THE UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S NO.1 NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE MAGAZINE
Network Communications News
Technimove Make sense of your digital infrastructure and migration needs
INSIDE... IP Security Where does the real risk lie?
Cloud Computing and Virtualisation Sky blue thinking and solutions city
Project Focus Taking the strain from operating a train
In this issue… Regulars
14 A Network On Wheels
A packed programme of networking knowledge
Chris Mason director of sales EMEA at Rajant Corporation expresses that you ‘shouldn’t miss a beat’; explaining that mobility in the IIoT can be solved with a secure network on wheels
6 Industry News What’s been going on in the wonder ful world of networks?
12 On the Case Who is up to what, and why?
18 Project Focus If a train comes off its tracks there’s a problem, a big one at that… So how did the latest project from Schneider Electric fair in ensuring that Angel trains remain going at full steam ahead?
22 Q&A NCN has the pleasure of adding Larry Zulch, president and CEO of Savvius to its growing Q&A directory; getting to grips with possibly the most principle driver of business change today
16 Thinking Smart As intelligent buildings continue to become part of everyday life, EdMacey-Macleod of Sterling Tech Consultancy addresses how much further a BMS has yet to go
30 Smile, You’re on CCTV NCN talks to Veracity to get a handle on what businesses can do to mitigate the chance of attackers accessing the rest of their network
32 Company Showcase Getting a handle on the latest and greatest innovations in the industry
@NCNMag 2 | May 2018
CONTENTS THE UK’S NO.1 NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE MAGAZINE
Network Communications News
Cloud & Visualisation
Technimove Make sense of your digital infrastructure and migration needs
24 Building Better Boats Fillp De Greve, product marketing manager at Nokia, charts a course through network complexity; delving into, like boats evolving from wood to metal, whether SDANs are the answer
26 Step Into The Light Don’t let the blind lead the blind, Nadeem Zahid, senior director of strategy and cloud at Savvius, examines how technicians can overcome the challenge and get around these blind spots
28 The Final Frontier
Is the need to automate the way optical networks are managed long over-due? Duncan Ellis director EMEA at Wave2Wave Solution delves into the major bottleneck that is resisting such automation occurring.
Cloud Computing and Virtualisation
IP Security Where does the real risk lie?
Sky blue thinking and solutions city
Project Focus Taking the strain from operating a train
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May 2018 | 3
A packed programme of networking knowledge
busy issue this m o nt h a s we d e l ve i nto t h e wo r l d s of IP security, and cloud computing a n d v i r t u a l i s at i o n . Network complexity is a huge problem facing much of the world as technology and user demands continue to require more bandwidth, faster ser vices and more complex experiences. Communication ser vice providers need new operational models that protect strategic assets, avoid unsustainable investments and increase efficiencies through automation and zerotouch networking. Filip De Greve, product marketing manager at Nokia, takes a look at this challenging area. Also looking at the area of cloud computing and virtualisation, in particular how network function virtualisation
4 | May 2018
Daniel J Sait, editor-in-chief, ATM
(NFV) produces data centre visibility gaps, Nadeem Zahid, senior director strategy & cloud at Savvius, examines how specialists can meet the challenges and get around these blind spots. Duncan Ellis, director, EMEA at Wave2Wave Solution, looks at how to increase bandwidth and keep costs down. Today’s bandwidth consumers are demanding more and more immediacy. In a world of on-demand, streaming video, anything-as-a-service, with new technologies like IoT increasingly driving bandwidth demands, lower latency and lower jitter. However, while network speeds have exploded through 100G, 200G to beyond 400G to cope with traffic demands, consumers expect to pay the same, or even less, for more and more bandwidth. Duncan examines how to cope. On the subject of IP security, NCN talks to Veracity to get a
handle on what businesses can do to mitigate the chance of attackers accessing the rest of their network. Most people will be aware of networks that extend to the far edges of a company’s infrastructure to support their CCTV camera requirements. These may be using existing coax networks with device adapters that support the latest IP cameras, and other base connectors which marry the coax to the IP network. Many organisations fail to realise that this can pose a real cyber security threat which, in some circumstances, can create a direct path to corporate networks and applications. This month’s project focus takes a look at how Angel Trains copes with the big demands on its IT and data centre infrastructure by using Schneider Electric’s ISX Pod architecture with InRow cooling.
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Broadband speed boost The City of London Corporation announced that the Square Mile will be one of the first places in the UK to benefit from a city-wide roll-out of ultrafast broadband services. The office building 21 Whitefriars Street, became the first official building to be connected up to the high-speed technology as part of Openreach’s Fibre First programme; throughout 2018, 12,000 more premises across the rest of the City of London are expected to be given access to this enviable service. ‘Full-fibre’ or Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology means fibre optic cables run all the way from the local exchange to a home or business premises, offering a far more reliable internet connection with faster download speeds of up to 1Gb – enough to stream 200 HD movies at same time. FTTP performs at 100 times faster than the standard copper broadband and 12 times faster than superfast broadband. The City Corporation has been working closely with Openreach to identify the local demand and encourage the delivery of FTTP infrastructure at no extra cost to landlords.
6 | May 2018
By allowing out-of-hours and weekend installation of fibre optic cables using existing ducts, many disruptive street works were avoided. Catherine McGuinness, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s policy and resources committee said, “With many City businesses now demanding faster speeds, I am so pleased to have ‘plugged in’ the first City office building to FTTP. “Ofcom has reported that small and medium businesses experience poorer super fast broadband coverage compared to wider consumers. “As a world-leading business district, 99% of City firms are SMEs, and futureproofing our digital services is a priority, particularly in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the EU.” Clive Selley, Openreach CEO added, “We’re getting on with the job of delivering full fibre broadband in London – and having a close working relationship with the City of London Corporation helps us to cut down on red tape and deliver more fibre, more quickly and efficiently.
“Our Fibre First programme will see us build an ultrafast Fibre to the Premises network capable of gigabit speeds that are more than 20 times faster than the current UK average. “We plan to make full fibre connections available to 3 UK premises by the end of 2020 and that puts us on a trajectory – if the conditions are right – to reach 10m homes and businesses across the country by the mid-2020s.” Brendan Barns, founder of the London Business Forum said, “As a small business located in the heart of the City, I can’t express how excited we are by this news. For what feels like the longest time, my business has been operating on slow, limited broadband speeds. Finally, I can take the necessary steps to transform my business and my staff’s ability to be productive in the 21st century meaning of that word. This is a day I have long dreamt about.” He co nt i n u e d , “ I e n co u rage all local b u si n e sse s to f i n d o u t w h e n i t wi ll b e ro l l e d - o u t i n y o u r a re a a n d re gi s ter y o u r i nte re st . ” City of London cityoflondon.gov.uk
Are UK businesses struggling to deal with data? A recent survey by Ultima, provider of on-premise and cloud IT infrastructure and managed service solutions, found that nearly half (47%) of SMEs are concerned their IT storage lacks critical performance, with 39% saying it lacks capacity as well. As companies struggle to deal with the increasing amounts of data they are generating, its storage and management is becoming a critical business issue, not least in the light of the new GDPR regulations. Over half of data held within a business is dark data, and nearly a third is redundant, obsolete or trivial (ROT). ROT data could be multiple copies of a file held within a file server in different places – data that has no discernible owner – or Christmas party pictures from five years ago. All of these provide no value to a business. The survey also found 53% of businesses are considering moving applications to the cloud this year, with nearly a third considering purchasing new IT storage in 2018 in an attempt to help deal with their current lack of storage capacity and performance.
M at t B e a l e , s to ra ge s o l u t i o n s specialist, Ultima said, “Businesses a re m i s s i n g a t r i c k w h e n i t co m e s to i m p rov i n g t h e i r I T s to ra ge . M a n y a re u n d e r t h e i l l u s i o n t h at c l o u d s to ra ge is cheap, but it isn’t necessarily, s o co m p a n i e s n e e d to t h i n k a b o u t m a n a g i n g t h e i r d ata b et te r a s we l l a s t h e s y s te m s t h e y p u t i t o n . Fo r exa m p l e , i t ’ s co m m o n l y s tate d t h at b a c k u p s n e e d to b e ke pt fo r f i ve o r s eve n y e a r s . W h y ? O f te n t h e re s p o n s e i s : ‘ F i n a n c e s a y t h at we n e e d to ke e p s eve n y e a r s of re co rd s ’ . T h at ’ s f i n e , b u t i f y o u l o o k i nto y o u r f i n a n c e s y s te m , I c a n a l m o s t g u a ra nte e t h at y o u h ave at l e a s t s eve n y e a r s of
re co rd s i n y o u r p ro d u ct i o n s y s te m . S o w h y a re y o u ke e p i n g s eve n - y e a r- o l d b a c k u p s ? A l l t h e y a re d o i n g i s co s t i n g you money. “What companies need to do is take a step back and look at their business goals and subsequently what data they need to meet those goals. Using this approach, it’s simpler to find a storage solution that will work in the long-run for your business. Some companies will need to store critical data on-premise as well as some in the cloud, but we are moving towards the utopia where all storage and data can be managed from a single point,” said Matt. Ultima ultima.com
Smart cities, smart traffic The idea of putting an end to start-stop driving might sound unrealistic for the time being, but you only have to look at how far smart cities have come in recent years to know it’s not impossible. With poor traffic control contributing vastly to the competence of a city it is imperative that efficiency, even on a basic level, is high. However that could soon change with new smart traffic lights being trialled in the UK, in a ditch effort to put an end to start-stop driving once and for all. But what NCN really wanted to find out, was whether or not this is feasible. Developed by engineering firm AECOM, the technology is said to advise both drivers and road users what speed they should be travelling in order to arrive at the next set of lights as they turn green. One of the many benefits the company say is that it could cut congestion and reduce vehicle emissions through more efficient driving. Testing of the lights will be carried out using a simulation model of the A59 in York.
