Case Study: Purdue’s New University Network Infrastructure

Panduit’s Innovative Wireless Solution Enhances Purdue’s University Network Infrastructure

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The average college student steps onto campus with approximately eight devices and expects seamless wireless connectivity for each one. Aware of the increasing demand for wireless access, Purdue University invested in a wireless infrastructure that included deployment of 1,200 wireless access points. The initial project targeted areas where students congregate but as the use of wireless devices continued to grow, the university network infrastructure needed to expand to accommodate an enhanced wireless service.

Challenge

This was no small effort. The university network infrastructure needed to serve more than 40,400 students and nearly 16,500 staff members and their wireless devices. It also needed to accommodate the university’s existing 149-year-old physical footprint. We were up to the task, providing an enterprise solution that included our structured cabling system and surface raceway to secure and route the structured cabling throughout the campus.

Solution

Working with Purdue, we helped design a solution that meets IEEE performance standards while increasing capacity and incorporating as many existing raceways as possible. Because we are experts at eliminating alien crosstalk at a reduced diameter, Purdue was able to run 116 28-Gauge cables in a space that would only allow 47 traditional cables.

Result

These days, bandwidth is plentiful for Purdue students and staff, with nearly 8,600 high-performance, reliable wireless access points across the campus. What’s more, in addition to 100% wireless capacity, Purdue provided one wired access point per student in the dorms using Panduit Ethernet jacks and Purdue’s color–old gold.

See How Panduit Did It

Learn how Purdue University stayed connected: Read the full case study.

Standards Update: 28 AWG, MPTL Now Compliant!

When Panduit introduced 28 AWG patch cords to the market in 2011, we knew we were on to something big. When we showed customers and contractors the skinny patch cords, they were amazed by the sheer size and flexibility of the cords. At the time, they might not have fully realized the impact the cords could have in overcrowded telco rooms, but nonetheless, they were impressed.

28 AWG Patch CordsHowever, while the cords met all the performance requirements of the copper cabling standards (with reduced channel lengths), they didn’t meet the wire gauge requirements of the standard, which required 22-26 AWG wires. Hence the 28 AWG patch cords were not fully standards compliant. Because of the huge size advantages and minimum channel length reductions, most Panduit customers adopted the 28 AWG cords. However, even after 7 years on the market, some customers remain hesitant or flat out refuse to try them, as they want a solution that is fully standards-compliant.

Compliance Achieved!

Today, Panduit is excited to be able to say that 28 AWG patch cords are FULLY COMPLIANT with copper cabling standards. ANSI/TIA-568.2-D, the Balanced Twisted-Pair Telecommunications Cabling and Components Standard, has been revised to include 28 AWG patch cords. The revised standard is expected to be published this month.

The revision was developed by the TIA TR-42.7 Copper Cabling Systems Subcommittee, which I’m a member of. The effort to get 28 AWG included wasn’t a small feat. In fact, this represents the culmination of two years of work by a broad spectrum of companies and individuals. During our discussions, it was apparent the committee members see the value the small cords bring. As more and more building systems are networked, space in TRs is at a premium. Everyone is looking for ways they can squeeze more into their space and 28 AWG is an easy, inexpensive way to help make that happen.

At Panduit, we’ve been beating this drum for a while now. We’ve seen firsthand the impact 28 AWG cords have made in TRs. We’ve heard from customers how they have been able to add devices but keep the same pathways because of the reduced size. We have contractors telling us how the smaller size and flexibility have simplified moves, adds, and changes. And, we’ve seen other manufacturers jump on the bandwagon. In short, the industry has embraced 28 AWG patch cords.

Modular Plug Terminated Links Added to Standard Also

Along with the addition of 28 AWG patch cords, the revised standard also recognizes modular plug terminated links (MPTLs). MPTLs are essentially permanent links that have field terminated plugs on one end, instead of a typical jack-to-jack permanent link. Although installers have used this method for years, a new breed of MPTL plugs have entered the market, including Panduit’s new Field Terminated Plug. These plugs are designed specifically for connecting the growing number of networked devices that are going into buildings. The standard revision allows for field testing of MPTLs – something that hasn’t been possible previously. With field testing using a recognized and reputable tester, the installer can be assured that the channel that includes the MPTL meets applicable Category 5e, 6 or 6A performance requirements to support data rates of 1G and higher.

