DVI (Digital Video Interface) is the standard digital interface for PCs (in contrast to HDMI, which is more commonly found on HDTV devices).

 

The DVI standard is based on transition-minimized differential signaling (TMDS). There are two DVI formats: single-link and dual-link. Single-link cables use one TMDS-165 MHz transmitter, and dual-link cables use two. The dual-link cables double the power of the transmission. A single-link cable can transmit a resolution of 1920 x 1200 vs. 2560 x 1600 for a dual-link cable.

 

Several types of DVI connectors are available, most commonly:

DVI-D, a digital-only connector for use between a digital video source and monitors. DVI-D eliminates the analog pins.

 

DVI-I (integrated), which supports both digital and analog RGB connections. It can transmit either a digital-to-digital signal or an analog-to-analog signal. It is used on products instead of separate analog and digital connectors. If both connectors are DVI-I, you can use any DVI cable, but a DVI-I is recommended. (NOTE: For a DVI-I to DVI-D display converter, click here).

 

DVI-A (analog), which is used to carry a DVI analog signal from a computer to an analog VGA device, such as a monitor. If one or both of your connections are DVI-A, use this cable. If one connection is DVI and the other is VGA HD15, you need a cable or adapter with both connectors as long as you do not require an active analog/digital connector.

 

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) was the first digital interface to combine uncompressed HD video, up to eight channels of uncompressed digital audio, and intelligent format and command data in a single cable. It is now the defacto standard for consumer electronics and HD video, although it is beginning to face competition from the newer DisplayPort interface.

 

HDMI offers an easy, standardized way to set up AV equipment over one cable. Use it to connect equipment such as digital signage players, set-top boxes, and AV receivers with HDTVs and video projectors. If the HDMI equipment supports higher-resolution HDMI standards, you can also connected 3D displays.

 

HDMI also supports multiple audio formats from standard stereo to multichannel surround sound. In addition, the interface provides two-way communications between the video source and HDTV, enabling simple, remote, point-and-click configurations.

 

It also supports HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection), which prevents the copying of digital audio and video content sent over HDMI cable. If you have a device between the source and the display that supports HDMI but not HDCP, your transmission won’t work, even over an HDMI cable.

 

HDMI is backward compatible with DVI equipment; a DVI-to-HDMI adapter can be used without a loss of video quality to enable the connection. Because DVI only supports video signals, not audio, the DVI device simply ignores the extra audio data.

 

Looking for a specific HDMI, DVI, VGA, or other type of video extender? Use our handy Video Extender Selector tool and find what you need in minutes.

Organizations often use private networks such as MPLS service for data transfer because they offer clear advantages in speed, delay/jitter, and availability compared to the Internet.  As convenient as these networks are, however, they leave data vulnerable. Here are two myths of MPLS security:

 

Myth #1: “We use a private network” is often stated as the reason for not protecting data as it travels over third party networks.

Truth#1: MPLS isn’t really private. Organizations using a Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network may believe that encryption is not needed because the network is marketed as “private.” Because MPLS is really a shared network that mimics privacy by logically separating data with labels, the logical separation offered by MPLS isn’t secure and isn’t adequate for data protection. A “private” MPLS link actually traverses a network that also carries traffic from thousands of other users, including traffic from other carriers.

 

Myth #2: MPLS provides some level of security.

Truth #2: The truth is that MPLS offers no protection against misconfigurations. Human and machine errors as well as OS bugs can result in MPLS traffic being misrouted. It also don’t protect from attacks within the core. MPLS is vulnerable to all traditional WAN attack vectors. Additionally, there is no detection of sniffing/snooping. Think an alarm will go off when a high-tech hit man is stealing your data? Think again. This data is left in the clear and can be access, replicated, or used by anyone who gains access to it.

 

Protecting data in motion has become a high priority as more organizations realize how easy it is for attackers to pick data from the stream. Regulations such as HIPAA and PCI also require that files be secured when stored on the network and while in transit, leading to a need for encryption services. Secrets aren’t secret on the Internet unless they’re securely encrypted. For more myths, truths, and ways you can protect your data in motion, download our Group Encryption White Paper.

