By Curt Carlson
That’s a long time in the technology industry, but BICSI (as it is known) continues strong. In those 15 years we’ve met a lot of great people, many of whom have become loyal customers. We’ve also gladly supported BICSI’s dual mission of creating standards for enterprise structured cabling and then training and certifying cabling professionals to ensure a qualified workforce.
Enterprises everywhere owe a debt of gratitude to BICSI as they discover the standards that the organization has developed allows them to easily expand their networks to support growth or evolve them to support higher-speed networking technologies.
The market has changed significantly since our first BICSI show. Then, fiber optic networks were limited to service providers and campus network backbones. Handling fiber cable was mysterious and terminating it was more of an art than a science. Ethernet was the dominant networking protocol, but wave-division multiplexing was the predominant technology for backbone networks. The industry was still rolling out Gigabit Ethernet and 10G Ethernet was discussed, but still on the horizon.
Now, fiber-optic networks are common in enterprise backbone networks and in data centers as network bandwidth and security requirements make fiber the only real option. Many organizations are now looking at strategic use of Fiber-to-the-Desk (FTTD) as a way to improve throughput to high-performance workstations. The other big topic at recent shows is Power over Ethernet (PoE), which continues to evolve to support new, high-power applications.
As we prepare for this year’s show, we’re bringing technology that helps BICSI attendees address these key needs in their network. Some of the products they will be able to see in our booth (#307), include:
Mini Hardened Ethernet Media Converters: The new media M/GE-ISW-xx-01 converters measure only 1.8 inches wide by 3.3 inches deep by 0.8 inches high, and support 10/100/1000 Ethernet with a range of fiber-optic connectors and one unit with a SFP slot. They are a small and cost effective way to expand the use of fiber in outdoor locations or other exposed areas.
Fiber-to-the-Desk NIC: The new N-GXE-POE-xx-01 NICs deliver the best of both worlds for desktop computers: high-performance, secure fiber connectivity with a PoE capability for VoIP phones or other powered devices. In addition to being in our booth, the N-GXE-POE-xx-01 will be on display in the BICSI’s New Product Pavilion.
ION Multi-Service Integration Platform: Another product spotlight we’ll have at our booth is the ION Multi-Service Integration Platform, a chassis-based solution for high-density media conversion needs. The ION Platform is based on Transition Networks’ comprehensive media converter product line, giving enterprises or service providers the most options and flexibility when they are seeking enterprise-class or carrier-class integration, optimization, and navigation of their networks.
While BICSI doesn’t feature singing and dancing acts in the booths, there will be some fun. The show will be holding its Cable Installer of the Year competition, allowing one installer to earn bragging rights (as well as a giant trophy and $5,000). At the Transition Networks Booth, we’ll be giving everyone achance to win a high-end YETI cooler by completing a short survey or having a winning cup/can koozie.
I’m looking forward to the show and to future BICSI shows, if for no other reason than to speak to the friends I’ve built over the years and to meet with new people. If you will be there, stop by booth #307 and say hello.