MPTLs are a key component in today’s digital building, allowing quick and easy connections for cameras, access points, lights and more. As additional systems are added to the network, MPTL use will continue to grow. The addition of this new connector to the standard solidifies the continued use of MPTLs going forward.

If standards compliance is an issue for your organization, now’s your chance to try these connectivity solutions in your buildings and see the big difference yourself. Reach out to your distributor or your Panduit account manager to see these in person if you haven’t already.

Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare Uses Technology to Provide Superior Patient Care

A Robust Network Infrastructure Allows for Patient-Centered Care

A robust network infrastructure allows for patient-centered care.

 

The future is here – but not all hospitals have the infrastructure to embrace it. So, when Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare rebuilt with a commitment to patient-centered care, they turned to Panduit for network infrastructure and connectivity solutions.

Challenge

The hospital needed to design a future-forward backbone for its enterprise to accommodate the 178,000-square-foot, four-story main hospital and to connect:

  • physician offices
  • outpatient healthcare services
  • surgical suites
  • the medical office building (80,000 square foot)

Solution

To accomplish this task, Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare relied on Panduit’s enterprise and data center network infrastructure solutions to create a campus-wide network that places the most advanced equipment and techniques in the hands of top medical talent.

Panduit enabled:

  • On-site telecom rooms and data center
  • Fast and secure data transmission
  • Efficient Power over Ethernet
  • Reliable wireless capabilities

Panduit’s TX6A™ 10Gig copper and Opticom® fiber backbone ensure that the entire care team can securely view medical records and test results simultaneously, regardless of location.

In addition, Panduit’s cabinet and cable management products organize and protect critical equipment and cabling from environmental hazards such as dust, heat, and humidity. Panduit’s FiberRunner® cable management system enables customers to manage, organize, and properly route their cables, saving space and ensuring optimal network operation.

Result

With Panduit’s help, Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare now makes technology decisions based on medical and business needs, not infrastructure limitations.

See the infographic case study.

 

 

TSB’s ‘IT Troubles’: Why making the right infrastructure choices are more vital than ever






IT and Network Infrastructure

Carefully considering the connectivity infrastructure which underpins your IT systems can make for a vastly smoother operating environment.

 

You may be aware of TSB’s technical woes. Especially if you’re a customer.

Last month, the bank announced it would be upgrading its systems to replace the ones it inherited from Lloyds. After it announced services were back online, customers quickly began complaining. Many were unable to access their accounts at all. Some were able to see the personal details of others through their mobile banking app. Others have seen fraudulent or anomalous transactions on their accounts.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, multiple in-branch services also failed.

In terms of damage to trust in the brand, potentially enormous loss of revenue from normal transactions, and the possibility of regulatory fines, it’s been a tough time for TSB.

To avoid similar service catastrophes, companies need to carefully consider how they select every part of their IT ecosystem. How every part works in harmony with the others. And how they select the companies they choose as vendors and partners.

Infrastructure is no exception to this rule.

Carefully considering the connectivity infrastructure which underpins your IT systems can also make for a vastly smoother operating environment. Preventing the kind of hiccups that can often occur during the upgrade process, when a new (potentially incompatible) framework is ‘layered’ on top of existing systems. Systems that may themselves already exist within a fragile, unpredictable lattice. Which can react explosively when anything new is brought into the mix.

Well planned, well-provided infrastructure means the difference between a stable foundation for the IT department to do great work. And attempting to build a successful user experience and backend on an ever-shifting sea of quicksand.

So, the next time you’re planning an upgrade, remember to ask the important questions first. What are you building? And what are you building it on?

To learn more about ensuring you have the best infrastructure in place to deliver for your organisation, read the report – https://pages.panduit.com/finance-all.html.

