You’ve heard these statements a million times --
Prepare for the bandwidth explosion. Generation mobile will have a big impact
on how data is consumed. The Internet of Things (IoT) will grow exponentially
in the next couple of years.
But for many, questions still remain. What are my
options? And if I look at the current trends and make the needed technology
changes to my data center today, will I still be prepared for future trends?
These trends and questions are being addressed in a
variety of ways, including several key attributes which can keep a data center
current and poised for the future.
For a moment, let’s consider three
important characteristics that make a successful
service provider in today’s competitive global market:
- Lower operation costs
- Greater reliability and flexibility
in service offerings
- Quicker deployment of new and
Service providers continue to build
out high-bandwidth networks around the world. These networks use a great
deal of fiber connectivity—the
medium that meets both their bandwidth
and cost requirements.
I am happy to announce that we are including new training classes in CommScope’s unique DAS training opportunity for women within our wireless partner organizations.
CommScope offers free DAS training for women within our partner organizations—customers, installers, systems integrators—who meet certain requirements. Women can get certified for free by attending the training classes about CommScope’s DAS and repeater solutions. The goal is to help women improve their knowledge of DAS and potentially help them find employment or expand their work into DAS.
This blog post originally appeared on Antenna Systems & Technology.
Microwave antennas form an essential part of modern mobile communication networks, providing the majority of backhaul provision between cell sites and core networks. In common with the rest of the network, there is a lot of pressure to minimize the costs of microwave network rollout. Some choose to do this through the use of cheap antennas; however, this can actually cost more in the long-run when the total cost of ownership (TCO) is considered. Let me explain by first reviewing some of the factors that drive cost in a microwave antenna.
Wireless data demands continue to grow as consumers drive usage levels ever higher. Given constraints on operating and capital budgets, every effort is being made to utilize existing assets more efficiently. Mohamed Hamdy recently wrote about one of the options that network operators have – using multibeam antennas to add more sectors at macro sites. His white paper “Multibeam antennas planning—limitations and solutions” explores some of the technical challenges and solutions to multibeam antenna deployments.
Multibeam antennas make it possible to reconfigure a 3-sector site to have 4 to 6 sectors, thus increasing the capacity of the site. These “higher orders of sectorization” are often used in specific, high traffic areas, and in some cases, even more than 6-sectors can be deployed, if needed.
Another technique that wireless operators utilize for adding capacity is MIMO (multiple input/multiple output). MIMO systems are already commonplace for LTE networks with 2x2 MIMO being table stakes now. (2x2 MIMO is essentially two streams of data for transmit and receive pathways; 4x4 MIMO is four streams).
Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) became main stream with
Cisco recently introducing a new suite of products for this segment. It is
particularly interesting in view of the fact that the traditional scale-up solution vendors have been dismissing this
technology and pushing against this architecture with “converged” mash up of
traditional compute, storage and switching products conveniently prepackaged
and loaded with software.
the converged solutions solve some pain points when deploying the“traditional
IT” solutions but proponents of hyperconvergence
would argue that it is time to take another approach. It’s
time to consider parallel architectures similar to those used by the large hyperscale businesses. HCI combines
compute and storage tiers into smaller bite sized pieces that are stitched together
with software to form an overall pool of resources. Need more capacity? Just
add more nodes and they automatically become part of the overall resource pool.
As mobile data traffic continues to rise, there are three main ways to expand network capacity:
The second and third options are more costly, so wireless operators, if feasible, first lean towards densifying their networks.
In mature networks, network densification is achievable through a number of techniques, mostly by adding small cells or splitting macro sites into more sectors. Sector splitting is easier to implement; however, it can introduce new interference risks as a result of sector overlap. One solution to managing sector overlap comes in the form of multibeam antennas.
In just the past few years, the broadcast
environment has evolved rapidly. The introduction of fiber-based
transport and server-based playback systems has introduced a layer of
complexity that did not exist previously when mechanical tape machines
providing analog video via coax were the norm.
In the past, the “master control” was run via
RS422 machine control data automation that hardwired to a central control
station. This was usually centrally located within the facility. The “on-air”
signal component was delivered via coax cable and was also switched at the
operation center. Signals from satellite feeds, remote sites and microwave
links were routed and switched as required to keep the newsroom, sports
department and entertainment division operational. The master control operator
watched the equipment and knew what changes were made within the environment
because they were physically located in the same space.
Being a big fan of Mikado biscuits (one of the key brands of
Jacob’s Biscuit), I have been watching with interest to see what would become
of the former Jacob’s
Biscuits factory outside of Dublin, Ireland, where they had been produced
for years before closing their doors in 2008. It was no surprise to me when Amazon bought the property and
announced plans to build a data center
there. A site with adequate power, accessibility and location just 20 km from
other major data centers west of Dublin, it seems a logical site for Amazon's next data center in Ireland,
and very much in line with the trend to re-purpose existing sites as data
This trend has been going on for years and has included such
disparate projects such as the MareNostrum supercomputer
in a former chapel in Barcelona, as well as an i/o co-location
data center which is ironically located inside a
former New York Times printing site in New Jersey.
E-mail is so 1999. The average worker
whose job involves handling information spends more than half their time at the
office communicating about their work, and less than one-third of their time
actually doing the job they were hired to do, according to a recent article in the Financial Times.
Modern office workers, including my
colleagues at CommScope, want to cut down on e-mails and make communications more
efficient. We use tools like Chatter and Skype for Business to share internal documents and quickly get answers from around the
globe. New messaging platforms like Facebook at Work and Slack are also gaining
traction in today’s office environment.