The initial concept is one of five shortlisted in a competition launched by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), Highways England, and Innovate UK to design roads for driverless cars. “We are excited and are eager to get started so we can better understand the potential impact of vehicle-toinfrastructure technologies on our local road network in York,” said AECOM principal consultant Heather Hawkins. “We are for tunate to be living and working in a city which has chosen to be an early innovator, deploying and testing these technologies on-street through existing research programmes. It’s truly inspiring and we are grateful to be a par t of it.” NIC chairman Sir John Armitt hailed the ‘progress’ in the development of the cars of the future. “We can see for ourselves the progress in developing cars for the future, with trials of driverless cars taking place across the country,” he added.
“We now need to make sure the technology on our roads keeps up.” RAC spokesman Rod Dennis praised the move to trial the traffic lights. “It is great to see novel technology like this being trialled,” he said. “Stop-start traffic causes drivers to use their brakes more, which causes wear, and accelerate more, which can increase vehicle emissions.” AECOM aecom.com
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Committed to a better, intelligent world’ Huawei, the provider of information and communications technology (ICT) solutions, has confirmed its commitment to provide 5G training to its key UK partners as the latest step in its campaign to drive knowledge and innovation around the upcoming 5G ecosystem across the UK. At the Huawei UK partner convention held on 17 May in central London, the company signed an official memorandum of understanding (MOU) with four UK partners across multiple sectors; SITEC, ARCC, Mono and WHP. The MOU, which includes both deployment and 5G training for partners, builds on Huawei’s commitment to procure £3bn from UK businesses over the next five-years and evidences the significance of the UK’s digital market. Baroness Fairhead, minister of state for the department for international trade said, “The UK is a world leader in developing innovative technology. This government is determined that British businesses should continue to build on the growing global opportunities provided by technological advancements. “The depar tment for international trade will continue to help UK companies in the tech sector, such as those who will benefit from this deal with Huawei, to forge new trading ties that will boost expor ts, investment and provide jobs to every par t of our country.” Mr Yao Fuhai, Huawei board director and chief supply chain officer added, “Huawei is committed to supporting the growth of communities and industries by ensuring that we all move forward together to a better connected, intelligent world.”
“The par tner convention reminds us of the crucial role our par tners play in the ICT ecosystem, and that excellent par tners and suppliers are an intangible asset. As a leading global ICT company, we hope to contribute to the positive impact ICT can have across key areas such as health, education, finance and transpor t.” The conference is the fifth annual partner convention from Huawei which celebrate the importance of its partnerships and celebrate the ability of collaboration to drive quality. The MoU will support firms including SITEC, ARCC, Mono and WHP in the rollout of super-fast broadband technology. Partners will receive full training on the deployment of 5G equipment, as well as supportive smart tools and regular progress meetings during the rollout. Huawei huawei.com
Watch out BT Is sharing really caring when it comes to broadband? Virgin Media and Talk Talk are said to be working on a deal to share the cost of ultrafast broadband networks; dialling up the pressure on BT. Tentatively exploring its options and turning up the heat big time on BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk are discussing a deal which will explore the possibility of passive infrastructure sharing. As well as reducing cost, the deal could enable the budget provider to lay fibre optic lines in Virgin’s cable ducts – and vice versa. As it stands TalkTalk relies on Openreach’s national copper and fibre optic network, pig gybacking its ser vices. But things could soon be shaken up as TalkTalk pushes to establish itself as a network owner in its own right, not just a reseller. More recently TalkTalk announced a joint deal with M&G which, the company said, will provide ultrafast broadband via FTTP to more than 3m premises in the mid-size UK towns and cities. By making a deal with Virgin Media, it is safe to assume that the sharing of passive infrastructure will lend itself to
8 | May 2018
be quite an economical solution. If such a deal was to be made, TalkTalk would benefit from a sizeable cut in engineering costs and well as improving timescales. S u f f ic e to sa y d i sc u ssi o n s a re at a rat h e r e a r l y sta ge a n d n o d e a l b e e n f ina l is e d . Th o u g h n e i t h e r co mp a n y h a s co m m e nte d , h e re at NC N we a re s c e pt ic a l as to w h et h e r we sh o u l d h o l d o u t m u c h h o p e of a d e a l b e i n g
p a sse d . Nota b l y V i rg i n M e d i a an d p a re nt co m p a n y Li b e r t y h ave gen erally p refe r re d to reta i n a c l o se d n etwork; so w h y wo u l d t h e y ma ke su ch a major sh i f t n ow ? There has also been reports that Virgin Media could accelerate its ongoing Project Lightening expansion by following TalkTalk into new territory. Virgin Media virginmedia.com
Fault tolerant network Gatwick and HPE alike have upheld a clear focus on ‘intelligent edge’ and the gate has finally been declared open. Hypothetically, let’s say you are an experienced open-heart surgeon; now, how confidently do you think you could perform open heart surgery on a patient while they are running. Sounds impossible, right? Well, that’s what HPE managing director, Marc Walters, likened the Gatwick network upgrade to. NCN embarked on a journey to find out why and how this project was both vital and a success, and what it ultimately means for the future of Gatwick’s network infrastructure. Gatwick’s 18-month migration to a new network infrastructure from HPE and Aruba Networks is complete. Set to boost customer-facing Wi-Fi to 30mbps download speeds, while giving the airport the infrastructure to adopt technologies like IoT and predictive analytics. Described as an ‘old by design’ network – which dated back 15 years to the day of BAA – Gatwick Airport CIO Cathal Corcoran acknowledged that the modernisation of the network at the airport was his number one priority upon joining the company. Cathal said, “On my first day, this issue was brought to my attention, as arguably it needed doing a couple of years before. “If this had gone wrong, my tenure would have been a lot shorter at Gatwick, I think,” he added. Notably, the purpose of installing the new network was not only to serve operations at the airport, such as passengers, bags, and planes, but rather the network installed by HPE at Gatwick will act as an IT provider for all retailers and restaurants across its’ two terminals.
Expiry date Upon appointment, Cathal was quick to point out that the existing network ‘had served its time and was getting to the end of life.’ This new network deal was by no means a quick fix, but an arduous process with an investment of £11m needed to carry out the update. Designed and implemented by HPE and its subsidiary Aruba, the all singing, and dancing network is said to bring promise of stabilising network services for operational staff, boosting Wi-Fi to 30mbps download speeds for its 14m annual passengers, as well as allow the airport to take advantage of modern technologies like IoT, passenger flow analytics and facial recognition. Initially on a five-year contract, the network will continue to be maintained and managed on a daily basis by the HPE Pointnext team. “The deal length is five years, but I fully expect it to go on,” Cathal affirmed. “The deal is network and Wi-Fi, IoT and helping us move to the cloud, so there are many agreements, but this is a long-term par tnership with HPE and we are very much all in.” But that’s not the only plans Cathal has in order to bring Gatwick back upto-speed, as he explained that he has been looking at 40 uses for IoT across the airport, from deploying sensors from the ramps for real-time operational analytics to measuring waste bin levels, the occupancy of check-in desks, as well as table availability or pond water levels. With a wider capability, Cathal said that the network will be able to assist with improving analytics – assessing passenger flow based on smart phone locations with heat maps to identify queueing times and per formance improvement opportunities. The airport is also said to be researching both machine learning and facial recognition technology to bolster security. Arguably it could also use this to better inform gate staff of late running passengers and send notifications via apps.
In the jungle, the mighty jungle Could Ovum’s new forecaster data service really provide a complete view of a market? The company released some interesting projections regarding the future of mobile broadband connections in East Africa. The company said its forecaster service has recognised that mobile data will be the key growth driver for the East African telecoms market in the next five years to 2022. Going into a little more detail about its projections and how they derived, the forecast for mobile broadband (MBB) in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda is 112m subscriptions at the end of 2022 while the forecast for MBB in all nine East Africa countries is 186m subscriptions at end of 2022. The company and its forecaster profess the growth of mobile broadband will be powered by the increased deployment and upgrade of 3G and 4G LTE networks, as well as a rise in smartphone penetration – which is a result of better affordability. The new data service highlighted that there has been a sharp rise in demand for broadband services from consumers in the region, which has been fuelled by the ongoing digital transformation. Ovum forecasts that there will be 32m LTE subscriptions in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda by 2022, while smartphone connections will near 108m. Research analyst, Middle East and Africa at Ovum, Danson Njue said, “The East African region has made great progress in broadband connectivity over the last few years, and this has unlocked great potential in digital services segment, including mobile financial services, digital media as well as enterprise services. However, the growth in broadband connectivity has also seen a rise in OTT services thereby increasing chances of data revenue cannibalisation for data service providers in the region” Ovum ovum.informa.com
FGatwick airpor t gatwickairpor t.com
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ON THE COVER
All the right moves NCN spoke with Ochea Ikpa, managing director of Technimove, specialist and market leader in migration, transition and transformation of critical infrastructure environments, to find out what sets the company apart from the competition.
elebrating 20 years of business this year, Technimove has built its reputation on delivering highquality migration services by offering what the company feels is a level of peace of mind unavailable elsewhere in the market. When undertaking migrations and transformations of digital infrastructure, Ochea says no other company can deliver the level of control, expertise and accountability available from Technimove. Technimove was founded in January of 1998 with Ochea setting the company up straight out of University. “We started to meet a requirement for London Electricity (LE), explains Ochea, “For the first eight years of the business, LE was our largest client. The company has steadily grown almost every year since. On any given week, we can be undertaking projects in the UK, Europe and the US for a variety of clients. Ochea adds, “We operate globally and currently control around 50% of the European
10 | May 2018
market. This is because we offer a complete service from project management, to the physical move itself and cable installation. “The key is that we are specialists in this field, other companies might offer to move your equipment, but it will often be just one part of a whole range of moving services on offer, not a dedicated expert service like ours, we value your equipment, just as much as you do.” Control is a theme which crops up a lot in the company’s approach. Everything in the process is either owned or operated directly by Technimove. All the staff are direct employees, the equipment including the fleet of air ride Mercedes are all owned by the company. In controlling every element of the move, Technimove looks to guarantee a pain free and successful experience. Ochea enthuses, “We are a one call, low risk, solution. Servers and related equipment are amongst the most valuable assets a company can have. What we do is free companies from the risk and allow them the freedom
to make the best decisions for their assets. Often companies will avoid relocation even when it is by far the best option because of the perceived danger involved, we take that fear away.”