For the second year in a row, Black Box made the InformationWeek 500 list of the nation’s most innovative users of business technology.


In the latest issue of their magazine, InformationWeek surveyed over 500 executives. Through this survey they were able to identify the top IT initiatives from 2011 to 2012.


In terms of cloud adoption, 85% of executives said they’re using software-as-a-service (SSaS), as opposed to just 79% in 2011. In 2011, 19% we’re using platform-as-a-service (Microsoft Windows Azure, Google App Engine, etc.). That number increased to 27% in 2012.


Also growing is social strategy. 55% of executives allow unfiltered customer comments via social networks or a website. Sentiment analytics programs used to track comments on social networks are now used by 29% of executives. Close to 70% of executives said they have, or are in pilot testing for, an internal social network for employee use only. Three quarters of those surveyed said they have no plans to block employees’ access to public social networking sites.


The survey also broke down the top three areas of innovation in 2012: Making business processes more efficient (49%), introducing new IT-led products and services for customers (46%), and getting better business intelligence to more employees, more quickly (40%).


This year, 68% of executives plan to exceed their 2011 spending budget. 22% surveyed said their IT spending would say the same, and less than 10% announced they would decrease their budget. 

 

IT’s main contribution to business growth from 2011-2012 was developing a revenue-generating product or service (53% and 58%, respectively). Other contributions included embedding their IT intellectual property into a new product or service (44% in 2011 and 51% in 2012).

 

Over one third of the executives said that they provide mobile apps for their customers. Over half stated that they have limited to full deployment of mobile apps for employee use. 12% said they are still in pilot testing.

 

How does your company compare? Are they pushing for investments in the cloud, social and mobile industry?

The Communications Cable and Connectivity Association, Inc, (CCCA), announced the results of tests conducted in July 2012 on off-shore-manufactured cables. The results showed that five of the six samples failed to meet the minimum National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requirements for fire safety, including low flame spread and/or smoke generation for installation in commercial buildings, schools, and multitenant residences. The CCCA reported that four of the five failing samples exhibited catastrophic failures. In one case, the chamber used to conduct the burn tests had to be shut down in less than three minutes because the fire was "so virulent." The NFPA 262 test is specified to run 20 minutes. In addition, four of the five samples had a flame spread of 19.5 feet, the maximum length of the burn chamber.

 

"It is significant that none of the failing samples were certified under UL's fire safety listing program," says Frank Peri, CCCA executive director. "This also means that unscrupulous manufacturers may be moving to other testing agencies. This is disturbing and our concern cannot be understated because these potentially hazardous cables are being installed in buildings today. The potential liabilities we have addressed and risk to public safety in the event of fire are unacceptable."

 

The CCCA also commissioned tests on the electrical performance of the cables. The results were not much better, the CCCA says. "Four of the five cables, which failed the fire safety requirements, also failed to meet minimum electrical performance required by industry standards for Category 5e and 6 cables, of which independent test certifications were also claimed," the CCCA reported.

 

Cables selected for the tests were all procured from six different distributors in North America in April 2012. They were comprised of six different brands of plenum-rated CAT5e and CAT6 cable. The brands chosen are largely considered unknown by most buyers in North America. Read the CCCA release and see the test results here.

Every network manager needs insight into the inner workings of his or her network.

 

Two common methods for gaining a window into a network are by installing a network tap or by using a mirror port (called a SPAN port by Cisco®) on a network switch. Both network taps and mirror ports provide a window into traffic on a network segment, enabling you to use a network analyzer or other monitoring tool for troubleshooting, diagnostics, security, or forensics compliance.

 

A network tap is a hardware device that’s installed on your network. It enables network traffic to pass through unimpeded while duplicating all data to a monitor port where it can be accessed by a network analyzer.

Port mirroring, on the other hand, is a capability built into many high-end networking devices. This feature enables the data from individual ports to be duplicated to another port, creating a mirror port that acts as a software network tap.

