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Power over Ethernet (PoE) has grown up. From a convenient and cost-effective way to power devices in locations without easy access to an AC electric outlet, PoE has evolved into a business-critical technology with vast potential for wide-ranging improvements in power efficiency and controllability.
The two obvious benefits of PoE are power delivery without the cost and inconvenience of separate cabling, and a dependable power source that isn’t susceptible to changes or failures in the power grid. Businesses take advantage of these benefits to power mission-critical devices such as Point of Sale (PoS) systems and security cameras. The healthcare industry also realizes potentially life-saving benefits from the technology, using PoE to power nurse call systems and patient monitoring devices.
These line-powered devices are power hungry. As a result, the original PoE standard of 15.4W per port of power has increased to 30W for PoE+. These standard versions of PoE have been augmented by the de facto-standard PoE++, which delivers 60W, and the most recently introduced Power over HDBaseT (POH) standard supports over 95W per port. An IEEE working group is now standardizing these higher-power versions of PoE under the 802.3bt specification. That standard is expected to be finalized in 2017. Each power increase has been accompanied by added efficiency, security, flexibility and manageability.
Advancing PoE standards are creating opportunities for new applications such as building management. PoE gives us the ability to manage power to devices such as LED lighting and climate systems with incredible precision. Imagine that the tens of thousands of light bulbs in an industrial building each have an IP address, and that all of them are powered through PoE. Integrated with big data analytics systems that incorporate information such as ambient light, temperature, CO2 levels, and movement, PoE powered lighting systems with embedded sensors can provide the optimal mix of comfort and power conservation.
The same approach, used for climate systems, can also reduce power costs and increase comfort levels. Chilly or overheated classrooms and offices would become a thing of the past. Reducing power use on a large scale can have environmental implications as well by reducing fossil fuel use.
With PoE a proven technology, Brocade is focusing on the network infrastructure needed to tap its full application potential.
We support PoE on every port of our campus network switches. We also support PoE++ and PoH on many of our switch ports, and have done so since the standards were defined. But we understand that raw IT technology is only part of the solution. And we’re taking the next step in delivering the potential of PoE, using the open, software-enabled network infrastructure of the New IP.
The software foundation of the New IP gives you programmatic control over complex tasks and tight integration with high-value end user applications. It’s an inherently agile platform that goes beyond support for today’s developments to embrace innovations that are not yet conceived, while maintaining strict adherence to business and security policies.
Our physical foundations for the New IP are scale-out distributed campus network architectures matched to an Ethernet fabric-enabled data center. Together, these foundations deliver end-to-end support for software-defined networking (SDN) and virtualized environments at Layer 2 and Layer 3. On top of that rides our virtual services platform, which includes products for routing, load balancing, application delivery, and visibility and analytics (including the Brocade Flow Optimizer), plus our open source SDN controller. These products create the flexible, scalable, programmable infrastructure that can reliably deliver high-value PoE applications.
Turning PoE possibilities into reality
Realizing the massive potential of PoE is an end-to-end network challenge. And we’re addressing it that way. With extensive virtual services and flexible, scalable network architectures. With open source support for a software-enabled infrastructure. With an ecosystem of partners that supply best-of-breed solutions. And of course, with our ongoing commitment to implementing PoE, PoE+, PoE++, PoH, and future power delivery standards