Page Two

By Andrew Garcia  |  Posted 2005-01-17 Print this article Print

Whereas FlightLite bridges are often installed outdoors, JALC chose instead to install the FlightLite bridges inside its buildings to avoid the complications, delays and costs associated with gaining permission to install equipment on the roof of the administrative building. In Rose Hall, the equipment is attached to the ceiling in a hallway, while the unit in the administrative building is mounted on the floor of an office.

Although the FlightLite required some signal attenuation to ensure proper function through the windowpanes on both ends, installers had the optical bridge up and working within 24 hours. The indoor installation has the added benefit of providing easy access when its time to clean the lens or make minute adjustments to the connection using the attached scope.

Murphy particularly appreciates the FlightLite systems lack of maintenance costs and administrative overhead. The pair of FlightLite bridges cost approximately $25,000 for the hardware and installation, with no maintenance contract fees. The bridges require few firmware upgrades throughout their life cycle, which is expected to be five to six years, say officials.

Assuming that a single T-1 connection costs approximately $5,000 per year for a fraction of the throughput performance that LightPointe provides, Murphy projects the installation will pay for itself within months.

The LightPointe deployment also added redundancy to JALCs network. If one buildings T-1 connection to the Internet fails, Murphy can temporarily redirect traffic to the other buildings Internet connection via the optical link.

With more than a gigabit of throughput capacity on the optical link, Murphy expects the FlightLite will more than adequately service JALCs bandwidth needs.

This headroom may, in fact, allow JALC to add services—the center is investigating expanding its voice-over-wireless network deployment to accommodate more users on the move in Rose Hall. At this time, however, the centers IT staff is not monitoring the usage levels on the optical link and cannot gauge the capacity levels currently in use.

IT Associate Matt Celichowski is examining ways of measuring this usage because LightPointe does not provide this capability natively.

Murphy now considers the optical link to be the most reliable part of his network and said he has seen no negative impact to network performance from New Yorks early-winter weather conditions.

Technical Analyst Andrew Garcia can be reached at

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.

Andrew cut his teeth as a systems administrator at the University of California, learning the ins and outs of server migration, Windows desktop management, Unix and Novell administration. After a tour of duty as a team leader for PC Magazine's Labs, Andrew turned to system integration - providing network, server, and desktop consulting services for small businesses throughout the Bay Area. With eWEEK Labs since 2003, Andrew concentrates on wireless networking technologies while moonlighting with Microsoft Windows, mobile devices and management, and unified communications. He produces product reviews, technology analysis and opinion pieces for, eWEEK magazine, and the Labs' Release Notes blog. Follow Andrew on Twitter at andrewrgarcia, or reach him by email at

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