 

Network Taps
Best for high-speed networks with heavy traffic or for analysis that requires all network traffic.

 

Advantages:

  • Captures send and receive data streams simultaneously, eliminating the risk of dropped packets.
  • Provides full visibility into full-duplex networks.
  • Captures everything on the wire—including Physical Layer errors—even when the network is saturated.

 

Disadvantages:

  • Requires the purchase and installation of additional hardware.
  • Analysis device may need dual-receive capture interface.
  • Only captures data between network devices; can’t monitor intraswitch traffic.

 

Mirror Ports
Best for networks with light traffic or for analysis not affected by dropped packets.

 

Advantages:

  • Low cost, using existing switch capabilities.
  • Remotely configurable through the network.
  • Captures intraswitch traffic.

 

Disadvantages:

  • Drops packets on heavily used full-duplex links.
  • Filters out Physical Layer errors.
  • May burden the switch’s CPU to copy data.
  • May change frame timing, altering response times and slowing network performance.

 

To see our network taps or to download a flyer with this information, visit blackbox.com/go/Taps.

The small-to-medium business communications market is changing considerably because of major ongoing development in core networking technology. Voice communications have been migrating from time-based to packet-based switching. An IP PBX is likely to be the standard design platform of the future for enterprise communications systems. The benefits to customers who select an IP PBX exceed the drawbacks.

 

Performance Value of an IP PBX:
Converged network
Packet-switched LANs today carry telephone-generated voice communications in addition to computer system data traffic. From the perspective of a data communications network designer, the telephone is viewed as just another client, and voice features and functions are just other applications supported by a LAN-based server. LAN bandwidth capacity continues to increase. This means more point-to-point video communications traffic will be carried between desktops, and there is a decreasing dependence on larger, more expensive, room-based videoconferencing systems.

 

University of the transport protocol
Internet Protocol (IP) control and transmission is the standard for data communications networks. The concept of a LAN and WAN is a fact of network operation across all industry sectors. The client-server communication model is a dominant mechanism. For a customer searching for an IP PBX system solution, the current data networking infrastructure is favorable.

 

Network bandwidth
Now that IP has become the transport mechanism to carry both voice and data, using the same communications network for both traffic types reduces overall bandwidth requirements. The two traffic streams could be interleaved, and QoS levels can be engineered and programmed to satisfy real-time voice communications requirements. As customers migrate from circuit-switched to packet-switched communications, there will be cost savings and increased network efficiency from economies of scale. Cost savings are attributed to off-premises communications because PSTN trunk carrier facility requirements are reduced with the introduction of IP.

 

Simplified management
The primary elements on an IP PBX, IP phones and call servers, are indistinguishable to a data network management system. All voice system management is performed from the data network management workstation. A single management system costs less to operate and is more easily administered than separate phone systems for voice and data communications.

 

Rapid deployment
An IP PBX lends itself well to rapid deployment of new technology because there are fewer hardware elements in the system architecture than a traditional PBX. It is far easier to implement a technology upgrade for an IP PBX because there are hardly any proprietary switching elements.

 

Distributed network design
The client-server scheme of an IP PBX defines a distributed network design. A single telephony call server can support premises and off-premises IP stations. Premises stations can be distributed across a campus. Multiple server designs can be programmed to support redundant emergency call processing. Servers can be colocated or distributed. LAN and WAN concepts alleviate the prospects of a single point of failure.

 

Hybrid PBX & VoIP Gateway

Highly scalable
IP PBX client-server design is highly scalable because IP telephones are easily added to the system using an Ethernet medium. Port capacity can be expanded through the addition of servers. A customer can continually add switches and routers to the LAN and WAN infrastructure resulting in virtually boundless switching and transport limits.

 

Black Box’s Hybrid PBX VoIP Gateways
Black Box offers a complete PBX system that is easy to use and manage. The highly scalable IP PBX phone system makes communications easier and more cost effective for small businesses. For more information, visit www.blackbox.com/go/VoIPBX.

Simply put, remote power control is the ability to reset or reboot PC, LAN/WAN, telcom, and other computer equipment without being at the equipment’s location.