The complete service The company’s dedicated thorough approach begins right from the initial inquiry, through the project migration life cycle and often beyond that too. Ochea explains, “Right from the off we send staff onsite to scope the project. If successful, we will lead with project management services, and any other consultancy services that are needed. “We will audit the client environment at an application level. We also audit the devices, cable connections and power draw, amongst other things. We will then design the client’s infrastructure and new data centre layout, by way of size, type, alignment and number of racks, structured cabling, enclosures and any other requirements needed.
ON THE COVER “We pre-cable the client’s new data centre location, with both structured cabling and patching. Next step is to shut the equipment down in its existing location, remove all cabling, de-rack, pack, move, re-rack, re-cable and power up. We then re-establish connectivity of all devices, inclusive of storage equipment. All of this is undertaken, while providing full insurance for each and every migration; so again the client has complete peace of mind and can concentrate on their day to day business.” Early engagement is one of the most key factors in future proofing for successful transformations of critical infrastructure environments. Ochea describes this process, “We engage with the customer at key and varying levels to ascer tain what success looks like for the business, the customer and key stakeholders; and we begin with the end in mind. Our consultative approach under takes a deep-dive discovery and analysis across all of the critical infrastructure that is in scope, as well as those dependencies from the core to the perimeter and interconnected (Internet of Things – IoT) business applications. Programme and project management ser vices can then be aligned to deliver the desired outcome, while the customer remains focussed on their ‘live production’ business operations.” Expanding on what he feels are the key differences between competitors and Technimove, Ochea underlines, “We focus on quality of ser vice to the extreme. Our ser vice levels are exceptionally high. We believe that this is what is needed when moving client’s critical environments. We ask ourselves ‘why would you settle for anything less?’ “The other key differentiator is that we have all the exper tise needed to complete a project in-house, as opposed to outsourcing, like our competitors do. We believe, when you outsource, it weakens you. We also have great experience and a huge amount of our work is won through recommendation, our clients are often our big gest sources of new contracts.”
Delivering on the detail Technimove’s abilities are widely recognised across the IT sector with companies such as IBM, HPE, and Fujitsu and enterprise class data centre providers like, Equinix, Ark, Interxion, Virtus, Cyxtera and Global Switch, all acting as resellers for the company’s services direct to their customers. Just one example of a recent success story came when the company took on a project for Pokerstars, styled as the world’s largest on-line poker platform. The project involved 750 racked devices and 12 EMC Symmetrix racks, all moving from Guernsey to the Isle of Man. The client’s preferred option was to fly the equipment, so Technimove provided a fully managed service, which included chartering three planes and negotiating landing times at both airports. O c h e a ex p l a i n s, “ We h a d a we e k to co m p l ete t h e m i g rat i o n , wh ic h inc l u d e d a l l of t h e p atc h ing, wh ic h , of co u r se , ne e d e d to b e p e r fe ct . We a ct u a l l y e nd e d up co mp l et i n g t h e p ro j e ct in j u s t f ive d a y s. ” Another recent project was for a major hedge-fund, which needed 15 racks of equipment to be relocated from a Docklands data centre to one located in Iceland. Again, the company chartered a plane and provided a full end to end service, inclusive of project management, auditing and all of the cabling work. Another major recent project has been working with the University College London (UCL). This has been a two year contract to migrate the prestigious university’s equipment out of several central London buildings. Technimove worked under UCL’s Programme Lead to provide a project team to design and execute logical and physical migrations. The project involved in excess of 3,000 servers. Ochea sums up, “Ultimately, we have found success by offering a higher level of service, yes our services cost a little more, but we deliver a whole lot more. However, we are still ambitious for more growth and stand ready to offer our services direct to companies, both large and small, whose path to updating their systems involves migration. Technimove is always
The complete Technimove service Transformational Consultancy Services R ationalisation or Consolidation Consultancy M igration Programme & Project Management pplication & Infrastructure Auditing A Cabling Solutions L ogical & Physical Migration Services
““We value your equipment, just as much as you do.”
evolving, so new services will be added in the future. In particular we are building our ‘Transitional Consultancy Offering’. This opens us up more to projects that do not involve migrations, such as digital and business transformation projects, for which we have several consultants currently in roles, offering services. However, we are firm believers in doing everything we do well, so we will never forsake quality and depth, for growth. Give us a call and find out how we can deliver for you.”
May 2018 | 11
ON THE CASE
All aboard the high-speed service to… Kao Data has announced the expansion of its high-speed network capabilities with its connection to the London Internet Exchange (LINX) through its partnership with Ai Networks. As a virtual point of presence (vPoP) the company say it has enhanced its carrier neutral services from the Kao Data London ONE data centre through the UK’s most dynamic Internet exchange. Jan Daan Luycks, CEO, Kao Data stated, “This enhanced connectivity offering allows Kao Data to peer traffic through the LINX network. Through our relationship with Ai Networks, we will have access to over 820-member ASNs from over 75 countries on LINX’s dual peering LANs which offers immense opportunities to customers at our London ONE data centre.” With this capability, Kao Data’s London ONE site offers prospective customers in the London-StanstedCambridge corridor new opportunities for more reliable worldwide integrated services. As well as improved latency and resilience, Kao Data customers who become LINX members will benefit from improved routing control, increased capacity and redundancy. Peering is often a more cost-effective option for networks too. The capability to peer with LINX’s global membership and its
dual peering LANs, LON1 and LON2, is a facility unique to the UK. Jo Fereday, product manager, LINX said, “We are excited that Kao are on board and understand the benefits available to their customers as part of the LINX network and community.” Mark Boost, Ai Networks, commented, “Ai Networks welcome the partnership with Kao Data, its campus location is
situated in the UK’s heart of high-tech and scientific development, which need this level of high-per formance connectivity. Providing direct access to the UK’s leading internet exchanges is a crucial element in the strategic development of the Kao data centre’s capabilities; and providing a critical platform to its customers.” Kao Data kaodata.com
An IDEAL agreement Mayflex, distributor of converged IP solutions, has formed an agreement with IDEAL Networks to distribute several products from the company’s cable certification and security portfolio. IDEAL Networks is part of IDEAL Industries, a family-run company established in 1916, which provides solutions for testing and documenting data cable and networks. Mayflex said it will now be placing an emphasis on the IDEAL Networks range of security testers including the newlylaunched SecuriTEST IP. A product that is an all-in-one CCTV tester that has been designed to connect, power, configure and document; ultimately helping to increase productivity from start to finish. SecuriTEST IP combines the functionally of a video monitor, cable tester, PoE injector and laptop in one device reducing equipment investment. Jason Rudge, commercial procurement director at Mayflex commented, “I am delighted to welcome IDEAL Networks on board. Its range of testers will introduce exciting new opportunities to Mayflex with both our existing and potential new customer base. “The range of products from IDEAL Networks fits per fectly into both our infrastructure and IP security portfolios, and offers our customers further choice in terms of which brand and products are right for them.”
12 | May 2018
Tim Widdershoven, global marketing manager for IDEAL Networks, added, “The IDEAL Networks range of testers, including the new SecuriTEST IP, help installers to overcome challenges and improve profitability. We are confident that our collaboration with Mayflex will help more technicians to install, test, troubleshoot and document CCTV camera systems, networks and cable effectively.” Mayflex mayflex.com
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A network on wheels Chris Mason, director of sales EMEA at Rajant Corporation says you ‘shouldn’t miss a beat’; explaining that mobility in the IIoT can be solved with a secure network on wheels.
o longer just a buzzword, but a way of life for an increasing number of companies, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is now a par t of modern operations today. Changing how we work, produce and function, IoT is not only revolutionising user interaction with machines in the forms of smar t appliances and wearable devices, but the way in which machines engage with other machines. Ac ro s s m ining, h e a l t h c a re , utilitie s , a gr ic u l t u re a nd ot h e r s ecto r s , ind u s t r ie s a re f ina l l y s eeing t h e a d va nta ge s of ventu r ing into t h e IIo T e na b l e d wo rld ; wh e re co ns t it u e nt comp o ne nt s wo r k wit h e a c h othe r to b o o s t p ro d u ct iv it y a nd ea s e of u s e . In industrial organisations, operators experience unique inter ference challenges and vulnerabilities due to constantly
14 | May 2018
changing ground elevations, landscapes and weather conditions with personnel, vehicles and equipment crossing wide expanses of terrain. Inter ference can halt productivity, reduce reliability of data, and block mission-critical communication, challenging the key purposes of autonomy.
Wheeling to the next level of productivity With the speed towards automation and the unrelenting need for enhanced productivity, a universal mobile coverage network is non-negotiable. Many of the world’s major industrial environments are also in rural environments, which come with a string of challenges related to static legacy cell towers. The number of interconnected devices, cameras and sensors is fast-growing and inevitably this also increases the need to
secure and authenticate the communication traffic moving in, out and around the network. Today’s expansive industrial operations require robust connectivity everywhere. Cell towers, motionless and timeconsuming to install, are no longer enough to support the requirement for ubiquitous coverage. Op e rato r s n e e d a comp lete m o b i l e n et wo r k ove r h aul, i n ef fe ct e mu l at i n g a ‘ c e ll tower o n w h e e l s’ . C u r re nt l y when y o u m ove o u t of t h e ran ge of a c e l l towe r, y o u ’ ve l o st the c r i t i c a l co n n e ct i o n . B y p utti n g t h at co mmu n i c at i o n s tower on w h e e l s, t h e co n n e ct i on moves w i t h t h e o p e rato r w h erever they go. Providing ubiquitous coverage over widespread areas, the ‘network on wheels’ can be deployed anywhere, anytime, with ease, simply integrating into existing infrastructure to rapidly extend coverage to communicate with and control roaming assets, anywhere
KNOWLEDGE NETWORK Is a universal mobile coverage network still negotiable?
o rga n i sat i o n s n e e d to take i nto a cco u nt t h e se c u r i t y of i ts ro a m i n g d ev i c e s, a s well as , the safet y of i t s re m ote e m p loyees wo r k i n g i n f i e l d . I f a d ev i ce m i sse s c r i t i c a l co m mun i cati on d u e to a l a g , i nte r fe re n ce or a d ro p - i n d ata , t h e co n s eq uen ces co u l d b e d i sa st ro u s.
