Skip navigation
1 2 3 Previous

Black Box Network Services

125 posts
It seems as if every month we are hearing about another cable recall or another cable with unauthorized UL® and/or ETL marks.   Here’s the latest.   The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a recall for 1000-foot boxes of CE Tech CAT6 riser cable sold at The Home Depot between January and February 2013. In its recall notice, the CPSC stated that the “cable does not meet fire resistance standards for riser cable, posing a fire hazard.”  ...
Should you go for the LCD or plasma video display? It depends. Here are a few tips to help you choose.   Picture quality Plasma displays reproduce color more accurately with deeper blacks and display moving images with remarkable clarity. They provide excellent performance with their high-contrast levels and color saturation, and have the edge when it comes to viewing angles. In fact, plasma screen have as much as 160° viewing angle, whereas LCDs display at 130-140° angles. Howe ...
There’s a lot at risk if you install non-compliant cable, either knowingly or unknowingly. In addition to low network performance from counterfeit and low-grade cable, installing non-compliant cable can result in violations of state and local building codes and fire regulations. If a contractor installs non-compliant cable and it causes damage, such as a fire, the contractor can face civil liabilities and monetary damages stemming from negligence, fraud, and breach of contract and warranty ...
This is part four of a five part series on digital signage deployments. For part three, click here.   Today we’ll discuss the advanced digital signage deployment that includes multiple-screen/multiple-zone/multiple-room display with extensive functionality, such as individual screen messaging. If you are considering a larger deployment with a fully integrated network solution, enlist the help of a seasoned digital signage professional. Extensive negotiations, including a number of RF ...
This is part three of a five part series on digital signage deployments. For part two, click here.   A step above the moderate solution is one with TV capability. This solution is for producing the same content on all screens and encompasses multiple-screens/multiple-zones/multiple-room displays with live TV capabilities.   Moderate with TV capability ($5500 to $8000) — $$$ This system is very similar to the moderate system, except that this level gives users the ability to int ...
This is part two of a four part series on digital signage deployments. For part one, click here.   Last week we reviewed the basic price point and model of the ultra-affordable digital signage solution for schools. Today, we’ll discuss the moderate solution, or a solution that includes multiple-screen/multiple-zone/multiple-room displays, with the same content on all screens.   Moderate ($4500 to $7000) — $$ The biggest differences between the moderate and ultra-affordabl ...
When it comes to deploying digital signage, schools have an almost unlimited amount of options. We’ve organized them into four major categories to help you select the most appropriate system to support your objectives, application, and budget:   • Ultra-affordable: Single-screen/single-zone/single-room display • Moderate: Multiple-screen/multiple-zone/multiple-room display—same content on all screens • Moderate with TV capability: Multiple-screen/multiple-zone/ ...
You’ve heard, of course, of Moore’s law, which states that computing power doubles every 18 months. The actual number is probably more like 20 months, but the upshot is that computing evolves at a breathtaking rate, which basically implies that any device you have is obsolete in about three years. That means to stay up to date and maintain your efficiency, your network devices should be replaced approximately every three years. This includes switches, routers, servers—virtu ...
Some network mistakes turn up over and over again—these mistakes cost organizations money, time, and even loyal customers. What these mistakes all have in common is that they mainly reflect a lack of planning. A network that runs smoothly and delivers top performance with minimal downtime takes thought, organization, an awareness of current technology, and a plan.   Here we present three common pitfalls. If you pay attention, you don't have to fall into them, too.   1. Non-stand ...
2012 was jam-packed with network breaches and 2013 will be no different. It’s important to learn and understand new attack methodologies and take a proactive approach to defuse these threats. In this blog post we’ll share a few simple formulas to reduce risk, comply with regulations, and harden your systems against cybercrime.   The first formula is based on U.S. military basic war tactics and is called the four Ds. They are: 1. Detect – awareness of a threat 2. Deter &# ...
Every business depends on its network to run efficiently at all times. No one can afford network outages or degradations due to poorly planned infrastructure changes. The following three steps help mitigate risks when managing network change, while also ensuring faster and more cost-effective implementations. If any one step is skipped or done incorrectly, costlier problems can potentially develop later.   The methodology Discovery and baselining Network professionals must first know what t ...
SFP, SFP+, and XFP are all terms for a type of transceiver that plugs into a special port on a switch or other network device to convert to a copper or fiber interface. These compact transceivers replace the older, bulkier GBIC interface.   Although these devices are available in copper, their most common use is to add fiber ports. Fiber options include multimode and single-mode fiber in a variety of wavelengths covering distances of up to 120 kilometers (about 75 miles), as well as WDM f ...
Is has become almost automatic to protect your data center by backing up your servers, installing firewalls and virus protection, and keeping the protection up-to-date.   But what about more tangible threats? Do you have hot spots in your racks? If the cooling system shuts down, how will you know when temperatures climb out of control? Are you alerted to humidity changes or water leaks that threaten your equipment?   Planning for the unexpected is a critical task because there are mo ...
Power over Ethernet (PoE) is invaluable for powering devices such as surveillance cameras, VoIP phones, and wireless access points over the same UTP cable used for data. In the last decade, this technology has matured and gone from a hodgepodge of home-brew and proprietary methods to the safe, reliable IEEE 802.3af PoE standard and the 802.3at PoE+ standard. But many misconceptions from the early days of PoE still linger. Here are the top five misconceptions about today’s PoE: Power ov ...
Putting aside all the “buzz and hype” about digital signage, when it comes right down to it, you may still be wondering if it’s right for you, your business, or your organization. As a basic guide, if you answer yes to any of the following questions, chances are, it’s something to consider more closely: Are you spending money printing posters, flyers, and other paper-based signage that have to be updated or changed on a periodic (weekly, monthly, yearly) basis? Do you h ...