 

Who needs remote power control? Everyone, especially any organization with a network that reaches remote sites. This can include branch offices, unmanned information kiosks, alarm and control systems, and even HVAC systems for climate control. Other applications include unmanned remote monitoring stations, satellite control equipment at communication towers, cellular towers, and radio equipment.

 

http://bbcloud.blackbox.com/Release/images/moreviews1/PS582A_PCS.jpgFor system administrators, the ability to perform power cycle or remote reboot is a way to avoid major communications problems. When equipment locks up and no longer responds to normal communications commands, it’s usually up to the system manager to reset or reboot it. After the power cycles on and off, normal communications resume. Often, there aren’t any technically trained personnel at the site who can perform maintenance and resets on equipment. Even if it is a manned station, there is a risk that the wrong equipment could be rebooted. To save traveling time and minimize downtime, remote power control enables the system manager to take care of things at the office without having to travel.

 

Even if you don’t have remote sites, remote power control is a must for your servers, switches, routers, and other network equipment plus the climate control equipment at your main data center. Even though you may be local, when problems occur in the middle of the night, headquarters can seem very far away.

 

Power can be controlled remotely via RS-232RS-232 commands over modems on existing or special phone lines, over the TCP/IP network, or locally with terminal software. The ideal system uses out-of-band management, an alternate path over an ordinary dialup line that doesn’t interfere with network equipment.

 

An effective remote power control system incorporates the following:

  • An existing phone line, such as a line being used for a fax, modem, or phone.
  • Transparent operation. The system shouldn’t interfere with or be affected by normal calls.
  • Security features. The system should prevent unauthorized access to network equipment.
  • Flexibility. System managers should be able to dial in from anywhere and control multiple devices with one call.
  • Have power control devices that meet UL and FCC requirements.

 

We can help you choose the remote power control equipment to best fit your needs:

Switched PDUS – Depending on the model, you can access power outlets across your network or the Internet, or across a phone line.

PDUs – Convenient vertical or horizontal rackmount power distribution units make power provisions your data center a snap.

Outlet-Managed PDUs – Monitor equipment power and automatically notify you of status changes via e-mail, text, SNMP, SYSLOG,  and audible alarms.

 

  Call us at 877-877-2269 or chat with one of our Technical or Sales operators.

Installers and end users looking for an economical way to distribute and scale 1080p video content across a wall of tiled screens, look no further. The MediaCento™ IPX Multicast extension system multicasts HDMI video and audio to up to 256 screens on a network. Even better, it can optionally be used to output source video on video walls, so you can easily project video content on a larger scale to create visually stunning video displays.

 

Integration is easy and receivers install directly into your existing LAN infrastructure. There’s no need to run expensive dedicated video links from a back room to displays in lobbies. A single transmitter can deliver multimedia to hundreds of displays.

 

http://bbcloud.blackbox.com/Release/images/standard/VX-HDMI-IP-MRX_PCSD.jpgThe system uses visually lossless compression technology, packetizing signals so source content can be delivered anywhere you have Ethernet wiring. Simply plug in as many receivers as you need for your remote screens, and use a standard Gigabit network switch with IGMP to control the multicast traffic.

 

This IP streaming solution transmits up to 328 feet (100 m) per link, but goes even longer with additional network switches added to the mix, and because it is based on standardized Ethernet protocols, you can even use media converters and run several miles over fiber optic cabling. Plus, it transmits signals digitally from end to end, so digital content is never compromised, and is HDCP compliant for streaming Blu-ray content. What’s more, the system supports bidirectional serial connections for use with interactive touchscreens.

 

In addition to digital signage, the system can be used to distribute high-quality medical imaging video across a hospital campus to a matrix of screens, as well as to stream video to banks of displays in training or simulation rooms.