Opportunities of a fully mobile network
they move across widespread and/ or remote operations. As the need to extend communications beyond existing boundaries occurs, new mobile network nodes are deployed, providing organisations with the network support which was previously unavailable to them. Through the implementation of nodes across the company’s moving assets, connectivity is continuous and unbreakable.
Around the clock security I n almo s t a l l Wi-Fi a n d s ta nd a rd mesh n etwo rks , mobile no d e s cont i nua ll y brea k a n d re establi s h co nn ectivity a s t h e y move b etween a cces s p o int s , and each brea k res ults in a te mporary l o s s of co mm u nic at io n. I n appli catio ns like the IIo T, t h is break i n communications co u l d car r y huge a n d potenti a l l y l ife t hreaten in g ris ks . Tradition a l networks m u s t break con nectivity to ma ke hand of fs o r n eed to a cc e s s d ata on a switch o r routin g co nt ro l l e r, cre ati ng oppor tun ity for d ata loss. A ‘network on whe e l s ’ d e ployed us in g kin etic m e s h te c hnol o gy o perates o n a ‘m a ke make -ma ke-never-break ’ d e s ign; meani n g s evera l s imul ta ne o u s connection s ca n be ma inta ine d at the sa me time, a nd m u l t ip l e
co nne ct io ns a re su sta i n e d w h i l e new o ne s a re m ad e . With IIoT devices being mobile and traversing different locations, there is growing concern that wireless networks could be a major target for potential hackers. Kinetic mesh networks – unlike any other offering on the market today – provide always-on connectivity allied with militarygrade security. With no single point of failure and enviable self-healing capabilities, kinetic mesh ensures complete uptime of missioncritical applications, as well as the potential to work dynamically across frequencies to ensure the best possible route of transfer. Kinetic mesh, as opposed to other network designs, communicates peer-to-peer seamlessly, via numerous instantaneous connections. By using ruggedized radio nodes – all equipped with peer-to-peer networking software with its associated security – kinetic mesh can be used to transform virtually any asset, whether fixed or moving, into network infrastructure; and, data can be routed across a site in the most efficient way possible at any given moment. Wit h t h e IIo T, ‘ safet y i n t h e wo r k p l a c e ’ ta ke s o n a w h o l e new d ef init io n. In o i l , ga s a n d m ining e nv iro nm e nt s e sp e c i a l l y ,
“IoT is not only revolutionising user interaction with machines in the forms of smart appliances and wearable devices, but the way in which machines engage with other machines.”
The IIoT has created a whole new meaning to ‘safety in the workplace’.
A ‘network on wheels’ facilitated by a kinetic mesh network topology, creates a gamechanging paradigm for mobile communications in mission critical environments. Generating a more resilient and secure capability, significant operational advantages are gained due to increased mobility and scalability, as well as, offering the ability to intelligently select the best path of transfer; automatically routing around inter ference or obstructions without skipping a beat. A day doesn’t go by that we don’t see a new automation innovation that promises to make organisations more productive, however machine-to-machine (M2M) communication can only thrive, when given the right connectivity environment. There are, of course, threats and challenges that come with this new way of working; we are seeing more and more reports in the media on data breaches, ransomware and database hackings. It is important for organisations making their digital transformation in t hi s a ge , to e n su re i t s n et work i s up to t h e c h a l l e n ge a n d to make t h e se c h a l l e n ge s to morrow’s o p p o r t u n i t i e s. S tat i c , le gacy i nf ra st r u ct u re a n d c e l l towers c a n n o l o n ge r p rov i d e the co n n e ct i v i t y a n d se c uri ty c a p a b i l i t i e s n e e d e d b y the 21 s t c e nt u r y b u si n e ss – k i n eti c mes h n et wo r k i n g i s t h e f u t ure. Rajant Cooperation rajant.com
May 2018 | 15
Thinking smart As intelligent buildings continue to become a part of everyday life, Ed Macey-MacLeod of Sterling Technology Consultancy addresses how much further a BMS has to go.
f an intelligent building thinks for itself â&#x20AC;&#x201C; making informed decisions about what to do based on what its systems are doing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; then there is still a long way to go before building management systems (BMS) can supply this capability. Though it may be tempting to look to other control systems, regardless of the platform we use, our biggest limitation is the plants we install.
What advantages does a BMS offer? A BMS controls environmental conditioning plants; it is distinct from automatic plant controls. A BMS enables the operator to remotely monitor, configure and control plants from an operator
16 | May 2018
workstation. Among other things, a BMS provides scheduling ability, historic trend logging and dynamic startup and stopping conditions based on multiple factors for example optimum start. The system also allows multiple pieces of the plants to be chained together in a control sequence. As the BMS originated from the mechanical discipline, its integrations are traditionally with other mechanical systems such as leak detection and smoke control. The BMS is also combined with energy metering and management systems to form a building energy management system (BEMS). It is here that meters, automatic transfer switches, and sometimes lighting control are integrated into the operator workstation software.
BMS limitations A fundamental limitation the BMS faces is that not enough plants expose their operating conditions or points, through an intelligent inter face. A lot of plants have their own sophisticated controllers but still only give a common alarm or control through volt-free contacts (VFC). VFCs complete, or short a circuit, to indicate to a BMS controller a certain condition the plant is experiencing or would like to initiate. There is also fragmentation in the marketplace, where proprietary systems compete with each other for dominance. This is especially true of newer IoT devices and nascent applications of power over ethernet systems such as lighting.
What about security? Electronic security is generally access control and video management. Each system has its own software. A Security Management System (SMS) combines both elements to help give security operators operational or situational awareness. This is the idea that an event is viewed in the context of other relevant events, rather than as an isolated occurrence. Physical Security Infrastructure Management (PSIM) software is an evolution of the SMS. It adds further capability by allowing security procedures to automatically form part of an operator’s response to an event. The SMS is traditionally integrated with the visitor management system, intruder detection system, time and attendance system, electronic lockers and human resources enterprise software. The SMS faces slightly different limitations to the BMS. There are many surveillance cameras and access control systems that use intelligent interfaces, but a large number of these use proprietary protocols instead of open ones. Also, many ancillary devices do not offer open protocol interfaces. Systems with proprietary protocols connect to the SMS through an application programming inter face (API). The SMS does not always routinely update itself when smaller ancillary systems makes changes to their API; thereby making change control awkward, convoluted and sometimes costly.
A potential alternative, maybe? Audiovisual systems are often installed as part of the fit out of a building and are much more likely to be integrated with enterprise systems such as a room booking. An audiovisual system controls monitors, video sources, speakers and other presentation equipment. It often integrates with the local environmental conditioning equipment, lights and shades. An audiovisual controller is similar to a BMS controller; whereby devices are directly wired to it or controlled through open and proprietary protocols.
More efficient and cost-effective use of the built environment is increasingly being driven by environmental and economic pressures; the emerging solution to these pressures being IT-enabled solutions
“How much further does the BMS have to go to give you an intelligent building?”
Unfortunately, the audiovisual system is often procured after the shell-and-core BMS and SMS have been installed and are operational. Therefore, due to its procurement, it is unsuitable as an intelligent building integration platform.
A solution? A Central Integration Platform But the real – and still underlying– questions remain. How much further does the BMS have to go to give you an intelligent building ? It needs more plants with intelligent interfaces. Drivers for these changes are energy savings and facilities management efficiencies. And, how much further does an SMS need to go to give you an intelligent building ? It too, needs to inter face with more plants in an open manner; the driver for these changes is increased situational awareness. Through increasing situational awareness – and consequently, fortifying the security posture of a building – the driver may be considerably higher for the integration of different systems – as opposed to energy savings or facilities management efficiencies. Intelligent building functionality needs to be programmed on a plat form, either the BMS or SMS. As situational awareness seems to be the better driver for integration,
say the chosen program is the SMS. However, in choosing one system over the other, base control strategies may need to be duplicated in both systems. Is it a possibility to program both systems? Well yes, by programming both systems it would introduce inheritance and authority-level problems. Though it is possible to choose a separate system to overlay over both the BMS and SMS, it can introduce another wave of complications. So, what is the solution, and is it viable? Simply put, yes there is a solution Central Integration Platform (CIP) to program the intelligence and serve the SMS and BMS. A CIP corrals system, normalisises various protocols and establishes priorities for alarms, notifications and events. The CIP system also extends the SMS’s situational awareness to include systems normally managed through a BMS. However, plants that are being integrated will still require open protocol inter faces, which expose all the operating conditions, or points, available for ingestion by the CIP. Ultimately, it is this factor which controls how much further we need to go to make a building more ‘intelligent’. Sterling Technology Consultancy sterling.tech
May 2018 | 17
You must take the ‘A’ train If a train goes off the track there’s a problem, a big one at that. The latest project from Schneider Electric, ensures Angel Trains can go full steam ahead.
ngel Trains is one of Britain’s leading train leasing companies, providing rolling stock to several of the UK’s largest Train Operating Companies (TOC’s) including Virgin Trains, Abellio Greater Anglia, Arriva Rail North, Great Western Railway and South Western Trains. Established in 1994 as part of the process to privatise British Rail, the company now employs approximately 150 people split between its primary headquarters in Victoria, central London and secondary premises in Derby. The company owns some 4,000 plus rail vehicles which
18 | May 2018
it leases to operators, on terms that are generally coterminous with franchises granted by the Department of Transport. “We’re a big-ticket asset leasing company,” says Andy Wren, head of IT services, “We have an intricate business model, and our IT systems that support it are similarly complex.” Angel Trains’ IT department comprises eight people, including Andy Wren, and is based at the London HQ where the corporate data centre is located. Andy is responsible for leading the entire IT services function including application development, software procurement, support
for users and management of the data-centre infrastructure that underpins it all. The key IT systems operated by Angel Trains is its assetmanagement system – a bespoke application developed in-house that manages the company’s inventory of rolling stock – and Oracle Business Suite, which comprises the financial stack of software including accounts receivable, general ledger and invoice-management. “Together those two applications are the most business-critical, being responsible for managing our revenue generation and
PROJECT FOCUS collection, on which the business depends on,” says Andy Wren. “However, we also run several other Microsoft server-based applications such as Sharepoint for our content and document management.”