Today’s Alphabet Soup: the NEC, PoE and LP

We are getting lots of questions about the recently revised 2017 National Electric Code and its impact on Power over Ethernet. We have answers … and for the most part, it is good news! Here are some of the most common questions we’re getting around the NEC and PoE.

First off, let’s define this alphabet soup we’re talking about.

NEC = National Electric Code. Specifically, we’re addressing the recently revised 2017 National Electric Code.

PoE = Power over Ethernet. For the most part, we are addressing next-generation PoE, or the pending IEEE 802.3bt standard, which will introduce PoE running over all four pairs of an Ethernet cable. This is commonly referred to as PoE++ or 4PPoE. The 802.3bt standard further breaks PoE++ into two types based on power at the source: Type 3 (up to 60W) and Type 4 (up to 99W). (Note: The IEEE 802.3bt standard is expected to be ratified in early 2018.)

LP = Limited Power, a new UL listing for copper cables.

Does the NEC impact all PoE installations?

No. Most installations will not be affected by the new rules. The 2017 NEC addresses only those systems with power levels above 60W, which is the pending Type 4 PoE++. Existing installations of PoE and PoE+, and the pending Type 3 PoE++ are not affected by the 2017 changes to the NEC.

Am I required to use LP cables now?

Again, no. The NEC itself says LP is not required to run Power over Ethernet. However, if you use LP listed cables, it can simplify the installation and inspection of the project.

How can an LP listing make installation simpler?

It’s all about bundling and inspection. With a Type 4 installation, you have two choices: use LP cables or not.

If you use LP listed cables, you don’t have to worry about bundle sizes or inspections.

If you don’t use LP cables, you must follow the NEC’s ampacity table to determine bundle sizes. The installation then is subject to inspection to ensure compliance with the ampacity table bundle sizes. You can find the ampacity table in our recently published technology brief, Impact of 2017 National Electric Code on Power over Ethernet Cabling.

How will inspections happen?

This is where it gets fuzzy. Today, the NEC is adopted primarily at the state level, although in some states, it is adopted and enforced by local jurisdictions. And, state adoption and enforcement varies. While most states today are following the 2014 NEC, some are still following 2011, and a handful still follow 2008. It is unclear how inspections will occur.

What parts of the cabling system need the LP listing?

Permanently installed cable is the only component that requires an LP listing. It does not apply to patch cords.

Do I need to be concerned about fire hazards with higher rated PoE?

No. As long as the installation follows standards for installation, including proper bundling sizes, Power over Ethernet doesn’t pose a life safety threat.


To wrap it all up, the highlights to leave with:

  1. The only affected systems are those running Type 4 PoE++
  2. LP is not required, even for Type 4 PoE++
  3. If you don’t use LP cables for Type 4, the installation will have bundle limits and will be subject to inspection
  4. Life Safety is NOT an issue with Power over Ethernet
  5. Panduit can help! Our most common Cat 6 and Cat 6A cables carry an LP rating, including our MaTriX offering, which handles Power over Ethernet better than any other cable on the market.

Trump and his impact on the healthcare structured cabling market

Healthcare, specifically the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was a central topic healthcarethroughout the recent U.S. presidential campaigns. Though we can’t say how just yet, Donald Trump’s election will likely bring change to the U.S. healthcare market. Trump campaign promises pointed to repealing and replacing the ACA with something completely different; however, as time goes on, it is expected that at least parts of the ACA will remain.

Over the past several years, the U.S. healthcare industry has been consumerized through initiatives like the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). These initiatives changed the way that physicians are paid from a volume-based system to a value-based system. This has forced providers to reduce the cost of care while improving quality and patient outcomes. These cost reductions and the concern for the quality of patient care is likely to continue, and perhaps become even more important during the Trump administration.

Based on what we have heard thus far, analysts predict the following for health care under Trump’s policies:

  • There will be more of an emphasis on price transparency for medical procedures and other healthcare costs.
  • The Medical Productivity Index* (MPI) is expected to increase by 2% by 2026.
  • MACRA is likely to continue.
  • We will see greater consumer responsibility for healthcare costs, creating a more competitive market.
  • The number of uninsured people will increase by as many as 25 million, with conservative estimates hovering around 20 million.

