What Makes a Smart Building Smart?

4 Considerations for a Smarter Network: Part 2

By Deanna MacCormac
Published: May 21, 2021

In this series, we’ve been discussing smart technology strategies. So far, we’ve addressed future-ready infrastructure and cost-effective switching gear. Now, let’s talk about the technology requirements at the edge and how we can choose flexible networks to enable our changing needs.

Consideration #3. Choosing flexible network equipment
Above all, the most important network design consideration is understanding the applications at the edge that need connectivity. Though we might know what our technology needs are today, how can we plan for unknown technology needs in the future as buildings become smarter? The answer – designing for flexibility.

Because each application has different network requirements, Corning understands that there is no “one size fits all” approach to network design. Instead, our flexible solution supports both Active Ethernet and PON simultaneously within the same platform to give building owners and network managers ultimate flexibility to grow, change, and expand without having to install additional electronics at the edge or rework their entire network design.

High-performance applications
First, consider above-ceiling applications such as:

  • Audio/visual applications that have specific timing requirements to prevent lag,
  • Wi-Fi access points that seamlessly serve multiple users and multiple connected devices,
  • And pan-tilt-zoom security cameras that send large amounts of data up the network.

These types of high-throughput devices often demand more bandwidth, and IT managers may choose to enable these devices with a dedicated point-to-point connection, also known as Active Ethernet.

Consideration #4. Choosing intuitive network management
More devices, more users, and more network requirements can often mean more points of failure and more complex management. As we expect more from our networks, it’s important to choose a management platform that gives us maximum control and visibility to the edge.

As a result, Corning built a software and orchestration platform specifically for the enterprise. Easy to configure and easy to manage, Corning’s software orchestration platform provides network managers with:

  • A single-pane-of-glass view out to the edge of the network,
  • Alarms and error notifications for easy troubleshooting and instant identification of service failure root cause,
  • Detailed analytics and performance of edge devices,
  • Template-based provisioning which reduces provisioning time from days to hours,
  • And an annual platform-as-a-service support model including software upgrades and bug fixes.

Series Summary
As our technology plans continue to change, one thing stays the same: we are continuously planning for more data and more power. Rather than repeating the same rip-and-replace practices, let’s leverage future-ready infrastructure and adaptable SD-LAN networks to deliver data and power to the edge. By doing so, we can stay ahead of our technology plans.

We can choose to design smarter, flexible networks that adapt with us and continue to support our evolving technology needs. It’s time to go farther with fiber!

Deanna MacCormac joined Corning in 2017 and is part of the In-Building Networks team. She is passionate about helping enterprises solve for their ever-changing technology needs through a fiber-to-the-edge approach. In particular, Deanna supports senior living communities and educational facilities by understanding their unique technology goals and helping them implement flexible, cost-effective networks. In this role, she also helps launch new products and provides solution training for software-defined LAN and remote power.

Deanna has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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