A golden key can open any door The key priorities for the data centre, in which the applications are hosted, are agility, reliability and cost-effectiveness. Although the company tries to standardise leasing contracts with its customers, the reality is that each agreement has an element of customisation with consequent demands on the IT department’s development effort. An implication for the data centre is that it must have the agility to scale up capacity to accommodate additional servers, should they become necessary to meet customer requirements. For reliability, the data centre has a South London-based disaster recovery (DR) site to which all its data is replicated and securely backed up. Driving all the IT investment decisions, however, is the perennial need to keep costs low while maintaining a consistently reliable level of service. Angel Trains IT department enjoys the convenience of being able to run its own systems onpremise, but IT management are cognisant of the fact that thirdparty service providers can offer hosting services from remote sites at competitive prices. The ownership, control and speed of connectivity from the on-premise solution has many benefits for the company, of which one is avoiding any latency issues, particularly with large files.
“The key priorities for the data centre, in which the applications are hosted, are agility, reliability and costeffectiveness.”
Among the ser vice options considered were simple colocation, where the ser vers could be hosted in a colocation site operated by a third-par ty company, but Angel Trains’ staff would continue to manage the systems remotely. Alternatively, some or all of the management of the systems could also be outsourced to an external ser vice provider. However, the company decided to continue to operate its data centre in-house, with the help of a maintenance and suppor t contract with APC by Schneider Electric Elite Par tner, Comtec Power.
Resilience from start-to-finish Angel Trains has been using Schneider Electric UPS systems for 10 years, attracted initially by what their UPS products offered in terms of flexibility, with the ability to perform ‘hot swaps’ of components such as batteries and power controllers. Their data centre comprises a rack-based containment system, with critical power protection provided by Schneider Electric Symmetra PX UPS units. For additional resilience, there is a dual power feed running direct from the mains and an emergency backup power generation unit on-site.
Owning V outsource “As an internal IT department, we are comfortable with having the ability to monitor our own infrastructure and IT equipment, rather than have a third-party managing it on our behalf at another location,” Andy says. “We investigated a number of different hosting partners and found there is a great variety of services available, however, it was more cost-effective to own and manage our own on-premise data centre.”
Attracted initially by the flexibility of their UPS products, Angel Trains have been using Schneider Electric UPS systems for 10 years.
May 2018 | 19
Schneider Electric has worked with Elite Partner Comtec Power to deliver an integrated, critical data centre infrastructure solution for one of Britain’s leading train leasing companies.
20 | May 2018
With key challenges that included cost effectiveness, reliability and footprint, in terms of space, Angel Trains chose to adopt Schneider Electric’s ISX Pod architecture with InRow cooling for its data centre. “O nc e we we re int ro d u c e d to S c h ne id e r E l e ct r ic ’ s o ndem a nd Infa S t r u x u re s o l u t io n with InRow co o l ing, we k new that wa s exa ct l y t h e t y p e of a rch ite ct u re we wa nte d to move fo r wa rd wit h . ” A nd y a d d s , “ We ne e d e d to m a ke t h e new data c e nt re a s co s t - ef fe ct ive , s ca la b l e a nd ro b u s t a s p o s s ib l e a n d t h e S c h ne id e r E l e ct r ic ra c k s a n d S y m m et ra U PS s y s te m s h it the m a r k in te r m s of re s il ie nc e a n d ef f ic ie nc y - wh il e h e l p ing u s to o pt im is e t h e fa ir l y co nf ine d s pa c e in o u r d ata c e nt re . ” Ultra-efficient cooling is provided by a combination of external chillers and condensers located on the roof of the building,
in addition to the InRow DX systems deployed within the Pod. The facility is also managed using Schneider Electric’s Awardwinning StruxureWare for Data Centres DCIM (Data Centre Infrastructure Management) software, part of the EcoStruxure for Data Centres Solution. “As a team we knew we could run an on-premise data centre cost-effectively” Andy continues. “But the Schneider Electric infrastructure components we have selected have been key to that process, ensuring the capacity is utilised in the most optimum way.”
Expertise in data centre services As well as provisioning and installing much of the infrastructure equipment in the data centre, Comtec Power continue to provide monitoring and maintenance support in collaboration with Angel Trains’ IT staff. “When first searching for a partner, Comtec engaged with us far more than other potential suppliers,” affirms Andy. “They had a wealth of expertise and understood both our challenges and drivers, in addition to being very flexible and competitively priced.” Ongoing support provided by Comtec includes taking responsibility for rapid response to any faults in the infrastructure equipment, such as failures in airconditioning units, including fans, and UPS battery malfunctions.
“Our team can handle some of the smaller tasks internally,” continues Andy Wren, “But under our maintenance service agreement, Comtec can proactively monitor and react to any faults within our core data infrastructure.” As par t of a recent upgrade to the standard maintenance agreement, Angel Trains have recently connected the data centre infrastructure compnents to Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure IT monitoring solution, which was known as StruxureOn. This delivers detailed 24/ 7 monitoring and critical insights straight to the users’ mobile phone as well as Comtec’s engineering team. “Through the remote diagnostics, Comtec can engage quickly to begin fixing issues whilst proactively avoiding any serious situations or downtime from developing. We chose Comtec because they have the most experience. They built the system and we are comfortable operating in partnership with them as our trusted advisors.” “Having a strong working relationship with long term partners such as Schneider Electric and Comtec Power has provided Angel Trains with the advice, skilsets and peace of mind that is necessary to run an efficient, on-premise, businesscritical Data Centre,” says Andy. Schneider Electric schneider-electric.co.uk
Standards & Training
In addition to its regular range of features and news items, the February issue of Network Communications News will contain special features will be on switches & routers and data centres, along with a cable management & labelling industry focus. They will comprise major articles and comprehensive product round ups which will be used as a reference point by network cabling infrastructure installers, integrators and end users. To make sure you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss the oppor tunity to adver tise your products to this exclusive readership, call Ian on 01634 673163 or email email@example.com
Network Communications News
Switches & Routers May 2018 | 21
Where does the network draw the line? NCN gets to grips with possibly the most principle driver of business change today, and also has the pleasure of adding Larry Zulch, president and CEO of Savvius, to its growing Q&A directory. How and why did you pursue a career in the Data/Comms industry? Simply put, networks are perhaps the principle driver of change in business today. The way businesses relate to its customers in 2018 is almost entirely different than it was just a couple of decades ago. Even businesses that seemed like they’d be impervious to this ‘digital transformation’ are affected. Not too long ago, we would have said, ‘it isn’t like you can eat food via web browser’ and now we’re getting meals delivered hot and Amazon bought Whole Foods supermarkets. Networks did that.
What does a usual day in the life of the CEO of Savvius look like? It is tempting to say that I’m always in meetings when I’m not doing email and the reverse. But the truth is that my day is spent communicating with people about a wide variety of interesting topics. We can be discussing the best way to get network visibility in the public cloud one moment, messaging on our website the next, and then how to meet a particular customer’s requirements right after that. I have a great job. I love it.
What exciting projects or product launches do you have going on at the moment? Is there anything noteworthy in the pipeline that we need to be on the lookout for? In late April, we launched version 12 of our Network Per formance Monitoring and Diagnostics platform. This is what runs all of our solutions, both appliance and
22 | May 2018
software. I’m particularly excited about the new version of Spotlight that comes in version 12; it offers much greater visibility into the end-user experience of privatelydeveloped enterprise applications. I recently met with two Tier 1 banks, and each of them quoted the exact same number for how many applications they oversee, ‘about 2,000’; they both said; it was too many for multiple reasons, including not having enough visibility into the network view of performance – and I thought, we can help with that!
What project/work achievement are you most proud of in your career and why? I’m most proud of assembling terrific teams that create real value for customers. I’ve done it a few times, and it is a thrill to work with such talent. The key, to me, is to hire people who are competent and driven and, perhaps more uniquely, those with personalities appropriate to their area of responsibility. I expect sales people to sell themselves, and operations people to be extremely organised, and so on. From there, we build on said unified culture and learn to manage it.
What (if any) is the one thing you’re tired of hearing either at work or about your job? That’s a tough question for me to answer in a meaningful way, because we do have a great team and because if I say ‘I don’t want to hear that any more’ I probably won’t. But in the more mundane, I do get very tired of hearing ‘we’re
trying to get the conference call going, just give us a minute.’ We’re a technology company in networking, for goodness sake. You’d think getting sound and video sorted on conference calls wouldn’t be a challenge.
What is your favourite piece of technology right now? I’m really enjoying my Apple AirPods. I get up early and when I’m making breakfast or on the exercise bike, listening to a podcast without having wires feels like freedom. They are so well integrated with my iPhone, the music or podcast pauses when I take one out of my ear. When it comes to Savvius products, I’m really into our Omnipliance Ultra T 3 0 0 . C o m p re h e n si ve real- ti me a n a l y si s a n d 96 Te ra bytes of p a c ket sto ra ge at c l o s e to 2 0 G i ga b i t s i n a si n g l e 2 U ap p li an ce. I t re p re se nt s t h e p i n n acle of o u r 2 7 y e a r s of exp e r i en ce i n n et wo r k p e r fo r m a n c e mon i tori n g a n d d i a g n o st i c s.