Impact on the Healthcare Structured Cabling Market

What do these things mean for the healthcare structured cabling market? We can expect continued growth in the healthcare industry; however, it may look different than over the past decade.

  • Large hospital new construction is likely to decline. At the same time, hospitals are likely to continue investing in technology. This technology will deliver operational efficiencies and improved precision and diagnostics, which will drive down costs.
  • The amount of data will continue to increase, and speed of retrieval and analysis will be more important than ever. This forces the need for high-speed cabling and large-scale storage, especially as hospital groups continue to acquire independent facilities, creating more centralized systems.
  • Healthcare IT and facilities groups will have less budget to work with while being expected to deliver the highest quality of service to the organization.

Regardless of whether the ACA (also known as ‘Obamacare’) is repealed or not, it appears that the emphasis on value-based care will continue to grow. As structured cabling professionals, it is our responsibility to guide the healthcare community towards solutions that are both cost-effective and deliver the resilience and performance that a medical environment demands.

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*The Medical Industry Leadership Institute developed the Medical Productivity Index to measure the productivity of insurance-financed medical care. The MPI analyzes the health status achieved by a patient relative to the amount of resources invested in that patient’s care. The higher the index number, the better the return on investment. Care through Medicaid produces a low index value, whereas health savings accounts generally produce the highest index value.

Helping Customers Achieve LEED Certification

shutterstock_1215845381Everyone is talking about sustainability these days. We’re doing more than just talking about it.

Our world headquarters, built in 2010, is a LEED Gold Certified building and is just one example of our commitment to healthy, energy efficient, and sustainable business environments.

Today, we’ve taken that commitment one step further, becoming the first manufacturer to be awarded Environmental Product Declarations on copper jacks and cabling. These EPDs, awarded by UL Environment, help your projects become LEED certified.

It’s only been recently that the US Green Building Council adopted LEED version 4, which allows cabling systems to be counted toward LEED points. So, what do you need to know if you’re looking for a cabling system that complies? Below we’ve outlined some of the most common questions that we get.

Q: What’s an EPD/HPD?

EPD = Environmental Product Declarationcertified_epd_green

HPD = Health Product Declaration

EPDs and HPDs are both issued by a third-party after they verify reports supplied by the manufacturer. EPDs disclose potential environmental impacts of a product, while HPDs disclose what a product contains and how it impacts human and ecological health.

Q: What products have EPDs and HPDs?

A wide variety of materials used in the construction of buildings carry these declarations.

The Panduit EPDs cover 18 types of RJ45 jacks and 22 different copper cables. The offering includes:

  • Unshielded and shielded applications
  • Category 5e, Category 6, and Category 6A
  • Riser and plenum flame ratings

HPDs are pending for the same group of products.

Q: How does it work? If I install a product with an EPD, do I automatically get LEED points?

It not quite that simple! LEED requires the installation of at least 20 different products that have third-party certification to qualify for one LEED point. These products must be from at least five different manufacturers. So, when you install at least four different certified products from Panduit, that counts as one portion of one point for EPD and one portion of a second point for HPD. Different levels of LEED certification require different numbers of points to qualify.

Q: Can’t I get EPDs and HPDs with all cabling systems?

No! Panduit is one of a handful of cabling manufacturers that have received EPDs on copper cabling, but we’re the ONLY one to receive EPD certification on RJ45 jacks. So, if you’re looking for an end-to-end solution that can help you earn LEED certification, Panduit is your only choice!

We’d be happy to share more information on our EPDs and HPDs. You can get information on our Sustainable Solutions page, or from Customer Service.

Innovation 2.0

At Panduit, we take pride in finding new solutions to old problems (and new onescim_generic, too!). And, when we  work with the best customers around to help them find solutions to their problems, that’s even better. Last week, Cabling Installation & Maintenance presented their annual Cabling Innovators Awards. And, for the second year, several Panduit projects were recognized as being the best of the best. Without further ado, I’m proud to present a snapshot of our honorees and their cabling innovations.

