CommScope Blog

The Data Center of the Future: Limitless, Connected and Efficient (Part 1)

Posted by Kam Patel on April 26, 2016

2016_Data_Center_Ed_SessionYou’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.

Managing Fiber Connectivity in Service Provider Networks

Posted by James Donovan on April 25, 2016

Fiber_SmallFor 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 upgraded services

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.

Providing More DAS Training Opportunities to Women

Posted by Pinder Chauhan on April 21, 2016

Women-in-CommsI 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.

The Unexpected Cost of Low Cost Microwave Antennas

Posted by Donald Gardner on April 20, 2016

Microwave-quality-mainThis 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.

The Move to 4x2 MIMO in Wireless Networks

Posted by Ray Butler on April 19, 2016

Network-modernizationWireless 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 Hits the Mainstream. Now What?

Posted by James Young on April 14, 2016

Pre_Terminated_CableHyperconverged 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.

Certainly 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.

Do You Want to Learn How to Deploy Multibeam Antennas Effectively?

Posted by Mohamed Nadder Hamdy on April 13, 2016

Multibeam-planningAs 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.

AIM has Replaced the Master Control for Broadcasters

Posted by Dean Rosenthal on April 12, 2016

NAB ShowIn 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.

Data Centers: Sometimes the Old Can Become New

Posted by Darragh Rogan on April 11, 2016

Old_FactoryBeing 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 centers.

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

How Far Can You Advance Data Centers?

Posted by Bryn Jones on April 7, 2016

Data_Centre_WorldE-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.

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