What product/s or concepts do you think will be the next big thing in the industry? There are a number of technologies coming along that are going to be transformative. The one I’d point out is machine learning. We certainly hear about it but haven’t really grasped the full extent of how radically machine learning will change everything, including IT and networking. Certainly, it will have an impact on big things, such as driving and automating data centres; but it will also transform getting a network connection
on your laptop or mobile device. Not only that, but it will change how we use social media – not just how social media companies deliver it. And once you feed our advanced network analytics into advanced machine learning – and we’re doing that now in our labs, though it is early days – we think network per formance monitoring and diagnostics will be transformed as well.
Finally, a bit of a fun question… You can invite three people living or dead out for dinner (not including family and friends). Who are they and why? That is a fun question. I can’t help but think that cosmology is one of the most profound and interesting areas about which to have a dinner conversation. Firstly, I’d ask Richard Feynman, a physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project; but, whose greatest legacy may have been in transforming how physics is taught. Secondly, I’d invite Neil deGrasse Tyson, whom I’ve heard lecture – he is such an intellectual. Last (but not least) I’d invite Freeman Dyson, who thought big and dreamed even bigger. He conceived the Dyson Sphere which may be the ultimate expression of technology for habitation. I know you only specified three, but if I could have a fourth, I’d invite Stephen Hawking when he was still able to converse fluidly, though even the older Hawking would have been a great addition – making up in profundity what he couldn’t express quickly.
“Not too long ago, we would have said, ‘it isn’t like you can eat food via web browser’ and now we’re getting meals delivered hot; networks did that.”
May 2018 | 23
CLOUD COMPUTING AND VIRTUALISATION
Helping operators build better boats with SDAN Filip De Greve, product marketing manager at Nokia, charts a course through network complexity
etwork complexity is one of the biggest challenges facing operators today and tomorrow, as te c h n o l o g y i n n ovat i o n s a n d u s e r d e m a n d s c o nt i n u e to evo l ve a n d g row. To avo i d s i n k i n g t h e i r s h i p s , c o m m u n i c at i o n s e r v i c e p rov i d e r s m u s t b u i l d b et te r b o at s w i t h n ew o p e rat i o n a l m o d e l s t h at p rote ct s t rate g i c a s s et s , avo i d u n s u s ta i n a b l e i nve s t m e nt s a n d i n c re a s e ef f i c i e n c i e s t h ro u g h a u to m at i o n a n d ze ro to u c h n et wo r k i n g . This is where Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) come in. Like boats evolving from wood to metal, Software Defined Access Networks (SDAN) add a new element to todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s networks that
24 | May 2018
help improve the design, integrity, cost and utilisation needs essential to successfully navigating the uncharted waters ahead. SDAN represent the next generation of intelligent access networks. Bringing virtualisation into the access network helps operators better manage the growing complexity and the costs that can come with it. It can do this by providing operators with the ability to separate application logic from application data, and scale device and service layers separately. This in turn enables software-driven automation and machine-assisted decision making, which can help streamline and integrate operations with the service providers existing cloud and IT environment. Network agility is also crucial for any operator looking to remain
competitive in a world where services and customer demands are continuously evolving. Using SDAN can help to virtualise elements of an operatorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s legacy network and enhance flexibility through software applications that decoupled the underlying hardware and bring the entire network into the cloud. Doing this provides operators with a flexible plug-and-play environment, that allows them to quickly introduce new services from the cloud and run zero-touch operations that enable operators to remotely control, scale and automate the network from the data centre. Creating an open development environment, SDAN ensures that any newly created services can be deployed and integrated across a broad mix of systems,
CLOUD COMPUTING AND VIRTUALISATION technologies, networks, partners, and open source elements. However, virtualising the whole network and replacing all physical infrastructure with software isn’t necessarily a onesize-fits-all solution. Instead, operators should look to install platforms and services that best harness the intelligence and potential for programmability with virtualisation, while supporting the most valuable use cases.
created for customer care and day to-day operations. The potential for SDAN to be integrated into edge cloud deployments has also emerged. By combining connectivity and cloud services for fixed and mobile customers at the edge of the network the central office becomes more cloudified. SDN and NFV can be used to enable 5G and IoT services and time-critical applications with network functions hosted close to subscribers.
Virtualisation in a next-gen world
Standards in progress
Use cases are continuing to drive the evolution of SDAN and are incredibly important when it comes to solving the challenges that operators face in an ever-changing telecommunications landscape. As the industry gears up for a 5G future, one of the lead use cases for SDAN is network slicing – or Fixed Access Network Sharing (FANS) – which allows multiple operators to share a single infrastructure through network abstractions. FANS uses both software and the cloud to develop a network slice that can be controlled independently, allowing operators to protect per formance and maximise usage while ultimately bringing about a faster return on network investment. This increases competition by lowering entry costs or enabling network wholesaling business models. Network slicing also decreases the risk of investment for the network owner and accelerates the deployment of ultrabroadband deployments to fixed and mobile users. In addition to providing open access and wholesale models, network slicing can offer a new operational model for service portioning, particularly in 5G mobile use cases. Using virtual slicing, operators can deliver simultaneous services that require widely differing needs for bandwidth, latency and reliability within a single network deployment. Network slicking also enables operators to monetise offerings to large customers and verticals, whose devices or traffic requirement have specific service characteristics. It can also ensure that dedicated SLAs with full autonomy can be
AT&T recently demonstrated to virtualise access functions within the last mile network. during 10 Gbps XGS-PON network trials but it doesn’t end here. Ultimately, instead of deploying islands of technology that have SDN control, it needs to work end-toend. Despite the growing number of successful use cases, one of the things that has hampered the spread of virtualisation techniques is a lack of standards. Until recently, protocol standards were straight forward and ensured a certain level of network interoperability, that would yield benefits such as providing operators with technology choice, lower price points and access to new innovations. However, the open nature of SDN and NFV has meant that such standards haven’t developed in the same way, making operators wary of committing time, money and other resources to creating a new network. So far, potential risks have been mitigated through open and non-proprietary NETCONF/YANG protocols, which removes much of the risk that comes with being an early adopter and creates a strong sense of reassurance that industry-wide standards are imminent. In the meantime, industry organisations such as ETSI NFV and Broadband Forum along with open source initiatives like ONAP and BAA are picking up on virtualisation and establishing a new way for vendors and operators to collaborate and define the use cases driving innovation in virtualisation. As these use cases evolve, Nokia is working to help keep the balance by focusing on one of the main SDN/NFV barriers
for operators – bridging legacy and software-defined networks, regardless of where you stand in adopting SDN principles. With network automation tools that help operators to plan and grow efficiently, Nokia SDAN addresses the entire life cycle of the access network and allows physical and virtual elements to be integrated into existing network environments.
The wait is over
“SDAN represent the next generation of intelligent access networks.”
Are SDWANs the answer?
After years of talking about network virtualisation, it clear that the time for talk is over, as operators look to put a hold on the increasing OPEX and declining revenue per bit and take control of the network complexity with more efficient operational models. It’s clear that throwing software at the problem is not the answer. Operators should look to partners that are able to deliver carrier-grade network functions which are optimised for the cloud. Operators should also forge an alliance with open industry initiatives and standardisation bodies along with collaborate on end-to-end use cases that provide tangible benefits. From increased agility and faster time-to market, to cost savings and additional revenues, the potential for SDAN is huge. With the technology advancing at a rapid rate, SDAN is moving from trials and small-scale deployments, toward becoming a critical part of operators’ longterm plans. SDAN is the tool that operators have been waiting for to fight next-generation demands with next-generation networks. Nokia networks.nokia.com
May 2018 | 25
CLOUD COMPUTING AND VIRTUALISATION
Network function virtualisation produces data centre visibility gaps Nadeem Zahid, senior director of strategy and cloud at Savvius, examines how technicians can overcome the challenges and get around these blind spots.
s operational efficiency continues to be a top priority for most enterprise IT organisations and service providers, virtualisation is being used in the data centre to meet this goal. Just as service providers have gravitated toward virtualisation to cope with the
26 | May 2018
increasing pressures of megabit costs, so too are enterprises following suit. Following the compute and storage virtualisation waves, focus is now shifting toward network virtualisation. A big trend in this area, and one that could help dramatically reduce costs and drive operational efficiency, is replacing traditional
p ro p r i eta r y h a rd wa re -centri c n et wo r k se r v i c e s w i t h more co st - ef fe ct i ve Net wo rk Fun cti on V i r t u a l i sat i o n ( NF V ) ; w hi ch p uts t h o se f u n ct i o n s i nto sof tware t h at r u n s o n co m mo d i ti s ed h a rd wa re m a c h i n e s. NFV makes IT infrastructure more flexible, scalableÂ and costeffective, but the complexity
CLOUD COMPUTING AND VIRTUALISATION of these new networks makes network visibility, such as Network Performance Monitoring (NPM), a real challenge. Traditional network visibility methods incorporate techniques such as tapping the wire, gathering wireless data, or using traffic mirroring (SPAN) functionality that feeds the data into visibility solutions such as NPM tools. But, when NFV comes into play, it creates a new set of challenges that can create new blind spots. Let’s look at some. First, following NFV migration an organisation is left without physical network devices, which means there’s no wire data to tap into. Meaning if they are trying to monitor network transactions or trying to capture network datain-motion, they can only do that where it hits the physical wire. NFV employs multiple Virtual Network Functions (VNF) that run on top of the server’s compute function, rather than within traditional network nodes such as routers, switches or firewalls. Heavily virtualised networks have much more east-west traffic that travels between multiple VNFs and associated databases. This is important to note because each VNF is responsible for some specialised function in a ‘service chain’, and if you can’t see that traffic between two VNFs, you can’t ensure a service when it breaks. For example, you cannot capture and analyse the network packets or flows that you would normally use to quickly identify and isolate issues on a traditional network. This can result in war room fingerpointing, because no one can pinpoint where the issue resides. Second, it is highly inefficient to backhaul NFV traffic to a physical network or packet broker without multiplying the traffic, wasting expensive network bandwidth and inducing latency (although some use this approach as a ‘band-aid’ solution). And, backhauling east-west traffic in the north-south direction – and simply feeding it into visibility tools – is not only inefficient, it raises business risk because it competes with the actual missioncritical traffic traversing the same network. If mission critical data can’t get through, business continuity will suffer.
