Migrating to Fiber Optic Networks – Explained by Tony LeFebvre in Lightwave

May 19th, 2016

By GlenNiece Kutsch

As bandwidth continues to grow in many enterprises, the question for network managers is not if they need a fiber-optic network, but rather what is the best way to build that network. The authoritative industry journal Lightwave recognized this dilemma when it published an article from Transition Networks’ Tony LeFebvre titled: “Active Ethernet vs. Passive Optical LAN for Copper Network Migration.”

In the article, Tony explained:

“For companies with a copper cable-based architecture approaching the traffic-carrying limits for robust communications and risk to intrusion, it is time to consider a migratory approach to a fiber-optic infrastructure. Advances in passive optical network (PON) and active Ethernet (AE) technologies – both traditional telecom network technologies – offer new, cost-effective Ethernet options that allow enterprises to transition to fiber-optic cabling.”

Tony goes on to provide valuable insight into why enterprises should consider a transition to fiber optic networks and the difference between passive optical LAN and active Ethernet, each presenting their own benefits and challenges. Tony explains that “whether PON or AE is used, enterprises still garner the advantages of fiber-optic networking to address copper wiring’s limits of distance, bandwidth and security.”

Tony’s article is an excellent tool for helping enterprises to make educated decisions on why they need to upgrade their networks and which technologies are best for their company. We encourage you to read the full article here and if you’re interested in making a change in your enterprise network, you can contact us and we’ll help you find the right solution and partner to upgrade your network.

Control Engineering Article from Transition Network Product Expert Helps Network Engineers Understand Fiber in SCADA Networks

March 22nd, 2016

John Ragan

Control EngineeringSupervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems have undergone significant change since the start of the decade as companies move to modernize their systems, improve security and reduce networking costs. While many organizations are considering moving to fiber-optic networks for their next-generation SCADA systems, there is still a need to know more about network technology choices for building out these new networks.

To help build this understanding, we’re happy to share that our own Tony LeFebvre, Director of Product Management, has published an article titled “Understanding Fiber Optic Network Technology for SCADA” for Control Engineering Magazine.

The article discusses what it means to migrate a SCADA application from serial networking protocols to Internet protocol (IP) and how this is driving the need to use fiber-optic networks in these applications.

The article also provides an overview of ring and mesh network topologies, the two main topologies that should be considered for a fiber-optic SCADA network. In addition, the article goes into depth on the three main network technologies to consider in building a fiber-optic SCADA network, including coarse wave division multiplexing (CWDM), multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) and creating a routed Ethernet/IP backbone network along with the benefits of each.

This overview of network technologies provides the information needed to deploy the network that is the best fit for your organization.

To read the full article, click here, and don’t forget to visit our website to learn more about how Transition Networks can help you build out your new networks.

PoE Steals the Show for Our 15th BICSI Winter Conference Appearance

February 19th, 2016

By AnnMarie Dykstra

While it might be an overstatement to say we “shocked” people at BICSI with our power-over-Ethernet (PoE) products, it would be accurate to say there was definitely a lot of interest.

The BICSI Winter Conference and Exhibition ran January 31 – February 4, 2016, at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, marking Transition Networks’ 15th time at the conference. The event brought together thousands of attendees, exhibit hall visitors and guests, as well as more than 175 exhibitors, from around the world.

We showcased our advanced fiber integration products throughout the show, including our new family of hardened 10/100/1000 Ethernet mini media converters and our full-line of fiber network interface cards (NICs), but PoE was by far the hottest topic in our booth as most current and prospective customers are using copper to fiber conversion, making PoE a necessity in all vertical markets.

Booth visitors were specifically interested in our PoE media converters, which combine power and data in one cable – eliminating the need for additional, unnecessary power cable runs to security cameras, wireless access points, or IP phones.

Because we have a strong customer base in Florida, most of the attendees were familiar with Transition Networks and knew us for our media converters. So, our advances in hardened PoE switches were “new” and garnered a lot of interest from many who were in attendance.

While most customers want PoE to simplify the installation of remote Wi-Fi access points and other devices, there are some unique use cases. For example, one prospective customer informed us how hard it really is to function without the auto power reset (APR) feature on the PoE media converter he uses to reset a surveillance camera when it freezes. That’s because to physically reach and reset the camera, he must engage with Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules that mandate a lengthy safety process that involves the IT and safety teams who then seek authorization for the workforce to remedy the issue. Fortunately, our PoE switch replaces this process with a simple button push that resets the camera with no safety issues.

As always, the BICSI Winter Conference was a successful event for us. We were pleased to meet with prospective customers while also hearing from so many of our current customers that they’re happy with their Transition Networks solutions. We look forward to seeing you at next year’s conference!


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Remembering 15 Years of Attending BICSI

January 29th, 2016

By Curt Carlson

The BICSI Winter Conference and Exhibition will kick off on Jan. 31 and, to the best of my knowledge, this show marks the 15th year that Transition Networks has been in attendance.

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.

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Congratulations to Our 12 Days of Giveaways Winners!

January 20th, 2016

By Nicole McHale

Happy New Year to you all!

Thank you to those who participated in our “12 Days of Giveaways” contest last month! For those of you who were unable to participate, the contest allowed our email, web and social media audiences to enter daily to win items including a travel bundle, fireside bundle or tech bundle.

Congratulations to all 12 of the daily prize winners! Because of you, we were able to spread holiday cheer, with an occasional dose of glitter.

For the grand prize, we gave away an Apple iWatch to Greg Gordon, Public Sector Account Manager at En-Net Services. We were pleased to hear Greg’s warm thoughts about Transition Networks:

”As a small business, we really count on great support from our manufacturing partners. Transition Networks has been great in this regard.”

Again, we appreciate all who participated in our contest and for trusting Transition Networks with your fiber integration needs. We are looking forward to a successful year with all of our existing and new customers.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions as you plan for the new year.