Purdue University

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CI&M Chief Editor Patrick McLaughlin (left) and Group Publisher Alan Bergstein (right), present a Gold Cabling Innovators Award to (from left) Tom Kelly, Director of Business Development, Enterprise Solutions, Panduit; Daniel Pierce, Telecommunications Design Engineer, Purdue University; and Dennis Renaud, Vice President, Enterprise Solutions, Panduit.

Purdue embarked on a project during the 2014-15 school year, to update and expand their wireless coverage on campus. For today’s students, wireless access isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. Information Technology at Purdue tackled the upgrade project in two phases: One to add coverage in residence halls; a second to add density in academic buildings and common areas. The residence hall project caught the judges’ eyes for innovation, as the university relied on Panduit’s surface raceway and 28 AWG patch cords, along with Cisco 702 access points to deliver wireless throughout the residence halls. The raceway/patch cord/AP solution provided the wireless performance they needed while keeping the aesthetic already in place for their wired connections.

The Purdue wireless project was named a “Boilermaker” Gold honoree by the CI&M judges.

Global Insurance and Financial Services Firm

Panduit’s small-diameter cabling is at the heart of the solution installed by a global insurance and financial services firm, to optimize the space in their telecommunications rooms. Switch harnesses with 28-AWG patch cabling has provided four main benefits:

  1. Time: the quick-connect feature cuts installation time from about an hour per RU to 20 minutes per RU … and we all know that time means money!
  2. Space savings and cable management: Because of the small size, more cabling fits, saving rack space for equipment rather than cable management; it also simplifies cable management, making moves, adds, and changes simple.
  3. Single length: The company uses one length of patch cord everywhere, which eliminates ordering and installation errors.
  4. Standardization: Every telecommunication room at all of their sites are deployed with the same footprint, making installation and management easier for everyone involved.

CI&M’s judges awarded this project a gold award.

CenterPoint Energy

Texas-based CenterPoint Energy presented a Texas-sized issue: they wanted to unify their IT physical infrastructure platforms across their internal business units, and within each facility. Multiple vendors, multiple sites, and multiple cities equals multiple headaches. CenterPoint standardized its data center operations around a Panduit Intelligent Data Center solution, including Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software, hardware, and infrastructure offerings. This solution was end-to-end Panduit: fiber and copper cabling, dual cable pathways, PDUs, overhead patching, cooling optimization, grounding and bonding, and thermal containment. “We required a solutions provider that could deliver comprehensive technological advancements while helping us ensure business continuity,” said CenterPoint’s Tom Tanous, senior manager of Business Reliance and Data Center Management.

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CenterPoint Energy was recognized with a Silver Cabling Innovators Award.

The CenterPoint project was named a silver honoree by CI&M judges.

CyrusOne

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Winner of a Silver Cabling Innovators Award was data center provider CyrusOne. CI&M Chief Editor Patrick McLaughlin (left) and Group Publisher Alan Bergstein (right) presented the award to (from left) Dennis Renaud, Vice President of Enterprise Solutions, Panduit; CyrusOne Chief Information Officer Blake Hankins; and Panduit’s Tom Kelly, Director of Business Development, Enterprise Solutions.

With more than 3 million square feet of rentable data center space, CyrusOne is one of the largest data center providers in the U.S., with global customers relying on CyrusOne’s colocation services. Their new Austin Data Center II has been optimized with Panduit’s SynapSense software, delivering energy savings and increased efficiency by continuously aligning cooling capacity with changes in IT load.

“Panduit has enabled our customers to essentially keep tabs on their servers in CyrusOne’s facility with a level of data access and detail comparable to operating a data center of their own,” said Amaya Souarez, vice president of CyrusOne’s Data Center Systems & Security. “Plus, we’ve experienced both operational and power efficiencies. It’s quite incredible!”

CyrusOne was recognized as a silver honoree by the CI&M judges.