Making it all work Finally, as mentioned earlier, a service (such as eBanking or making a mobile-phone call) in an NFV environment might include several VNFs in a chain that is distributed across different machines, compounding the visibility problem. Not only do you need to probe the data at multiple points, but it needs to be correlated and visualised centrally through a single pane of glass and linked to the service in question. If those resources are provisioned close to an existing saturation point, you can create additional bottlenecks. For example, if bandwidth, CPU and memory resources associated with a virtual switch on a machine are choking, and that machine is already critical to the NFV service chain, it could create unpredictable per formance and a poor user experience (in the form of dropped calls). It should be clear by now that all of the above requires some pretty creative NPMbased visibility solutions to help eliminate network blind spots. Without the capabilities and insights these solutions can provide, NFV can quickly turn into ‘non-functional-virtualisation’, and the business can start losing revenue and customers due to bad user experience. What’s the solution? While every deployment will have its own unique set of challenges and requirements, here are some tips to consider if you’re already running NFV or considering a rollout: T he best way to provision visibility in an NFV environment is to deploy virtualised visibility tools (such as NPM solutions) next to the critical VNF on the same machine in a 1:1 fashion. For less mission-critical functions, aggregated traffic
“NFV makes IT infrastructure more flexible, scalable and cost-effective, but the complexity of these new networks makes network visibility, such as Network Performance Monitoring (NPM), a real challenge.”
Focus has made a shift towards network virtualisation
can be relayed to the NPM tool running as a central virtual machine (VM) within the same virtual environment or hosted in the cloud. In case of cloud or SaaS-based monitoring, be aware of the costs associated with the storage and movement of data across boundaries. On the positive side, this approach is typically a consumptionbased model and can give teams access to larger data sets, which means if machine learning engines are being used, sophisticated analysis can happen (such as predicting user behaviours and services). I n addition to NPM tools, it’s also important to monitor the infrastructure resources of the machines running VNF. The important VNF east-west traffic can be monitored in real-time or analysed immediately during stressful situations, even if the external network never sees that traffic. The NFV entry and exit north-south traffic can be monitored through traditional NPM methods or through virtualised tools. This level of complete correlation of NFV-related traffic allows an organisation to remotely monitor the entire network to assure business and service continuity. In case of any service interruptions, network data can be captured and analysed for faster root cause analysis. Having coverage for both (eastwest and north-south) means teams can quickly investigate and remediate, turning visibility into actions that reduce mean time to service. W h e n d e p l o y i n g NF V, i t i s v i ta l to h ave co mp l ete n or thso u t h a n d e a st - we st coverage v i si b i l i t y to co nf i d e nt l y mai ntai n ‘ se r v i c e - a ssu ra n c e ’ l evels (or sta n d a rd s) . NF V c re ates a n ew set of v i si b i l i t y c h a l l e nges i n the d i st r i b u te d e nte r p r i se an d wi thi n se r v i c e p rov i d e r n et works . I f y o u wa nt to e l i m i n ate n etwork b l i n d sp ot s a n d c re ate a hi ghp e r fo r ma n c e NF V e nv iron ment, b e su re to h ave a we l l - p lan n ed v i si b i l i t y st rate g y i n p lace. Y ou wo n ’ t re g ret i t . Savvius savvius.com
May 2018 | 27
CLOUD COMPUTING AND VIRTUALISATION
The physical network, the final frontier in automation Duncan Ellis, director, EMEA at Wave2Wave Solution, looks at how to increase bandwidth and keep costs down.
oday’s bandwidth consumers, be they individuals or organisations, are demanding more and more immediacy. We live in a world of on-demand, streaming video, anything-as-a-ser vice, with new technologies like IoT increasingly driving growing bandwidth demands, lower latency and lower jitter. But while network speeds have exploded through 100G, 200G to beyond 400G to cope with traffic demands, consumers expect to pay the same, or even less, for more bandwidth. To address the issue, network operators are increasingly focusing
28 | May 2018
on automation – typically via Software Defined Networking (SDN) or Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) – to increase service velocity while removing cost and error from the network. However, one layer – the physical layer – has stubbornly resisted the move to software definition or automation.
Current process is OPEX heavy, slow and error prone Whether it’s at the Optical Distribution Frames (ODFs) or within the meet-me rooms, the ability to re-architect the physical network takes place at a patch panel where an engineer can manually interlink the spans to
create the required topology. This allows new connections to be added, old connections to be removed and new services to be created. The process is manual and therefore OPEX heavy, slow and out of step with today’s ondemand world. It is also prone to error and can even impact adjacent services through the disturbance of patch cords.
Attempts at flexibility at the physical layer have severe limitations In an attempt to solve this problem some operators have adopted Micro-Electric-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology.
CLOUD COMPUTING AND VIRTUALISATION
Optical switching using MEMS technology has provided a level of network automation at a purely optical layer but comes with a hefty price tag, and it also introduces a number of technical compromises to the network. These include limiting the acceptable optical bandwidth of a signal, which in turn limits the capacity of the optical signal. Another compromise is the introduction of additional variable network losses that can reduce the reach and increase the need for additional amplification within the network. Additionally, MEMS technology introduces an additional point of failure where an interruption to power can cause all network traffic to be dropped and has scalability issues in terms of the number of por ts it can suppor t. Attempts have been made to work around the problem completely by implementing a form of physical network virtualisation using Optical-Electrical-Optical (OEO) at layer 1, 2 or 3 (MSPP, Carrier Ethernet Switch or IP Router). This allows the flow of traffic across the network to be channelled and managed, but this flexibility comes at a price. T he us e of OEO requ ire s ex pe nsive ha rdwa re th at is of te n ti ed to s pecific s p e e d s and proto co l s . It a l s o b r ings i nc re ased ma n a gement ove r h e a d t hat of ten dema n ds exp e ns ive , hi ghly qua l ified res o urce s to confi gure a nd ma na ge t h e l o gic a l net wor k co nfiguration s . C o u p l e d wi th t his a re the in crea s e d d e mands for power a nd co o l ing, at a ti me when ca rriers a nd d ata ce ntre operators a re l o o k ing to redu ce their ca rbon foot p r int s . Looking at SDN/NFV, the virtualisation of many network functions to software entities running on commercial-offthe-shelf (COTS) server farms helps reduce CAPEX through the decoupling of network services from proprietary and dedicated hardware. However, it still consumes inordinate power and cooling resources, and remains a workaround to the fact that it isn’t possible to dynamically optimise and re-configure the underlying physical network.
The robotic approach A ro b ot ic o pt ic a l n et wo r k i n g s o l u t io n of fe r s a wa y to a d d re ss t h e ro ot c a u s e of m a n y of t h e se u nd e r l y ing is s u es t h ro u g h t h e a b il it y to p h y s ica l l y c h a n ge t h e co nne ct iv it y of a n et wo r k wit h o u t u nd u e im p a i r me nt of i t s o pt ic a l c h a ra cter i st i c s. A flexible, dynamic physical layer means that architectures can adapt to service changes, fibre additions or deletions, and new technologies as they happen, rather than trying to anticipate future needs in the initial design. This allows a more reactive and cost-effective network where configurations across all network layers can achieve the optimal s et u p . It is we l l u n d e r sto o d i n t h e net wo r k wo r l d t h at t h e l owe r in t h e net wo r k s ta c k y o u c a n m a ke c h a nge s , th e mo re co st ef fe ct ive it is . T h i s h a r k s b a c k to t h e of t - qu ote d ma nt ra ‘ ro u te wh e re y o u m u s t , sw i tc h w h e re y o u c a n. ’ To t h is we c a n a d d ‘p atc h wh e re it ’ s ro b ot i c ’ .
With traffic demands, consumers expect to pay the same, or less, for more bandwidth
Automating the physical layer increases network efficiency Increasing service velocity addresses the on-demand nature of many requested services and accelerates time to revenue and increases customer satisfaction. Automated physical connectivity not only prevents patching from holding up on-demand services, it also allows on-demand services to be delivered more cost effectively. Today if a service needs to be able to burst to higher speeds, it necessitates being connected to a higher speed port. This unnecessarily burns those
expensive, high capacity ports. It also means that devices are never operating anywhere close to capacity, making their footprint, power consumption and cooling costs even more expensive. Being able to move a lower capacity connection to a higher capacity port only when the higher bandwidth demands are requested is significantly more cost effective. Allowing a dynamic reconfiguration of the physical network also drives OPEX reduction, for example, by reducing truck rolls, simplifying management and cutting out patching errors. In addition, it allows remote configuration, thus driving more ‘lights-out’ facilities such as central offices or data centres with few if any personnel.
Taking SDN all the way down
Automation for physical optical connectivity enables applications with benefits beyond CAPEX and OPEX savings.
Physical network automation completes the software definition of all the network. Instead of implementing expensive workarounds to try and deliver flexibility in a fixed physical architecture, it allows full dynamism across all network layers meaning that advanced SDN controllers can now configure the optimal network in terms of price, per formance and flexibility. Wave2Wave wave-2-wave.com
May 2018 | 29
Smile, you’re on CCTV NCN talks to Veracity to get a handle on what businesses can do to mitigate the chance of attackers accessing the rest of their network.
