need to extend the network to distant locations on a campus. Fiber can prove ideal in this area, enabling organizations to extend the network and improve connectivity throughout a facility.

These are just two areas where fiber is gaining prominence. There are many sectors where rising network demands are creating new operational challenges. The end result is a situation in which media converters could start becoming prominent in a wide range of settings.

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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