The Innovators Awards were judged based on the following criteria:

  • Innovative
  • Value to the User
  • Sustainability
  • Meeting a Defined Need
  • Collaboration
  • Impact

Alan Bergstein, publisher of Cabling Installation & Maintenance (http://www.cablinginstall.com) said “This prestigious program allows Cabling Installation & Maintenance to celebrate and recognize the most innovative products and services in the structured cabling industry. Our 2016 Honorees are an outstanding example of companies who are making an impact in the industry.”

Congratulations to all of these outstanding customers for their efforts. Panduit is proud to share these awards with all of you.

Top 6 Things to Know About the New Category 8 Cabling Standard

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has published ANSI/TIA-568-C.2-1, which supports 25, 40 and possibly even 50GBASE-T over Category 8 copper cabling. As you consider high-bandwidth applications, here are some key things to keep in mind.

1) How far can you go?

Category 8 channel reach is 30 meters, much shorter than the 100-meter channel of traditional categories of copper cabling.

2) It’s a familiar face!

Category 8 has the familiar RJ45 interface, so jacks and plugs are compatible with the same patch panels, switches, and other equipment that users are familiar with today.

Category 8 products

Category 8 will be deployed as shielded twisted pair construction only.

3) Shields up!

While other category cabling uses unshielded or shielded twisted pair construction, Category 8 will only be shielded cable construction.

4) Where, oh where can it be?

Category 8 is designed for the data center. More specifically, it is designed to support 25G and 40GBASE-T switch-to-server links, a typical fiber-optic application. It will provide the most cost-effective and easiest-to-deploy 25G and 40G links within the data center. The 30-meter reach makes it challenging for Category 8 to be used to deliver higher bandwidth to the desktop or in other Enterprise applications in large-scale deployments.

5) Can Enterprise play, too?

Due to the reach limits of Category 8, Panduit recommends installing Category 6A today for all Enterprise applications. Category 6A supports up to 10GBASE-T at lengths up to 100 meters. Investing in a Category 6A infrastructure for your Enterprise space is the smartest and most cost-effective option for long-term optimal performance of your network. Panduit’s Advanced MaTriX Category 6A products have the additional advantage of allowing optimal heat dissipation and performance with next-generation Power over Ethernet (PoE++).

6) The next step …

Manufacturers are actively developing the next generation 25G and 40G products. Panduit expects to have its product offering – including cabling and connectivity – in 2017, to coincide with the launch of active equipment that will require the higher speeds.

Panduit has already received third-party approval on it’s upcoming Category 8 solution. Learn more here.

Panduit Sees Growth in Stagnant Structured Cabling Market

The structured cabling industry showed a downturn in 2015, according to recent research results shared  by BSRIA. The organization noted a difficult global market for the industry, showing a 3% decline, to $6 billion dollars for 2015. They cited a strong U.S. dollar, lower oil prices, and delays in project timelines as the primary market drivers causing market contraction.

A bright spot in the market analysis is the continued growth of Category 6A in structured cabling. This growth is fueled by a growing need for increased bandwidth, and an upward trend to converge separate legacy protocols onto standard Ethernet protocols. The ongoing evolution of wireless communication standards, which require more than 1 Gb of bandwidth to wireless access points, are compelling IT staff to realize that enterprise-wide multi-gig applications are already here.market growth

Panduit has achieved market growth rates for Category 6A that exceed the BSRIA market assessment and we continue to see strong growth for Category 6A in our target markets globally. End users who install our MaTriX solution benefit from improved alien crosstalk, smaller cable diameters, and the best thermal performance in the industry, a critical factor when Power over Ethernet is part of the installation.

Educated end users recognize that the time for smart infrastructure investment is now.

The convergence of separate systems into a single IP network raises the relevance of the network infrastructure. It is at the core of why our customers continue to choose Panduit and drive our sustained growth in a market with strong economic headwinds.

Whether you are looking for a solution to support the convergence of your networks, or simply want to add wireless access points to your space, Panduit would like to help. Contact your sales rep or distributor today, and we will help you identify the perfect solution.