Linklock is available as an option on Veracity’s Highwire Powerstar range of Ethernet and POE over coax adaptors
30 | May 2018
ou are probably familiar with networks that extend to the far edges of a company’s infrastructure to suppor t their CCTV camera requirements. These may be using existing coax networks with device adapters that suppor t the latest IP cameras, and other base connectors which marry the coax to the IP network. This is a familiar scenario that Veracity encounters
on a daily basis. Despite this, most organisations fail to realise that this can pose a real cyber security threat which, in some circumstances, can create a direct path to corporate networks and applications. An imperative question to pose is whether you or your customers are, or have been, exposed to this threat, and if so what can be done about it ? It is important to note that any externally-mounted IP camera has the potential to leave an exposed network connection; this can be used by attackers to access the rest of your network. Once attackers have gained network access you are left vulnerable; since many surveillance networks are often bridged to your corporate network. Firstly, a fundamental question to ask is have your surveillance and CCTV networks been included in your cyber risk assessment? If not, we suggest that this should be an urgent requirement. A n y ta m p e r i n g w i t h CCT V n et wo r k s re q u i re s q u i c k i d e nt i f i c at i o n a n d a ra p i d re sp o n se . T h i s i n c l u d e s t h e i mme d i ate d ete ct i o n of a n y
d i sco n n e ct / re co n n e ct or ta m p e r i n g a ct i v i t i e s taki n g p l a c e o n a n y p a r t of t he cab li n g b et we e n t h e c a me ra an d the a cc e ss p o i nt to t h e i ntern al I P n et wo r k . W h e n eve r a n attack i s d ete cte d , t h e p owe r a n d data fo r t h e ta mp e re d c h a nn el n eeds to b e co m p l ete l y d i scon n ected. E ve n ‘ ta p p i n g i n ’ to t h e n etwork o r co ax c a b l e s n e e d s to b e t re ate d i n t h i s m a n n e r. Nota b l y , eve n i n scen ari os w h e re a se c u re , o r e n crypted, l i n k h a s b e e n i m p l e mented ove r co ax t h e re a re sti ll cyb er se c u r i t y exp o su re s. En crypti on d o e s n ot p reve nt i nt r us i on , as t h e E t h e r n et l i n k to t h e camera i s st i l l o p e n a n d u n se c u red.
Tripping at the first hurdle To highlight such challenges this is an example of a Veracity client; a global bank, with offices in 50 countries and 50,000 employees. Having upgraded their internal camera system at a key location, the company was left unsatisfied with the comparable image quality delivered by the legacy analogue cameras outside the building.
“Even in scenarios where a secure, or encrypted, link has been implemented over coax there are still cyber security exposures – encryption does not prevent intrusion.”
The bank assessed the option of upgrading the external system to IP cameras, but came up against two hurdles. The first being the significant disruption to staff and customers. The bank recognised that the security headache of replacing all the existing coax infrastructure was considerable; plus, the bank is an old, protected building and extra planning permission for the works would have been required – even then, there would be no guarantee of it being granted. Secondly, the IT department were adamant against allowing external cameras on their network, this was due to the real risks involved of someone being able to hack into the system via an external Ethernet connection. The security department were aware that they could use a HIGHWIRE solution from Veracity, creator of the global Ethernet over Coax (EoC) market in 2006 that would overcome the bank’s initial challenge. The company approached their local Veracity distribution partner to distinguish how they could overcome the IT department’s concerns.
Luckily for the company, Veracity design and manufacture their own products so have greater flexibility than other suppliers; so, when presented with the two hurdles the bank was struggling to overcome, were able to design the Linklock solution in a suitable timeframe. Linklock technology provides secure, tamper-proof Ethernet and POE network connections over coax cable that is simple to install. The technology also configures automatically to provide a secure barrier to unauthorised access of your network where external devices leave you exposed.
Technology down-low Linklock works by constantly monitoring the power over Ethernet (POE) connection and data transmissions. It can detect even subtle changes or interruptions in the data transmission characteristics and these will trigger disconnection and an alarm, all while remaining extremely robust against false alarms. Blocking mode
(disconnection) occurs when the coax or Ethernet cables outside the building are tampered with, disconnected or disrupted. After suitable action is taken to determine the cause of the alarm (including a possible attacker) the channel can then be re-established only via reset pins. Typically, the camera disconnection would itself be used to trigger an alarm within the VMS (Video Management System) or the NVR (Network Video Recorder). T h e b a n k i n sta l l e d the I P c a me ra s t h e y wa nte d , an d n ow h a s h i g h re so l u t i on , hi gh q u a l i t y i ma ge s f ro m t h ei r exte r n a l c a me ra s w i t h n o ri s k of h a c k i n g v i a t h e extern al c a me ra co n n e ct i o n s. Thei r se c u r i t y te a ms are confident that if an intrusion is detected, Linklock will isolate all external equipment immediately from the internal LAN. Linklock has since been used to solve similar situations in other financial institutions, prisons, government buildings and other high security establishments. Veracity veracityglobal.com
May 2018 | 31
COMPANY SHOWCASE SPONSORED STORIES FROM THE INDUSTRY
Lighting the way S i e m o n , a g l o b a l n et wo r k i nf ra s t r u ct u re s p e c i a l i s t , h a s a n n o u n c e d t h at i t w i l l co nt i n u e i t s co m m i t m e nt to a d d i n g va l u e to i t s g l o b a l n et wo r k of i n s ta l l e r s a n d co nt ra cto r s ; b y d eve l o p i n g a n d e n h a n c i n g t h e D i g i ta l Li g ht i n g Pa r t n e r ( D L P ) p ro g ra m m e . T h e co m p a n y s a y i t s D L P p ro g ra m m e h a s b e e n u n i q u e l y d e s i g n e d to d e l i ve r b u s i n e s s o p p o r t u n i t i e s to a n et wo r k of Si e m o n i n s ta l l e r s b y l eve ra g i n g ke y i n d u s t r y p a r t n e r s h i p s a n d g row t h i n t h e d eve l o p m e nt of i nte l l i ge nt b u i l d i n g s . The growth of IP-based intelligent building and Power over Ethernet (PoE) enabled lighting technologies is rapidly turning the role of network cabling into a building asset, that, not only suppor ts voice and data, but an array of building automation system (BAS) ser vices over one structured cabling network. These include audio/video, energy management, lighting controls, security, digital signage, fire and safety systems, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). Siemon’s DLP programme is specifically designed for network and low-voltage (LV) cabling contractors to help them leverage and further expand their knowledge of IP network deployment and become a go-to expert in the PoE lighting space – a market that, according to a new report by research firm MarketsandMarkets, is estimated to grow from €6.5bn in 2018 to €17.4bn by 2023. Subsequently, customers looking to deploy IP-based intelligent building and PoE lighting technologies will be able to connect with low-voltage experts for new projects.
Installers and contractors joining Siemon’s DLP programme will benefit from specialised training with remote or onsite sessions and access to a vast pool of educational resources including webinars, white papers and technical guides. Additionally, members of the programme will have access to Siemon’s intelligent building experts and Technical Services Group who are readily available to support at every phase of the project cycle providing help in solution selling, design assistance, vendor alignment and sales support. According to Siemon, eligible contractors will benefit from the company’s ecosystem of partners who are market leaders in provisioning services for intelligent buildings. Today, the company is globally aligned with some of the world’s leading PoE equipment manufacturers, lighting vendors, systems integrators, software application developers, managed services providers as well as experienced intelligent building consultants and developers. “We take great pride in our partnerships and we feel this approach creates most value for customers by leveraging the innovative offerings from the ecosystem of partners that we can pool together to offer truly unique solutions for sustainable smart buildings now and in the future”, explained Lee Funnell, head of technical services group for Europe, Russia and Africa at Siemon. “Our digital lighting partners also benefit from joint marketing and branding opportunities which help expand their reach and exposure to PoE lighting and intelligent building projects”, he added. Simeon siemon.com/dlp
A few clicks are all it takes’ HARTING has announced that its new RF-R3x0 UHF RFID reader offers flexibility in deployment. The maker says the new reader is versatile and combines software flexibility with an extremely robust and compact design enabling its deployment in a wide range of application scenarios. The company holds a lot of its thanks to the use of M12 industrial connectors and aluminium die-cast housings. The reader itself is rug ged enough to meet the most demanding requirements – as found in railway applications, for example – while the flexible software concept means that a few clicks are all it takes to switch the unit to a completely different application. HARTING acknowledge that typical applications might range from a simple PLC connection to the integration of signals with an ERP system or a connection to a train control system. T h e UHF R FID rea d e r is b a s e d o n fo u r b a s ic ve r si o n s: the LL R P 1.1, which is a l s o d e s igne d to co nne ct to t h e H A RTIN G Ha -VIS midd l ewa re ; a u nit wit h O PC U A s u p p o r t that meets the Comp a nio n S p e c if ic at io n fo r Au to ID D evi ces for un ifo rm co nne ct io n to E RP a nd PLC s y ste m s; a Modbus TCP vers ion fo r e a s y co nne ct io n to PLC s y ste m s (w hi ch is a l s o s uita b l e fo r co m m u nic at io n wit h o l d e r P LC sy stems); a n d a versio n co nta ining e m b e d d e d m id dl ewa re for co mplete s ta n da rd s - b a s e d d ata p re - p ro c e s s ing . T h e maker s a ys va rious co m m u nic at io n fa c il it ie s s u c h a s we b ser vi ces , data ba s e co nne ct io ns , U D P a nd TC P te l e g ra ms are ava il a ble for co nf igu rat io n.
32 | May 2018
HARTING recognise such latter capabilities make it very easy to create additional project-based or industry specific solutions; adding that, thanks to the software container concept of the HARTING MICA industrial computer platform – which serves as the basis of the new Ha-VIS RF-R3x0 reader family – there are virtually no limitations on the system’s versatility. Whether HARTING’s own extensions, for example the interpretation of the sensor data from a HARTING ETB sensor transponder or extensions created by system integrators – the diversity of applications knows no bounds. For an easy start to a new project, the Ha-VIS RF-R300 contains all the basic functions listed above for testing. These can then be activated or licensed in an applicationspecific manner. HARTING har ting.co.uk
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