We’re experienced at putting users in touch with a digital signage solution that fits their needs. To be sure you’re matched to the right platform, we highly recommend speaking with us by phone (1-877-877-2269). But before you call, we advise you to try and answer as many questions as possible below, and check off what features you think you might need:

 

  1. How many screens do you intend to have?
  2. Will the screens have the same or different content?
  3. How many locations, and what are the distances to these locations?
  4. Who is the audience who will be viewing the signage? Customer, employees, visitors, or all of these groups?
  5. What information do you want to communicate? Advertising, current information (new, weather, internal data), personalized message (“Welcome, Mr. Smith”), instructions (directions, schedules)?
  6. What is the purpose of this installation? Selling a product or service, informing an audience (wayfinding), entertaining the viewer (i.e. those waiting in line), reinforcing a theme?
  7. What existing media assets do you want to redeploy? Web information, system data (inventory or production numbers), existing ads (video, print, Web formats), and/or live TV feeds?
  8. Where does information come from, and from how many contributors? Do multiple people/departments need to submit information, and if so, where are they located? Who is the “owner” of information? Are third-party suppliers involved (for instance, an ad agency?)
  9. How often will this information be updated? Constant updates (system status, live messages, etc.) or periodic updates (for instance, video files with low refresh cycles)?
  10. What types of displays will be required? What sizes, resolutions, and screen orientations?
  11. How will the monitors and digital signage players be mounted? On the ceiling, wall, floor, or in a rack?

 

For more tips on planning your digital signage application, visit our Digital Signage Microsite.

There are different categories of graded-index multimode fiber optic cable. The ISO/IEC 11801 Ed 2.1:2009 standard specifies categories OM1, OM2, and OM3. The TIA/EIA recognizes OM1, OM2, OM3, and OM4. The TIA/EIA ratified OM4 in August 2009 (TIA/EIA 492-AAAD). The IEEE ratified OM4 (802.ba) in June 2010. It is now updating the distance for OM4 from 300 to 400 meters for 10-GbE. This will be known as 802.3-2012.

 

OM1 specifies 62.5-micron cable and OM2 specifies 50-micron cable. These are commonly used in premises applications supporting Ethernet rates of 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps. They are also typically used with LED transmitters. OM1 and OM2 cable are not suitable though for today's higher-speed networks.

 

OM3 and OM4 are both laser-optimized multimode fiber (LOMMF) and were developed to accommodate faster networks such as 10, 40, and 100 Gbps. Both are designed for use with 850-nm VCSELS (vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers) and have aqua sheaths.

 

OM3 specifies an 850-nm laser-optimized 50-micron cable with an effective modal bandwidth (EMB) of 2000 MHz/km. It can support 10-Gbps link distances up to 300 meters. OM4 specifies a high-bandwidth 850-nm laser-optimized 50-micron cable an effective modal bandwidth of 4700 MHz/km. It can support 10-Gbps link distances of 500 meters (unofficially). 100-Gbps distances are 100 meters and 150 meters, respectively. Both rival single-mode fiber in performance while being significantly less expensive to implement.

 

OM1 and 2 are made with a different process than OM3 and 4. Non-laser-optimized fiber cable is made with a small defect in the core, called an index depression. LED light sources are commonly used with these cables.

 

OM3 and 4 are manufactured without the center defect. As networks migrated to higher speeds, VCSELS became more commonly used rather than LEDs, which have a maximum modulation rate of 622 Mbps. Because of that, LEDs can’t be turned on and off fast enough to support higher-speed applications. VCSELS provided the speed, but unfortunately when used with older OM1 and 2 cables, required mode-conditioning launch cables. Thus manufacturers changed the production process to eliminate the center defect and enable OM3 and OM4 cables to be used directly with the VCSELS.

 

OM3/OM4 Comparison

850 nm High Performance EMB (MHz/km)

OM3: 2000

OM4: 4700

 

850-nm Ethernet Distance

1-GbE

OM3: 1000 m

OM4: 1000 m

 

10-GbE

OM3: 300 m

OM4: 550 m

 

40-GbE

OM3: 100 m

OM4: 150 m

 

100-GbE

OM3: 100 m

OM4: 150 m

The new system for KVM matrix switching is more flexible, more extendable, and more efficient than ever before. These new configurations bring better functionality and increased productivity to organizations, especially in the post-production broadcasting and professional audio-visual industries.


