10 Key Benefits of Passive Optical LANs for Enterprise Connectivity

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10 Key Benefits of Passive Optical LANs for Enterprise Connectivity

The ongoing digital transformation within enterprises is putting increasing pressure on IT executives to get more performance and bandwidth; greater security, scalability and reliability—and, of course, lower costs of the enterprise network infrastructure. The cloud, the internet of things (IoT), big data analytics, connected cars and mobile devices are all going to drive the need not only for greater wireless capabilities but also stronger wireline technologies. They need an IT backbone that is fast, secure and reliable. The leadership of the Association for Passive Optical LAN (APOLAN) not surprisingly sees passive optical LAN (POL) technologies as the answer to those needs. This slide show highlights a list of 10 benefits compiled by APOLAN that are persuading major enterprises to adopt passive optical LANs for their infrastructures.

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Cutting Costs

Using passive optical LAN technology reduces both capital and operational costs. There is less equipment involved and lower energy and cooling needs, all of which make the technology easier to deploy and maintain than traditional copper-based LANs. In addition, POL requires upgrading about every 10 years or so, compared with every five to seven years with copper.

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Powering It Down

POLs eliminate the need for workgroup access switches, which in turns reduces or eliminates the impact on power and HVAC in the wiring closets. It also gets rid of maintenance costs associated with the switches and reduces those costs for power and cooling.

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A Network Space Saver

Copper-based LANs demand telecom rooms, but POLs—with their reduced equipment and cabling requirements as well as power and cooling needs—use very little space in buildings, reducing or eliminating the need for wiring closets. This translates into space savings for businesses.

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More Scalable and Available

Given the changing demands from an increasingly digital world, network backbone technologies will have to be highly scalable to address bandwidth needs and must do so with no unplanned interruptions. According to APOLAN, POLs offer higher rates of scalability and availability compared with copper-based LANs.

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Up and Running Faster

Passive optical LANs need fewer components and are essentially more simple than copper-based LANs, which means they can be deployed faster and maintained more easily, saving IT teams time.

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Faster Path to Certification

Another time-saver when compared with copper-based LANs relates to the certification for POLs. Certification for copper-based networks can take several weeks, while it normally takes just over three days for POLs, APOLAN said.

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Getting Ready for 5G

The upcoming 5G mobile networks hold the promise of significant improvements over current 4G networks, including as much as 1,000 times the bandwidth, 100 times more connected devices and 99.999 percent availability. The move will impact both wireless and wired networks, and expected gains from the migration to 5G will rely on the use of optical networks.

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More Future-Proofing

POLs help enterprises future-proof their infrastructures. One way is that as technology evolves, it's the active endpoints that will need to be refreshed, not the network itself. The lifespan of a POL solution is predicted to be as long as 30 years, compared with five to eight years for Ethernet solutions.

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The Long Run

Passive optical LANs can reach farther than copper—more than 12 miles, compared with about 300 feet for copper.

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Making It Green

POLs, with minimal power consumption and air-conditioning needs and reduced equipment demands, can help drive environmentally friendly green initiatives. The technology supports both LEED and Green Globe certifications.

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