For example, the new technology offers and array of ports that can be dynamically allocated as input or output. This means that ports can be connected to a CPU or connected to a console, and ports can be switched according to the users’ requirements. As long as you have available ports, you can switch in any combination of inputs and outputs –it doesn’t need to be a one-to-one configuration (i.e. 160-port chassis equals 80 inputs and 80 outputs).


The technology supports numerous data streams in varied combinations through extenders: video, KVM, audio, serial, USB 2.0. Because of this updated technology, switching is instantaneous, with no delay. Competitors’ IP-based solutions can take up to 10-15 seconds to switch video streams.


KVM switching in general is an efficiency-creating solution. These new matrix switching systems take this flexibility and efficiency even further, especially for A/V professionals. Instead of a patchwork of switches and cables, we’ve developed a system that comes with digital or analog audio, serial RS-232RS-232, high-speed USB 2.0, and HID tablet support. It’s also smaller and faster, freeing up space in your data center. Plus they’re cooler and quieter, eliminating excess noise and heat.


These new matrix switches enable mixing copper (CATx) and fiber optic cabling for optimal performance over long distances as well. This makes collaborative editing much more efficient. These flexible matrix switches enable you to access your expensive editing hardware from remote locations, reducing travel and meeting times, and making the approval process quicker and easier. In addition to digital video extension, the new extenders offer top-quality digital audio support. Actually, the extensive range of extenders available to use with the chassis offers connections from CPUs and other video sources to monitors, projectors, video walls, and other high-quality displays.


Seamless sharing capabilities enable you to show a video across campus while working with the audio team three doors down the hallway from your office. The HD video and digital audio extension and switching capabilities are unmatched on the market today.

 

Watch the video below for more information on our DKM FX Video and Peripheral Matrix Switching System.

Planning to deploy a wireless network? Avoid these three mistakes!


1. Planning for coverage rather than capacity.
A wireless network may have sufficient coverage in the sense that the signal reaches the intended area. However, if there are too many users, the network will become overwhelmed and slow.

LESSON: Count square footage and users.

2. Ignoring differences in power requirements. Some wireless devices, particularly smartphones and tablet computers, require a higher signal strength to connect. Planning a wireless network with only laptop computers in mind may leave some users hanging.

LESSON: Not all wireless devices are equal.

3. Not distinguishing between user and device
Because mobile devices are subject to malware, good security policy is to grant separate levels of authorization based on both user and device. For instance, a person on a company-owned laptop may be granted a higher level of access than the same person on a personal smartphone.

LESSON: You may trust the person, but do you trust their phone?


Additional resources:

FREE Wireless Assessment

Brochure: The Changing Wi-Fi Landscape: How to adapt your wireless infrastructure for the BYOD trend

White Paper: Why Intelligent Mesh Is the Best Enterprise Solution

Fueled by high prices for scrap metal, copper wire theft is a problem around the world. Recently, Southern California seems to be a hotbed for copper wire thefts with a number of arrests in the last few months.

 

In mid-June, a ring of six thieves was arrested for stealing thousands of pounds of copper wire. The case began when a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy noticed a suspicious man near a vacant building. After deputies and local police officers searched the building, they interrupted a copper wire theft in progress and arrested the man. They also arrested a woman hiding in the bushes outside the building. During the investigation, deputies discovered evidence leading them to believe a copper-theft ring was being run out of a nearby house. When they went to the house, police arrested two men fleeing on foot and two women hiding in the house. In the house, they found several thousands pounds of copper wiring.

 

In a case in May, a group of three neighbors in Devore, CA. interrupted a theft in progress and chased down the thieves. The three neighbors, two women and one man, were outside when they noticed three men in the canyon below scaling power poles and cutting down phone lines. The man called 911 and gave a description of the thieves’ pickup truck. When done, the caller's wife and the two women jumped in cars to follow the thieves. The first woman was able to give police the license plate number as well. Ultimately, the two thieves were arrested.

 

Verizon reports that thefts like this are on the rise. In that area alone, Verizon reported 35 incidents of copper thefts this year. The result of this particular theft left residents of the area without telephone and Internet service for several days.

 

Some cases don't end well as the ones above. There have been a number of cases where the thieves have been electrocuted while using bolt cutters on live wires or tampering with electrical equipment. The latest incident was in April of this year.

Data centers consume a great deal of power, so one of the most effective things you can do to reduce your data center’s costs is to increase its energy efficiency. Building and certifying a green data center can be well worth it if you’re embarking upon new construction, but most of us are working with existing networks and are looking for ways to make existing networks more energy efficient. Fortunately, there are ways to make your data network greener with minimal disruptions to its operation.

 

1. Look for Energy-Efficient Ethernet (EEE) devices.

When you add new equipment, look for Ethernet devices that meet the 802.3az Energy-Efficient Ethernet standard. This new standard can reduce power consumption by 50% or more by scaling down power during periods of low data activity. These new energy-efficient switches, NICs, and routers are totally backwards compatible with older equipment, so they work seamlessly.

 

2. Take advantage of remote power management.

Remote power managers are devices that enable you to remotely power down unused equipment over your network—for instance, internal company servers during nights and weekends—saving both the power used to run the equipment and the associated cooling costs. Set the power manager to automatically shut down and restart at pre-set intervals or power down manually; either way you save energy.

 

Most remote power managers also monitor power consumption, alert you when circuit breakers are tripped, and enable you to reboot network devices, making them an invaluable addition to a network manager’s arsenal.

 

3. Choose fiber over copper for building cabling.

Fiber optic cable has a reputation for being more expensive than copper, and it’s true that fiber—when used as a direct replacement for copper in horizontal cabling—is usually more expensive when you factor in the price of the fiber infrastructure plus the cost of replacing copper ports with fiber. However, this calculation doesn’t take into consideration that, because it covers longer distances, fiber infrastructure can be designed to eliminate the wiring or telecomm closets required by copper infrastructure, usually replacing them with passive fiber patch panels.

 

Because no wiring closet means no switches, grounding, backup power, or HVAC, this configuration results in significant savings in energy as well as floor space and equipment costs. One well-known example of this kind of savings is the Getty Center in Los Angeles, which in the late 1990s was designed with what was, at the time, a revolutionary centralized fiber optic network that eliminated wiring closets, saving more than 4 million dollars on a network that spanned six buildings on 124 acres. Not only were the initial savings significant, but the network’s energy efficiency also continues to save the museum money year after year.

 

4. Use liquid cooling.

Cooling costs are a significant part of any data center’s budget. Air cooling using raised-floor systems and hot/cold aisles has long been standard, but it’s not always adequate as processors get hotter and server densities increase.

 

The next time you add hardware that calls for a cooling system upgrade, consider whether it might not be more efficient to supplement your existing cooling system with liquid cooling. Because a small amount of water can remove as much heat as a much larger amount of air, water cooling uses far less energy to provide the same amount of cooling. [See a previous blog post on Efficient Cooling in the Data Center.]

 

Today’s modular liquid cooling systems are ideal for spot cooling applications, for instance, cooling individual high-density cabinets. Why expend the energy to cool an entire room when you can cool just the one cabinet that needs additional cooling?

We recently launched our new, FREE Digital Signage & Video Distribution Design Guide. This comprehensive resource will help you plan and provision your end-to-end signage network or complete video distribution system.

The 76-page guide will help you choose the latest technology and compatible parts for your system, whether you’re considering digital signage for a small or medium business, or planning a fully integrated signage and video distribution system for a corporate, healthcare, or education environment.

The guide spotlights our range of award-winning digital signage platforms, as well as our full suite of AV infrastructure products, including AV extenders, splitters, switches, converters, and scalers, plus solutions for sharing multimedia wirelessly in meeting rooms.

 

For help choosing a digital signage platform or an AV distribution solution, speak to a Black Box Digital Signage Success Manager today at 800-355-8003.

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